How to Fix Accumulating Ice in a Freezer

Written by sal marco
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How to Fix Accumulating Ice in a Freezer
Save money by repairing freezer problems yourself. ( Images)

Many homeowners choose a frost-free freezer for their home to avoid the inconvenience of defrosting the freezer. A frost-free freezer does not always guarantee an ice-free freezer. Ice and frost occur in the freezer for a variety of reasons, ranging from simple fixes to more complex repairs. Diagnosing the reason for ice accumulation is necessary for a successful repair. Begin with simple usage adjustments and progress to repairs to isolate the problem.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Upholstery brush attachment
  • Paper or one-dollar bill
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Stiff wire
  • Volt-ohm meter

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Keep the freezer door closed as often as possible. An open freezer door allows a burst of warm air to enter the freezer and create moisture that freezes, leading to an ice build-up.

  2. 2

    Arrange foods in the freezer while providing adequate airflow around the packages and containers. Airflow restriction limits the freezer's ability to remove frost.

  3. 3

    Stack foods in the freezer, allowing enough room for the door to close properly.

  4. 4

    Avoid putting hot or warm foods in the freezer. Hot foods entering a cold environment cause humidity that then freezes.

  5. 5

    Clean dust away from the evaporator coils located behind the freezer or under the freezer with an upholstery brush attached to a vacuum hose.

  6. 6

    Open the freezer door and insert a piece of paper or one-dollar bill that half in the freezer and half out of the freezer. Close the door and pull on the paper. If the paper slips from between the door and the housing, replace the door gaskets. Repeat this test along the top and bottom of the freezer door. Defective or damaged door gaskets allow warm air to enter the freezer and create ice.

  7. 7

    Place a level on top of the freezer across the front and then along the side. If the bubble is not in the centre of the level, adjust the levelling feet in the appropriate direction until the level's bubble is in the centre. An out-of-level freezer can cause the door to remain ajar.

  8. 8

    Check the door alignment by opening the freezer door one-quarter of the way; remove your hand from the handle. If the door does not close properly, pry off the cap that covers the hinge screws with a flat-blade screwdriver and adjust the screw in the appropriate direction.

  9. 9

    Locate the drip holes along the lower rear of the freezer. If ice is present, remove the ice from the drip holes. If no ice is present, poke a stiff wire into the drip holes to clear dirt from the openings.

  10. 10

    Test the condenser fan by disconnecting the leads and attaching a volt-ohm meter probe to the terminals. Readings below 50 ohms or above 200 ohms indicate fan motor failure, which requires fan replacement.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider hiring an appliance repair professional if you are not comfortable making repairs yourself.
  • Disconnect power to the freezer before attempting repairs.
  • Avoid chipping ice away from the freezer compartment, as you may damage the freezer.

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