Freestanding Freezer: Not running

If the freezer has electrical power-the inside light turns on-but the compressor won't run, a failed cold control thermostat could be the problem. If your freezer has electronic controls instead of a dial, a failed relay on the electronic control board or a bad control panel can prevent the compressor from getting power.

If the compressor is getting power from the cold control thermostat or the electronic control board, a failed start relay on the compressor may be keeping the compressor from running.

If you hear the compressor clicking constantly about every 30 seconds but the compressor motor won't run, the compressor pump may be locked up. The clicking noise is caused by the overload tripping when the motor overheats because it can't spin the locked up compressor pump. Replace the compressor if it won't run when activated. A service technician will need to replace the compressor if it's bad because that repair requires recovery and recharge of the refrigerant.

freestanding freezer

These repairs may help solve your freestanding freezer problem

Replace the freezer electronic control board

Replace the freezer electronic control board

The electronic control board-also called the main control board or the power control board (PCB)-manages the compressor and the defrost cycle. The control board activates the compressor to keep the freezer cold and runs the fans. The electronic control board monitors temperature sensors to control freezer temperature and the defrost cycle. Replace the electronic control board if it's not working properly.

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer electronic control board

If your freezer isn't cold and you don't hear the fans or compressor running, the electronic control board could be the problem. This step-by-step repair guide and video show how to replace a freezer electronic control board.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer start relay and overload

Replace the freezer start relay and overload

The compressor start relay starts the compressor and keeps it running until the compressor cycles off. Replace the start relay if it's broken and the compressor doesn't run. In some situations, a wiring failure could be causing the problem, and repairing the start relay wiring will fix the problem.

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer compressor start relay

If your freezer isn't cold and you don't hear the compressor running, the compressor start relay might be burnt out. This DIY repair guide explains how to replace a freezer compressor start relay in 15 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer cold control thermostat

Replace the freezer cold control thermostat

The cold control thermostat, located in the control housing, regulates the freezer temperature by cycling the compressor on and off. The sensor bulb on the cold control thermostat monitors freezer temperature. Replace the cold control thermostat if it doesn't cycle the compressor properly to maintain freezer temperature.

How to replace a freezer temperature control thermostat

If your freezer isn't freezing, the temperature control thermostat could be to blame. This step-by-step repair guide shows how to replace a freezer temperature control thermostat in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the freezer control panel

Replace the freezer control panel

The control panel houses the selection buttons and the display for the freezer. The control panel communicates with the electronic control board through a wire cable. Check the wire cable connections before replacing the control panel. Replace the control panel when keys are stuck or the display doesn't work.

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer control panel

A freezer control panel that doesn’t show the temperature or respond when you press the buttons could be broken. This DIY repair guide and video show how to replace a freezer control panel in less than 15 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 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.

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.