Unplugged Chest Freezer and It Won't Freeze Anymore - Why?

  • Thread starter kyphysics
  • Start date
  • #1
169
131

Main Question or Discussion Point

We have a chest freezer in the garage. It was working 100% fine.

I cleaned it (wiping down old ice and stains) yesterday and found today that the temperature seemed "lower" (it still blasts "cool/cold/chill" air out, but not freezing air like before). My ice cream was cold was kind of runny. I worried, so I unplugged it and plugged it back in.

DOH. It doesn't even freeze now. The lights inside turn on after plugging it back in, but the air blast doesn't come on....before it had weaker/less cold air, but not NO air.

Why is that? (p.s., I don't know where the adjustable temp control knob/meter is....looked all around and cannot find it.....very old fridge). Any solutions/thoughts?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
anorlunda
Staff Emeritus
Insights Author
8,646
5,540
You may have a coolant leak.

Is there a sight glass in the coolant line? It is there to spot bubbles. If you see bubbles, there is some air in the system and cooling capacity will be reduced.
 
  • Like
Likes russ_watters
  • #3
549
321
The problem seems to be in the cleaning you just did.
Could you tell us a little more about the details of that cleaning?
Model, brand, year?
Any pictures?
 
  • Like
Likes 256bits
  • #4
Baluncore
Science Advisor
2019 Award
7,824
2,738
Why is that? (p.s., I don't know where the adjustable temp control knob/meter is....looked all around and cannot find it.....very old fridge). Any solutions/thoughts?
Did you keep it upright?
To find the thermostat, follow the power cables to the pump.
 
  • #5
Tom.G
Science Advisor
3,307
2,064
Did you keep it upright?
If it was NOT kept upright, leave it Off for minimum two days. This is to let the oil and refrigerant drain back into the compressor. If this step is skipped there is a real chance of damage/destruction of the compressor (same as running your car without any oil).

Cheers,
Tom
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Likes berkeman and Lnewqban
  • #6
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
2019 Award
24,801
7,812
found today that the temperature seemed "lower" (it still blasts "cool/cold/chill" air out, but not freezing air like before).
By "lower", you mean "higher".
 
  • #7
256bits
Gold Member
3,180
1,197
I worried, so I unplugged it and plugged it back in.
If unplugging the unit, wait several minutes - 30 or so - to plug back in again. if the motor had been running and pressurizing the coolant, a re-start will put undue strain upon the motor, and may even burn it out.
Hopefully there is an internal breaker and a reset switch ( not sure if any do ).

Perhaps your evaporator coils have iced up and frozen over when you were cleaning it from the humidity from the air.
Depends on the type of unit - you mentioned freezer, and then fridge.
So if you are lucky, all it needs is a complete defrost for several hours to remove the frost from the coils.
 
  • Like
Likes rbelli1 and Lnewqban
  • #8
Tom.G
Science Advisor
3,307
2,064
If unplugging the unit, wait several minutes - 30 or so - to plug back in again. if the motor had been running and pressurizing the coolant, a re-start will put undue strain upon the motor, and may even burn it out.
The reason that occurs is if a cooling cycle is interrupted liquid coolant can accumulate in the compressor. Not being able to compress a liquid, the motor is stalled and may draw 10 times or more its normal operating current. All systems I'm aware of have a thermal overload built into the motor to avoid this self destruction. It has been many decades since I've seen one that required manual resetting, when the motor cools the overload switch automatically closes and you are good to go.

Those overload switches occassionally fail open (Off), so if the compressor won't run with power supplied when cool, replace the thermal overload. Sometimes they are located in the electrical junction box on the motor, other times they are mounted externally on the motor. The externally mounted ones are usually a small cylinder roughly 1in. (2.5cm.) or less diameter, with two wires, and mounted with two small screws to the motor.

So, you've lots of possibilities to address, have fun troubleshooting! :wink:

Cheers,
Tom
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes 256bits, anorlunda, berkeman and 1 other person
  • #9
rbelli1
Gold Member
960
362
Is it a self-defrosting model?

The timer for the defrost function is often mechanical. If it gets stuck then you can have the symptoms you described.

BoB
 
  • Like
Likes Lnewqban

Related Threads on Unplugged Chest Freezer and It Won't Freeze Anymore - Why?

  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
6K
Replies
3
Views
6K
Replies
10
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
21K
Replies
10
Views
3K
Replies
8
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
768
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
992
Top