How To Fix Frigidaire Refrigerator Error Code H1/HI

How To Fix Frigidaire Refrigerator Error Code H1/HI

A comprehensive Frigidaire fridge troubleshooting guide
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Is your Frigidaire refrigerator showing error code, ‘H1’ and you’re lost for what it means? That’s okay, because you still have lots of time to fix the situation but if left for too long, your food will spoil. Frigidaire error code ‘HI’, commonly misinterpreted as ‘H1’, is a code that indicates a ‘high temperature’ within your refrigerator. Depending on the model of your refrigerator, you may hear an audible beeping noise when this error occurs, in addition to a visual code. This issue can be caused by a few parts, and can be fixed relatively easy, but depends completely on which part or issue is causing the higher than normal temperatures.

What Is Frigidaire Refrigerator Code H1?

Error code H1 appears with Frigidaire refrigerator models when the temperature exceeds 26°F or -3.3°C in the freezer, and 55°F or 12.8°C within the refrigerator. Considering refrigerators should ideally remain between 35-38°F or 1.6-3.3°C and freezers should be on or around 0°F/-18°C, that’s making quite the jump, and should absolutely be a warning sign of something not working properly within your appliance.

To avoid spoiling your food, it’s best to first figure out whether your fridge, freezer, or both are being impacted by this high temperature issue. Try using a thermometer to test whether the internal temperature of both your freezer or refrigerator align with the set temperature setting. Put your hand in the back of the freezer to feel whether cool air is flowing, and check the vent in the fridge to check whether that cool air is moving over into the fridge as well.

Although the issue is fairly simple to understand, its cause can be harder to grasp. Each appliance is different, meaning some of these parts may not be causing any issues whatsoever, but this is a list of which parts could be malfunctioning or defective and causing these abnormally high temperatures, in order of least to most elaborate:

  • Dirty Condenser Coils
  • Fridge Door Seal
  • Evaporator Fan Damper
  • Defrost Timer
  • Defrost Thermostat

Frigidaire Error Codes H and HI

One important aspect of this error code is that ‘H1’ is actually misrepresenting ‘HI’, which is consistently misread. In all fairness, however, because of the digital displays within these Frigidaire refrigerators, ‘H1’ and ‘HI’ would read the exact same. In addition, because many of the fridges displaying these codes have two separate displays for the fridge and freezer, it actually carries a different meaning. If you see H1/HI blinking on the display for the freezer, but not the fridge, the high temperature issue lies solely within the freezer - and the same applies for the fridge. If you see H1/HI blinking on both the display for the freezer and refrigerator, this temperature issue applies to both.

How To Troubleshoot Frigidaire Refrigerator Error Code H1

There are methods to not only finding out which part(s) is giving your refrigerator its H1 error, but there are also a few preliminary things you can do to potentially fix the H1/HI error outright.

Keep The Door Shut

First, Frigidaire’s own website describes the main cause for an HI error to be, “ inadvertently not closing the door all the way or leaving the door open for an extended period of time.” so making sure your fridge doors are closed and sealed when the fridge is not in use is an obvious first step.

Eliminate Frost Build-Up

Eliminating any frost buildup around the door seal and within the fridge and freezers themselves will improve air circulation and keep the temperature much lower. Frost buildup usually occurs when moisture is captured into the freezer and can’t escape, and this can be eliminated by removing unnecessary food items or rearranging the storage of the food containers to improve air circulation. Without proper air circulation and cooling within the appliance, bacteria can fester and grow quicker, which is why eliminating any frost is extremely important. The following video will give you a general idea of how to eliminate this frost buildup in your refrigerator.

How To Fix Frigidaire Refrigerator Error Code H1/HI

Troubleshoot Individual Parts

Many Frigidaire fridges come with an included troubleshooting guide with instructions to test each part individually. This feature isn’t available in every model, but you can normally locate this troubleshooting guide behind a kick plate at the bottom of the fridge, taped together in a small bag. By doing this, you can find out which part(s) are not working properly and gain a better grasp on the situation at hand. However, if your model does not have a guide included, you can be rest assured that following our guide will help you find the solution to this issue!

How To Inspect Frigidaire Fridge Condenser Coils to Fix an H1 Error

Condenser coils are a set of tubes at the bottom of the back of your refrigerator. Those tubes are responsible for removing any heat from the refrigerant - which is a liquid that moves throughout the fridge and freezer - to keep your food cold. Sometimes, if the defrost system isn’t working properly or if the condenser coils are dirty and need cleaning, it can lead to frost building up on them, which can lead to improper cooling and will result in an H1/HI error code.

To prevent these coils from getting frost buildup, these are actions you can take to keep them working their best:

  • Clean condenser coils regularly: Lightly use a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean any dirt, dust and debris off them.
  • Check for leaks: If you notice any liquid leaks around them, contact a professional repair technician, since refrigerant is highly toxic.
  • Check the defrost system: Use your user manual to find and inspect the defrost system; ice or frost on the coils, or an empty drain pan underneath your fridge are signs that it’s not working.

How To Fix Frigidaire Refrigerator Error Code H1/HI

How To Reset a Frigidaire Refrigerator to Solve H1 Error

Resetting your Frigidaire fridge may not completely solve whatever issue you’re having, in this case H1/HI/High Temperature, but if you have removed any frost buildup and made sure everything is working properly and the error code is still there, resetting it can resolve the error.

Depending on your model, your user manual may have a specific button, or set of buttons that you need to press within the fridge itself, to fix the issue. If this is not the case, a hard reset can normally be done by disconnecting power from the fridge for 5-10 minutes and then reconnecting it.

If the error comes back in an audible or visual form, it means there’s still an issue that lies within your fridge that needs to be resolved. This can only be done by replacing whichever part(s) are not working properly or are broken.

How To Replace a Fridge Door Seal to Fix an H1 Error

The seal on your fridge door is integral to keeping the cool, climate-controlled environment of the fridge interior separate from the warmer room-temperature environment. Over time, through wear and tear, and incidental damage, fridge door seals can crack, grow mold or mildew, and become unserviceable. If the door seal stops working properly, the fridge will have a harder time cooling itself, leading to an H1 error code from the fridge. If this is the case for your fridge, you can order a new door seal from our wide range of Frigidaire door seals, and replace it by doing the following:

  1. Carefully pull the current door seal out of its groove.
  2. Clean the groove and edge of the door thoroughly - disinfectant spray or soap and water are recommended for this.
  3. Place the new door seal around the edge of the door and carefully work it into the groove.
  4. Test the seal by closing the door and inspecting for any bumps, ensuring it’s flush and completely sealed.

How To Replace a Frigidaire Fridge Damper to Fix an H1 Error

The fridge damper controls the airflow of cold air from the evaporator fan in the freezer, to the crisper drawer. The damper is controlled by the user’s control knob and when adjusted lower, it opens further to allow more cold air to flow into the fridge compartment. When the damper stops opening properly or is broken, it will cause temperatures to rise, leading to an H1/HI error, and will need to be replaced immediately. It’s worth inspecting the damper before replacing it, to see if there is a large frost buildup, and if there is, eliminating it to test whether that solves your H1/HI error.

Replacing a fridge damper will require a replacement damper, which you can find in our variety of fridge parts, and can be removed and installed with the following guide:

  1. Unplug your fridge from the wall outlet.
  2. Locate the damper in the fridge - it’s usually located at the top of the freezer & fresh food compartments.
  3. Depending on your model, you may need to remove the food contents and containers within your fridge.
  4. Remove the screws that secure the damper with a Phillips-head screwdriver.
  5. Disconnect the wire harnesses securing the damper and remove it.
  6. You can test the damper with a multimeter to see whether it has failed or if another part is the culprit.
  7. If the damper is bad, you can now install it and its wire harnesses, then secure it with the appropriate screws.
  8. Plug your fridge back into the wall outlet and check to see if the damper works and if error code returns. You should feel cold air blowing from the vent of the damper into the fresh food compartment.

This is an example video and is not model specific, so your Frigidaire refrigerator may appear differently.

How To Fix Frigidaire Refrigerator Error Code H1/HI

How To Replace a Frigidaire Defrost Timer to Solve an H1 Error

The defrost timer works with the thermostat to control the duration of the defrosting cycle and ensure the coils are always kept at the optimal temperature. If either the timer or thermostat fails, it will lead to frost buildup on the coils and heating issues within the refrigerator - which is the root of the H1/HI error.

If your defrost timer needs to be removed for inspection or replacement, you will need a screwdriver to access its panel, and a new defrost timer which you can find in our extensive range of OEM Frigidaire timers. Replacing this part also requires an easy repair guide, such as the following:

  1. Disconnect your fridge from the wall outlet.
  2. Locate the defrost timer either in the rear or ceiling of the fridge, or below it.
  3. Use your screwdriver to access the defrost timer’s panel and remove its wire harness.
  4. Unscrew the defrost timer and its wiring harness.
  5. You can now test the timer with a multimeter to check for continuity. A beep on the multimeter means there’s continuity, and no beep or visual indication means it is bad.
  6. Install the new defrost timer by screwing it in, and install its wiring harness.
  7. Reconnect the defrost timer panel and install its wiring harness.
  8. Reconnect the fridge to the wall outlet and test it to see if the H1/HI error code pops up.

This video is a general example of a Frigidaire refrigerator, so your model may appear differently.

How To Fix Frigidaire Refrigerator Error Code H1/HI

How To Replace a Frigidaire Defrost Thermostat to Fix an H1 Error

The defrost thermostat is responsible for activating and deactivating the defrost heater to melt frost buildup on the evaporator coils. If it fails, frost will build up on the coils and lead to less heat being removed from the fridge interior and causing frost buildup in the freezer, resulting in the H1/HI error code.

First, replacing the defrost thermostat will require a screwdriver, a wire stripper and crimper, two heat shrinking tubes, a heat gun, and a new defrost thermostat, which can be found in our comprehensive selection of OEM Frigidaire refrigerator thermostats. Removing and installing it can be done with the following step-by-step guide:

  1. Disconnect your fridge from the wall outlet.
  2. Open the freezer compartment of your fridge and access the evaporator cover. This may require you to remove the shelves and contents of your freezer.
  3. Remove the screws securing the cover of the evaporator.
  4. Locate the thermostat at the rear of the evaporator assembly.
  5. Cut the old thermostat wire and remove it.
  6. Strip a quarter-inch of the wire from the wiring harness and from the new thermostat.
  7. Insert the new thermostat wire leads and crimp the heat shrink tubing to each lead.
  8. Crimp the wire leads from the wire harness of the evaporator assembly to each of the wire leads of the thermostat.
  9. Secure the wires as they were originally, and resecure the evaporator assembly cover.
  10. Connect your fridge to the wall outlet and turn it on to see if the H1 error arrives.

This is a general video example, so your Frigidaire refrigerator may appear differently than that used in the video.

How To Fix Frigidaire Refrigerator Error Code H1/HI

Conclusion: When Do You Call a Technician for an H1 Error?

If you have followed all of our repair guides and replaced every part that could be causing your refrigerator to have error code H1/HI - then your local, qualified repair technician is likely your next best option. No DIYer wants to call it quits, but there are some extremely stubborn appliances that will not work, no matter how much TLC you throw at it. Going forward, however, this is a list of important ways to keep your fridge in great health!

  • Clean the condenser coils once every year, or more, depending on how much hair, dust and debris is able to clog them.
  • Keep your fridge’s interior clean and deep clean it at least once every few months to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Check the fridge, freezer, and condenser coils for frost buildup and eliminate it when you notice it. If it reappears, reference our guide again!
  • Make sure the door seals are always working properly. If they stop sealing properly, remove any frost buildup you find, and then clean or replace them.

A clean fridge is a healthy fridge, and a healthy fridge is a healthy person! Ensuring your appliances are all working the way they should is essential to living a healthy life, so check out our other blogs for everything repair, home improvement, and healthy living!

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Content Team
The PartSelect Content Team has a passion for DIY and we pride ourselves on being a resource for quality, expert content to help you accomplish any DIY project. Alongside our expert repair technicians, our team of experienced technical writers works to provide safe and reliable information on all tasks and jobs around your home. We spend time learning about the problems and projects that our customers are working on, and we make it our job to answer key questions and provide resources for every step along the way. Repairs and DIY projects are what we do, and the PartSelect Content Team wants to help you do them, too.
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PUBLISHED ON September 20, 2023
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