Kenmore Refrigerator Freezing Up [How to Fix]

Is your Kenmore refrigerator freezing up for no apparent reason? Read our guide here to find out why and how to solve the problem.

Kenmore refrigerator freezing up
Photo Credit: Raymond Shobe, Flickr.com (under license)

Kenmore Refrigerator Freezing Up – What to Check

To find out why your Kenmore refrigerator keeps freezing up, take a look at the following parts:

1. Thermistor

To be sure the thermistor is the problem, test its resistance using a multimeter. The resistance should change as the temperature of the refrigerator changes. But if it doesn’t. the thermistor is bad and needs to be replaced.

The thermistor is the part of the refrigerator which monitors the temperature of the air. Then, it sends its reading to the control board. With the readings, the control board is able to regulate power to the compressor and evaporator fan motor. But if the thermistor is unable to perform its duty, the compressor and fan motor will run more than they should. Consequently, the refrigerator will become too cold.

2. Temperature Control Thermostat

Turn the knob of the thermostat from low to high and wait for a click. If you hear one, the thermostat is fine but if you don’t hear one, test it for continuity. No continuity will confirm that the thermostat is bad and should be replaced.

The thermostat is in charge of sending voltage to the condenser fan motor if it applies, evaporator fan motor and the compressor. If it is defective, it could cause the refrigerant system to operate longer than is needed. And when that happens, the refrigerator will get too cold.

3. Air Damper

Check the damper between the freezer and the fresh food section to see if it is permanently open or partially open. This will explain the refrigerator freezing up. This is because the damper closes and opens to let cold air into the refrigerator. And if it is always open, even slightly, the refrigerator will become too cold.

In addition to all of the above, the temperature control board or the main control board could be faulty. If either is faulty, it will affect the efficiency of other components. And this can cause the refrigerator to freeze up. However, they are less likely to be the cause of the problem. So be sure to check other parts first before you get to them.

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Check out this video for more on how to fix this freezing problem…

Kenmore Refrigerator Evaporator Freezing Up – What to Do

If the evaporator of your Kenmore refrigerator keeps freezing up, unplug the refrigerator to completely defrost it. This will take some hours and you will have to preserve the food in the unit somewhere else. You could also try using a heat source to defrost it quickly but this is not usually recommended.

However, you need to check the defrost system. The defrost system is made up of the defrost heater, the defrost thermostat, the defrost timer and the control board.

Start with the heater. It is right under the evaporator coils behind the freezer section. It is supposed to come on during the defrost cycle and defrost ice from the coils. If the coils are freezing up, then the heater is not working.

But it could also be that the timer is stuck in the cooling cycle. So it cannot get the heater to defrost and the coils freeze up as a result.

Also, a defective thermostat could affect the performance of the heater. If the thermostat does not sense that the coils have gotten cold enough, it will not allow the heater to turn on.

Why Is My Kenmore Refrigerator Freezer Freezing Up?

The defrost system is the most probable cause for the freezer section freezing up, but that is only if the appliance has an automatic defrost system. So, check the defrost system components and other parts for faults:

1. Defrost Heater

Check the defrost heater for continuity using a multimeter. The heater is under the evaporator coils. If there is no continuity, the heater is bad. So, it cannot melt ice from the coils, leaving the freezer with more ice than it should have. Replace it as soon as possible.

2. Defrost Timer

Also, check the defrost timer. Test it for continuity using a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the defrost timer.

The timer informs the defrost heater when to turn on or turn off. If the freezer is freezing up, the timer may be stuck in the cooling mode, so the heater doesn’t turn on.

3. Defrost Thermostat

Additionally, check the defrost thermostat. Turn the dial from the lowest point to the highest point. If you hear a click, the thermostat is active. But if you don’t hear a click, use a multimeter to test it. If you don’t find any continuity, replace the thermostat.

It checks when the evaporator coils are cool enough to allow the heater to turn on and melt ice off them. If it is defective, the heater won’t be able to turn on, leaving the freezer frozen.

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4. Defrost Control Board

The defrost control board controls the entire defrost system. While the board rarely fails, it may develop a fault that affects the system and stops it from working. So, if no other defrost system component is faulty, but the problem persists, you may have to replace the control board. However, let a technician test it to determine whether or not you need a new board.

5. Door Gasket

Apart from the defrost system, another part to check is the door gasket. The freezer door has a gasket that seals the door to keep the cold air in and the warm air out. If the gasket is dirty or weak, it can cause the cold air to leak and warm air to replace it. And if warm air enters, its moisture condenses and forms frost, which ices up the freezer.

Therefore, check the gasket to see if it is dirty or loose. If dirty, clean it with warm soapy water. Over months and years of constant use, food and drinks can spill on the gasket; dust and other debris can also soil it and compromise its sealing capacity.

But if dirt is not the problem, the gasket may be weak. Close the freezer door on a dollar bill and try pulling it out. A properly sealed door should trap the money; you cannot pull it out unless you open it. So, replace the gasket if you pull the dollar bill out without opening the door.

6. Ice Maker

The ice maker runs at the freezer temperature to make ice. It does not generate a separate temperature for the ice-making process. However, it can lower the freezer temperature when making ice, but this is not a problem because it cycles on and off. But if there is no water supply to the ice maker and it keeps running, it will cause the temperature to drop and remain too low.

Therefore, check the water in the ice maker, and ensure it is steady with good water pressure. If the water is off or disconnected, turn off the ice maker. Otherwise, the freezer will keep freezing up, and the ice maker may be prematurely damaged.

Watch this video to learn more about how to fix your freezer freezing up…

Kenmore Refrigerator Ice Maker Freezing Up – Solutions

If your Kenmore refrigerator ice maker is freezing up, here is what to check:

1. The Temperature of the Freezer

Low freezer temperature will cause the water in the ice maker to freeze quickly. And any water around it will also freeze, causing the ice maker to stick. Set your freezer temperature to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

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2. The Water Supply Line and Ice Fill Tube

If the supply line is poorly positioned or if the ice fill tube is clogged with ice, there won’t be enough water in the ice maker and what little water comes in will cause a splashback around the ice maker. Fix the supply line in properly and defrost the ice from the fill tube using hot water inside a baster.

3. The Water Inlet Valve

Check the solenoid of the inlet valve using a multimeter to see if it’s working. If the solenoid is not working, replace it quickly. This is because the ice cube area will be overfilled with water from a faulty inlet valve. Over time, the excess water freezes around the ice maker.

4. The Water Filter

Check the water filter to see if it is clogged. Just change it if the filter is clogged so that water can easily and freely pass through.

Kenmore Fridge Freezer Drain Freezing Up – Quick Fix

Check the drain heater if your model has one. Test it for continuity. If there is none, the heater should be replaced. If not, the drain will remain clogged unless you thaw it manually by squirting hot water into it continuously until the ice melts.

Also, check the drain strap. The strap is fixed to the heater so that when it comes on during the defrost cycle, the strap will conduct some heat from it to the drain to melt ice. But if the strap shifts for any reason, put it back in place so that it can perform its duty.

In addition, check the drain for debris. If the drain is filled with debris, the water from melted ice will not evaporate easily. And with time, it will freeze. Clean out the drain thoroughly and melt the ice with hot water. But do it gently and slowly so that you don’t damage any part of the unit.

Why Is My Kenmore Ice Maker Chute Freezing Up?

Check the dispenser motor. If it is bad, then the dispenser will not be able to open properly in order to let ice out. Ice could get stuck in the chute and freeze there as the ice maker continues working. Test it with a multimeter for continuity and replace it if there is none.

Also, check the temperature setting. If the freezer temperature is too low, the ice maker, water line, and ice dispenser chute can freeze up. So, check the setting and adjust it if it is too cold. But if the setting is correct, put a refrigerator thermometer between two frozen or cold items. Leave it there for 24 hours and check the temperature afterward.

If the temperature is lower than the setting, it means the refrigerator runs constantly and freezes more than it should. That may also mean the condenser coils are too dirty or the condenser fan is faulty, causing the compressor to run all the time. Fix these issues to correct the temperature.

But if the problem persists, contact the Kenmore Service Center to request service or hire an independent technician for further assistance.

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