How to Repair a Freezer That Will Not Start

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  • Rated as REALLY EASY
  • 12 repair stories

Start Relay or Controller

If your freezer will not freeze food, it may mean there is a problem with the compressor start relay. This part is also known as the controller, and works to power the compressor start windings to make your freezer start running. If the compressor start relay is not working, the compressor will not power on and begin freezing. Disconnect power to the freezer before beginning this repair. The compressor start relay is usually located on the side of the compressor. Use a multi-meter to test its continuity. Check for visible signs of damage caused by overheating, and replace as necessary.
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Electronic Control Board

If your freezer is not working or won’t freeze, the issue may be with the control board. Typically, the control board works to display, monitor, and make adjustments to the freezer temperature, and is essential to the functionality of the compressor, evaporator fan and defrost heater circuits. Some freezer models have two separate control boards. If either board is not working, the compressor may not be prompted to start cooling the air. Check the control board to see if there are visual signs of damage, in which case it will need to be replaced. A voltage test can also be performed, but only by a qualified technician.
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Temperature Control or Thermostat

If your freezer has stopped working or is not freezing, there may be an issue with the temperature control thermostat. This thermostat is a rotary dial which has a capillary tube sensor that monitors the temperature of the interior lining of the freezer. It also has electrical contacts that send power to the compressor circuit when the freezer needs to begin cooling. If either the contacts or the sensor bulb are damaged, the compressor may not be prompted to start. In this case, the temperature control will need to be replaced. Unplug the freezer and inspect the control for damage. If there is none, check for continuity using a multi-meter.
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Start Capacitor

If your freezer stops working and will not freeze, it could be due to an issue with the start capacitor. This part helps power the compressor start windings, which prompt the unit to begin cooling. The compressor may make a humming noise but not start if the capacitor isn’t working. Before checking the capacitor, which is usually on the side of the compressor, unplug the unit’s power source. Check the capacitor for visual signs of damage or overheating and replace if it is defective. If there are no signs of damage, testing will need to be done by a qualified technician.
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Defrost Timer

If your frost-free freezer won’t freeze or stops running, there may be an issue with the defrost timer. This part dictates the defrost cycle which keeps the evaporator coil free of frost buildup. The internal contacts in the defrost timer can fail, causing the timer to stall while in defrost mode, meaning the compressor will not be prompted to cool the air in the freezer. The timer is usually in the rear of the freezer, and can be turned on manually. If the compressor then starts, it means the defrost timer was the issue and needs to be replaced. If the compressor doesn’t start at this point, it should have a live voltage test done by a qualified technician.
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