It can be incredibly frustrating when your Whirlpool freezer suddenly stops freezing properly. One day you open it up expecting solidly frozen food, only to find half-thawed items, frost buildup decreasing, and interior temperatures too warm. Clearly something is wrong – but what? And how can you get your freezer actually freezing again ASAP?
We’ll provide tips on how to diagnose the specific problem, fix it yourself if possible, and prevent future freezing issues. With some basic troubleshooting and maintenance, you can get your Whirlpool freezer back to creating ice-cold temps.
Symptoms of Freezer Not Freezing
Here are some signs your Whirlpool freezer is not maintaining proper freezing temperatures:
- Food stored in the freezer is no longer completely solid and frozen
- Frost buildup on interior walls has decreased significantly or disappeared
- Freezer section feels warm to the touch and interior thermometer reads warmer than 0degF/-18degC
- You can hear the compressor is not turning on and running like usual
If you notice these indicators, something is preventing your freezer from getting cold enough to freeze contents properly. The issue likely lies with one of the essential components in the refrigeration system.
Reasons a Whirlpool Freezer Stops Freezing
There are a handful of common issues that can cause a Whirlpool freezer to stop freezing. Here are the most likely culprits and how to fix them:
Condenser Coils are Dirty
Condenser coils play a crucial role in releasing heat from the refrigeration system. As the compressor circulates refrigerant, the condenser coils dissipate built-up warmth so the refrigerant can cool down again before circulating back through the system.
Over time, dust, pet hair, and other debris can build up on the condenser coils. This prevents them from releasing heat effectively. As heat builds up, the interior freezer temperature warms up and prevents proper freezing.
Cleaning the condenser coils thoroughly can get your freezer back running cold. Use a narrow vacuum attachment to remove debris from the coils. For any stubborn buildup, gently scrub the coils with a dry brush. Make sure not to bend or damage the delicate coils.
Fans Not Circulating Air Properly
Interior fans are responsible for circulating cold air from the freezer coils throughout the compartment. This maintains an even, consistently frigid temperature.
If the internal fan motor malfunctions or the fan blades get obstructed, they cannot properly circulate air. This results in uneven cooling or warm spots in certain areas of the freezer.
Check that the fan motor is getting power and spins freely without noise or resistance. Remove any obstructions like food packages or ice buildup from the fan blades. If the fan motor is damaged, replacing it can restore proper airflow.
Faulty Start Relay
The start relay (or compressor relay) helps initiate the cooling process whenever the freezer turns on. It provides a power surge to start the compressor motor.
If the start relay is damaged or faulty, it may not activate the compressor when the freezer is powered on. This prevents the cooling system from starting up properly.
You can test the start relay with a multimeter to check for issues. If it is defective, replacing this inexpensive part can get your freezer running again.
Overstuffing the Freezer
When a freezer is stuffed completely full, airflow can become blocked. Without proper airflow, the cold air cannot efficiently circulate throughout the compartment.
Signs your Whirlpool freezer is overpacked include:
- Difficulty closing the door completely
- Frost buildup on interior walls
- Food packages appear bloated/deformed
Try removing any expired or unnecessary items from the freezer. Organize contents using baskets, bins, and mason jars to maximize space. Regularly cleaning out the freezer ensures proper airflow for freezing.
Damaged or Unsealed Door
If the door seal is warped, cracked, or otherwise allowing air leaks, it can let warm external air enter the freezer. This overwhelms the cooling system and prevents adequate freezing.
Inspect the door seal for any gaps or poor alignment letting air pass through. Run your fingers along the seal to feel for leaks. If the seal needs replacing, proper door alignment is also key for an optimal seal.
Diagnosing the Specific Problem
Now that you know the most common freezer freezing issues, how can you diagnose the specific problem with your Whirlpool model? Follow these tips for pinpointing the culprit:
– Check each component above systematically to rule issues in or out. – Listen for abnormal compressor sounds indicating a malfunction. – Inspect the condenser coils and confirm they are free of debris. – Use a multimeter to test parts like the start relay or defrost heater for faults. – Monitor freezer temperature over a period to identify inconsistent cooling issues. – Perform a door seal check to reveal alignment/leak problems.
Taking the time to properly diagnose the issue, rather than guessing, ensures you resolve the correct fault. Have a repair technician inspect your Whirlpool freezer if needed for expert diagnosis.
Fixing the Freezer and Preventing Future Issues
Once you’ve zeroed in on the reason your Whirlpool freezer is not freezing, you can take steps to fix it. Some repairs may require calling in a trained appliance technician. But many issues like condenser cleaning or start relay replacement you can do yourself with basic tools.
Be sure to follow best practices for maintenance going forward as well. This keeps everything in good working order and avoids a recurrence of freezing issues. Tips include:
- Set the ideal freezer temperature between 0degF/-18degC.
- Activate auto defrost features to prevent ice buildup.
- Clean condenser coils every 3-6 months.
- Check/replace seals, gaskets, and fans as needed.
- Regularly clean interior walls and freezer drawers/shelves.
With proper repairs and routine care, your Whirlpool freezer will stay frost-free and keep food solidly frozen for years to come.
When to Call a Repair Professional
In some cases, it’s best to leave Whirlpool freezer repairs to the experts. Signs you may need a professional service call include:
- Strange electrical smells or sounds
- The compressor not turning on at all
- Error codes flashing on display panel
- Failure after attempting recommended fixes
- Lack proper tools or electrical training
Appliance technicians have specialized training to accurately diagnose issues. They can also safely perform repairs like compressor, evaporator, or control board replacement. Professional fixes often come with generous warranties too.
Is your Whirlpool freezer not freezing like it should? Now you know the most likely culprits and straightforward troubleshooting steps.
Inspecting key components like the condenser coils, fans, door seal, and start relay can reveal the problem. Address issues through cleaning, repairs, replacement, and preventative maintenance. With the right diagnosis and fix, you can get your Whirlpool freezer running cold again.