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Chest Freezer Problems

Similar to other types of freezers, chest freezers are used to freeze food items for long periods of time. They can be a separate unit which can be transported. In most cases, these chest freezers are compartment free where you can store a large portion of food items. The common problems they face are malfunctioning because of Freon leakage, compressor issues and the motor freezing.

Listed below are a few questions answered by the Experts on chest freezer problems.

I live in Minnesota, my chest freezer is kept in my garage which is devoid of any heating. The food in the freezer remains frozen in summer and thaws in winter. Why?

Check your chest freezer for the model number. If the sticker says R134, it is a model which uses oil to mix with the coolant and contains paraffin. When the temperature reaches below 40 degrees, this component of the oil solidifies and hence it cannot pass through the capillary tube. The capillary tube is a tiny tube near the compressor through which the Freon passes before entering the interior of the freezer. When the Freon flow ceases the freezer temperature starts to rise to the outside environment temperature. You should find a heater kit referred to as garage kits. They help heat the compressor keeping the oil at the right temperature to mix with the coolant and flow. You should contact your local appliance parts dealer to help fix it for you.

My chest freezer stopped working though I unplugged it and cleaned it. When I tried again the power did come back but it is flashing an error code stating “CE”. What does it mean?

A “CE” code indicates there could be a problem with the electronic control. Sometimes it could be an issue with the main board next to the compressor. It could also be a defective interface board. This is the issue majority of the time. One of your options would be to replace the control board.

I have a 20 year old Kenmore chest freezer, that cools up to 29 degrees but does not stop and the compressor gets very hot. What is the problem and approximate cost to fix it?

If you can feel heat on the exterior walls where the coils are located, it is an indication of a blockage. The heat signifies the coolant is moving but not throughout the system. A piece of debris could be clogging the capillary tube. Usually the debris or blockage is from the only moving part of the freezer which is the compressor. If this is the issue with your freezer, it could cost a minimum of $550 to locate the clog and have the unit repaired. Given the age of the freezer and the nature of the problem, replacing the unit would be more reasonable. If you would still want to consider repairing the unit, the two questions you should ask before accepting would be as follows:

1. Does the repair service own a license to recover Freon? As per federal law one must be licensed to handle Freon. Hence you will be aware they are qualified and competent to handle the issue.
2. What is the minimum charge for a sealed system repair? Based on this amount you can decide whether repairing the chest freezer is worth it.

How do I restart my Kenmore chest freezer after cleaning?

Plug the refrigerator back and turn the level of cooling to any setting other than off. The lights inside the freezer should turn on. If the light does not come on, check the power supply. If it does come on, it confirms the power supply is intact but the cold control behind the cooling lever is defective causing it to remain in the “off” mode throughout. You could try to dissemble the unit and check for any physical damage. The other option would be to replace the thermostat which is the cold control behind the lever.

How do I get the lock to turn on my chest freezer?

There could be two reasons for the lock to be stuck. If the lock is dry, corroded or binding. The presence of ice in the lock area could be preventing the lock from turning. Usually these locks are flimsy and mostly meant for young children to stay of trouble. Turn off the freezer and use a hair dryer to allow the ice to melt quickly. This could help even if the issue has no relation to ice. If warming up the ice is unsuccessful, you will need to force the lock and lift the lid from the corner until the latch breaks. If there is enough room in the lid, lift it as much as possible and use a table knife to move the latch hook.

Listed above are the few problems you may encounter with a chest freezer. Sometimes, the cost of repair of the unit can work out more expensive than the unit itself. It is important to equip yourself with basic information to handle issues that may crop up as well as to take decisions on whether repair is worth your time and effort. The help and guidance from Experts will prove useful at this juncture.
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