Freestanding Freezer: Noisy

Excessive frost on the evaporator can interfere with the rotating evaporator fan blade, causing a loud buzzing noise inside the freezer compartment. If you hear buzzing and the noise gets louder when you open the freezer door (indicating the noise is coming from inside the cabinet), check for excessive frost inside the freezer. If you find excessive frost inside the freezer, find and repair the cause to eliminate the buzzing noise.

A leaky door or lid gasket can cause excessive frost to build up inside the cabinet and on the evaporator. Replace the door or lid gasket if damaged. Manually defrost the freezer by safely storing food and unplugging the refrigerator. Prop the freezer door open and allow room-temperature air to circulate through the freezer cabinet to defrost the evaporator. After 24 hours, close the freezer door and plug the freezer back in to restore cooling. If the noise resumes, then you may need to replace the evaporator fan because its blade is damaged.

If you find frost concentrated on the evaporator cover, the automatic defrost system likely isn't working. A broken defrost heater, failed defrost timer or bad defrost bi-metal thermostat could allow excessive frost build-up to hit the evaporator fan. Repair the defrost system to eliminate the excessive frost.

A faulty compressor can cause a loud knocking or whining noise. Have a service technician examine the compressor if it's making a loud noise. A service technician will need to replace the compressor if it fails because the repair involves recovery and recharge of the refrigerant.

A small toy or other foreign object under the freezer can interfere with the condenser fan. Check for an item underneath the freezer when you hear a buzzing noise coming from the bottom of the freezer.

freestanding freezer

These repairs may help solve your freestanding freezer problem

Replace the freezer door or lid gasket

Replace the freezer door or lid gasket

The door seal attaches to the door panel of an upright freezer and the lid seal mounts to the lid of a chest freezer. The seal prevents air from entering or escaping the freezer when the door or lid is shut. A damaged seal lets warm, moist air into the freezer when the door or lid is closed, causing excessive frost and cooling problems. Replace the door seal if it's damaged or torn.

February 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer lid gasket

If the inside of your freezer is too frosty, the lid gasket that keeps out moisture might be torn or worn out. This step-by-step repair guide shows how to replace a freezer lid gasket in just 5 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer defrost bi-metal

Replace the freezer defrost bi-metal

The freezer defrost sensor-also known as the defrost bi-metal or defrost termination thermostat-is next to the evaporator. It trips when the evaporator temperature gets too high, to protect the evaporator from overheating. When it trips, the defrost bi-metal shuts off the defrost heater. A defective defrost bi-metal prevents the defrost heater from working, causing frost to build up on the evaporator, causing a warmer freezer interior. Replace the defrost sensor if it prevents the defrost heater from working.

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer defrost thermostat

If your upright freezer isn't cooling and its interior back wall is covered with frost, the defrost thermostat could be the problem. This repair guide and video show how to replace a freezer defrost thermostat with step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer evaporator fan

Replace the freezer evaporator fan

The evaporator fan mounts on the evaporator assembly. It moves air across the evaporator fins and through the cabinet for cooling. The freezer won't cool properly when the evaporator fan breaks. If the evaporator fan doesn't run when activated, replace it.

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer evaporator fan

If your freezer is warm and you don't hear the hum of a fan, the evaporator fan could be broken. This DIY repair guide and video show how to replace a freezer evaporator fan in 6 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer defrost timer

Replace the freezer defrost timer

The defrost timer controls the intervals between defrost cycles and limits the length of the cycle. During the defrost session, the timer activates the defrost heating element and prevents the compressor from running, so frost melts from the evaporator fins. Replace the defrost timer if it doesn't control the defrost heater and compressor properly.

Replace the freezer compressor

Replace the freezer compressor

The compressor is a pump that an electric motor rotates. The compressor is the problem if the motor won't start when the start relay actives it, or if the motor runs but the pump doesn't compress the refrigerant. Have a service technician replace the compressor, because this repair requires access to the sealed refrigerant system.

Replace the freezer condenser fan motor

Replace the freezer condenser fan motor

The condenser fan is in the machine compartment of the freezer next to the compressor. It moves air across the condenser coils to help cool the hot refrigerant coming out of the compressor. Replace the condenser fan if it fails to run when activated.

Symptoms common to all freestanding freezers

Choose a symptom to see related freezer repairs.

Main causes: lack of power, control system failure, broken compressor start relay, locked up compressor, compressor motor failure
Main causes: burned out light bulb, bad door or lid switch, faulty LED light board, wiring failure, control system failure
Main causes: lack of power, bad compressor, refrigerant leak, bad thermistor, defrost system failure, dirty condenser coils, control failure
Main causes: excessive frost, bad defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal, control system failure, low refrigerant charge, compressor problems
Main causes: damaged door or lid gasket, cracked cabinet liner, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer
Main causes: compressor failure, no refrigerant, faulty sensor, control failure, broken defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat
Main causes: dirty condenser coils, condenser fan failure, dirty bottom front grill, leaky door or lid gasket
Main causes: leaky door or lid gasket, broken defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat, defrost control failure, faulty compressor
Articles and videos common to all freestanding freezers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your freezer.

March 2, 2015
How to defrost a freestanding freezer
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to safely defrost a Kenmore freezer.

January 27, 2015
Freezer energy savings tips
By Sears PartsDirect staff

See how you can reduce the energy consumption of a freezer.

November 1, 2014
Freezer common questions
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Benefit from other people's experience by checking on these frequently asked questions about freezers.