It is one thing for your refrigerator to cool but entirely different when it builds ice. Learn how to fix a KitchenAid refrigerator ice buildup issue in this article.
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KitchenAid Refrigerator Ice Buildup – Fixed
Several issues can cause a KitchenAid refrigerator to build ice or frost, and we will discuss each one below.
1. Refrigerator Door
Leaving the refrigerator door open for long periods is one of the leading causes of ice buildup in a KitchenAid refrigerator. The same is true if the door gasket is weak or dirty. The first thing to check is the frequency at which you or other people open the refrigerator door daily, especially when there is high humidity, or you recently stocked the refrigerator with warm foods and drinks.
To cut down on condensation and ice buildup, reduce refrigerator usage. Limit the number of times you open the door; lessen the trip by making a list of what you need per time and taking them all at once. Do the same with everyone in the house. That way, the refrigerator has time to run efficiently and cool without warm air interrupting the process.
When you open the door, try not to hold it open while you decide what you need to take. Make quick work of the process and shut the door. Holding the door open for long periods causes the cold air to flow out while warm air replaces it. Consequently, the moisture in the air condenses on the vents and evaporator coils and freezes.
Another aspect to check with the door is the gasket. It is the thin rubber strip that runs along the door’s edges. It creates a tight seal that keeps the cold air in and the warm air out, maintaining a cool temperature. Over time, the door gasket may get dirty or weaken, which compromises the refrigerator’s cooling capacity.
So, inspect the gasket; it should be clear whether or not it is dirty. Food crumbs and drinks may spill on the gasket and stick to it. Over time, it becomes increasingly difficult to seal, compromising the refrigerator’s cooling capacity. Clean it with warm soapy water and a soft sponge or brush, ensuring you reach the folds to remove dirt. However, consider replacing the gasket on your KitchenAid refrigerator if it is weak.
2. Air Vents
The location of the air vents in your KitchenAid refrigerator depends on the model, but they are usually between the freezer and refrigerator. They allow cold air to flow between both compartments, but items can obstruct them and reduce the cold airflow. As a result, the refrigerator becomes warm and builds condensation due to the warm air. This condensation freezes over time and forms ice.
Consult the user manual for the exact location of these vents. Ensure nothing obstructs them; you may have to rearrange the freezer and refrigerator to accommodate the vents. Additionally, consider cleaning them because dirt can cause a decrease in the flow of cold air, resulting in ice buildup. Finally, ensure the vents are fully open and place one hand over them to feel the cold air from the freezer when the refrigerator runs.
The mullion runs between the doors of a KitchenAid refrigerator to reduce condensation and prevent frosting. It contains a heater, controlled by the Energy Saver feature, that turns on to keep that area dry. If the Energy Saver feature is on, the heater cannot work; you must turn the feature off before the heater works. This may explain the ice buildup, especially if you see it near or between the doors.
When It Is Normal Condensation
There is a possibility that the ice buildup you see is normal condensation. If it is not excessive, the refrigerator may produce the usual amount of ice for the typical cooling appliance. Tiny droplets of ice in the freezer and refrigerator are not to worry about; they are part of the usual cooling process.
This is especially true if you live in a humid place or the air is humid within that period. If the humidity is high, follow the door regulation steps explained above to minimize the warm air in the refrigerator. Lock the doors if possible to help the refrigerator maintain a cool temperature and eliminate ice buildup.
You may also want to check the temperature settings to ensure they are correct. Setting them too low may cause cooling problems in the long run. However, schedule service for the refrigerator if the ice buildup issue continues after trying the above solutions. Contact the KitchenAid Service Center to report the issue.
KitchenAid Refrigerator Bottom Freezer Frost Buildup – What to Do
If you find that your bottom freezer is frosting up without any plausible explanation, check and fix the following:
1. Ice Maker
This part applies only if the bottom freezer has an ice maker. And if there is an ice maker, check to see if it is connected to water. The ice maker typically works when water from the main source in your house flows into it through the water line and fill tube. But if the water line or fill tube is not connected, or the main source is not open, the ice maker cannot make ice. It will lower the freezer temperature and cause frost buildup if it remains on without a water supply.
Therefore, turn on the water to the ice maker if off, or turn the ice maker off if it is not in use. Also, move items in the freezer to create a little space around the machine so that it does not keep making ice when it should cycle off. That way, the items in the freezer do not freeze solid or form ice when they should not.
If the ice maker is leaking or overfilling with water, it will cause ice or frost buildup. You may want to inspect the ice maker or check the water supply to ensure there is no damage and the machine does not overflow. If it overflows, the problem may stem from a faulty water inlet valve. In such a case, the valve no longer shuts off when the ice maker is full, and that may be an electrical or solenoid problem. Therefore, consider replacing the valve if it has failed.
2. Freezer Drain
Most newer model KitchenAid refrigerators have defrosting systems that melt the ice to prevent frost buildup. The water from the defrost cycles flows out of the freezer through a drain hole at the back of the freezer compartment. Over time, the drain may freeze, especially if clogged with dirt. Dirt keeps the water flowing out, causing it to back into the freezer and freeze over the drain.
Rearrange items in the freezer or remove them to reach the drain at the back wall. If there is ice over it, turn off the appliance and use a hair dryer or heat gun to melt it. Be careful when using any electrical heat source in the freezer to melt ice because of the presence of water to avoid electrocution.
Another option is to defrost the freezer manually, but it only helps if the evaporator coils are frozen. Afterward, clean the excess water and use water and vinegar to clear the drain tube. Alternatively, push the dirt out of the other end of the drain tube using a stiff wire. Then, you can flush the tube to remove leftover debris and clear the drain. Ensure the water runs free and clear before emptying and cleaning the drain pan under the refrigerator.
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3. Door Seal
The seal on the freezer door may be weak, letting warm air into the freezer. You can use the dollar trick to determine whether or not the seal needs a replacement. Close the freezer door on a dollar bill and try pulling it out without opening the door. If you successfully pull it out, the seal is weak and should be replaced.
Another possibility is that the door seal is dirty, and the freezer will lose cold air if that is the case. Warm air will replace the cold air, and since it usually carries moisture, it will condense in the cold freezer and form frost. Instead of replacing the seal, try cleaning it with warm water and soap to remove visible dirt. But if the door still does not seal tightly, replace the door seal.
In addition, the refrigerator may not be properly leveled. Poor leveling can cause the doors not to seal tightly, leading to condensation and frost buildup. If you are unsure, place a level on top of the refrigerator and check the bubble. Your refrigerator needs leveling if the bubble is off the center. Check the refrigerator’s user guide for steps to level the refrigerator to enable the doors to close and seal tightly.
4. Condenser Coils
Check the condenser coils, as they may be significantly dirty. Dirty coils affect the cooling system, interfering with its cooling capacity. You can clean them; turn off the refrigerator and move it to reach the bottom back. Remove the access panel and locate the coils, usually next to the condenser fan.
Use a vacuum cleaner or condenser coil cleaning brush to remove the dust and debris, and clean the area around the coils afterward. Typically, the condenser coils transfer heat from the refrigerator into the atmosphere. When the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air, ot moves from the evaporator coils into the condenser. There, the coils remove the heat to dissipate it.
But if the coils are too dirty, the dirt acts as insulation to prevent efficient heat transfer. Consequently, the heat remains trapped in the system and compromises the cooling system. This can lead to the compressor running more than usual to maintain a cool temperature, causing the freezer to ice over.
In addition to the above, check the freezer vents to ensure nothing obstructs or blocks them. Also, they must have no dirt because dirt can restrict the cold airflow. If the freezer has too many items, organize that section to free the vents and increase the airflow from the evaporator fan. Otherwise, the freezer becomes less cold, and condensation builds, leading to frost accumulation.
Ice Buildup Under Freezer Drawer in KitchenAid Refrigerator – Solved
If you find ice under the freezer drawer in your KitchenAid refrigerator, the most probable reason is a clogged defrost drain. If the drain is clogged with dirt and unable to drain water properly, it backs into the freezer. Some form ice, while the rest of the water leaks from the unit.
Turn off the refrigerator and remove the items in the freezer. You may have to remove the freezer front and drawer to reach the drain. On some models, removing the back panel inside the freezer is crucial. Follow the steps in the user manual to remove the drawer and locate the drain hole for your specific model.
Once you locate the drain hole, check to see if it has ice over it; use a hair dryer or heat gun to melt the ice. Hot water is also helpful, but carefully use it to avoid damaging the freezer. You can dip a clean cloth in hot water and rub it over the hole until the ice melts.
Clear the drain to prevent a future occurrence of ice under the drawer. Use a stiff wire to push the debris out and flush the drain tube with a mixture of warm water and vinegar or bleach. The ice should stop forming under the freezer drawer after clearing the drain.
However, if it continues forming and you are sure the drain is not clogged, check the ice maker fill tube. It should sit directly over the ice maker to deliver water into the ice mold. If it sits incorrectly, some of the water may dribble out and flow under the freezer drawer, forming ice over time.
While you may not notice it because the ice maker works well, checking the tube’s position is crucial. Also, the amount of ice used from the freezer may cause an excessive ice buildup under the drawer. If you use too much ice a day, the freezer must remain at a low temperature to keep making ice, which means the drain hole may freeze, along with other items.
This prevents proper defrost water drainage from the freezer, leading to frost buildup and leakage. Additionally, try adjusting the freezer temperature to a higher point. Set it a few degrees higher than usual to create a little warmth and eliminate the frost buildup under the drawer. These steps should fix the problem, but contact KitchenAid to report the issue and request service if it persists.
KitchenAid Refrigerator Is Leaking Water and Has Ice Buildup on the Bottom
Check the defrost drain in the freezer to see if it is clogged or covered with ice. You can follow the steps above to clear the drain and ensure water from the defrost cycle fully drains out of the refrigerator. Consider troubleshooting the defrost system if your refrigerator has an automatic one and the drain keeps icing over.
Start with the defrost timer because it controls the timing for each defrost cycle. Consult the user manual to determine its location on your refrigerator model, and turn it in the direction it will go; it usually goes in one direction. If the timer does not advance the system out of the cycle within thirty minutes, it is defective and requires a replacement.
But if it works fine and the defrost system appears to be faulty, check the defrost heater and thermostat. You can test each one using a multimeter. Check for continuity and get the correct value from the refrigerator’s tech sheet. You should find the sheet in the top hinge, or it may be taped to the appliance’s back. Replace the heater, thermostat, or both if there is no continuity.
Also, check the water filter and housing; if they leak water, it will pool at the bottom of the refrigerator and form ice. Remove the filter and use a bypass plug in its place. Wait a few hours to see if the leaking persists. You may have to check the filter housing and connection point if it does.
However, if the leak stops, replace the water filter with one compatible with your refrigerator model. You may also want to check other items in the refrigerator that can leak. Check items with liquid content, especially water bottles; one or more may have sprung a leak. If all else fails, speak with an appliance technician or contact KitchenAid for further assistance.
KitchenAid Fridge Not Cold Enough Plus Ice Buildup – Quick Fix
If you have a problem with ice buildup affecting your KitchenAid fridge’s cooling capacity, there may be frost accumulation on the evaporator coils. There may also be a significant amount of dirt on the condenser coils, causing overheating and making the refrigerator run longer than usual.
This drops the internal temperature and leads to an ice buildup. And when there is an ice buildup on the evaporator coils, they cannot release cold air, leading to a lack of cooling in the refrigerator. You can manually defrost the refrigerator before determining why it freezes. The evaporator coils may have dirt on them, or the defrost system may fail.
Have a technician check the coils and clean them if dirty, or troubleshoot the defrost system’s components. Replace any faulty components to reduce the frost on the coils. Otherwise, the weight and temperature may eventually cause irreparable damage. Check the condenser coils, usually at the bottom back of the refrigerator.
You must disconnect the refrigerator from electric power before checking them. Move the refrigerator away from the surrounding walls to create access to the back and remove the bottom access panel. Use a vacuum cleaner or condenser coil cleaning brush to remove the debris. Take the time to clean the compressor, fan, and other parts around the coils.
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