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.

These repairs may help solve your Freezer problem:

Replace the freezer electronic control board

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.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the freezer start relay and overload

Compressor start relay

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.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the freezer cold control thermostat

Temperature 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.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the freezer control panel

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.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the freezer defrost timer

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.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the freezer compressor

 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.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.