DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Refrigerators (
-   -   Moms Freezer melts ice cream (

poorgrlkc 01-29-2013 09:29 PM

Moms Freezer melts ice cream
My moms Montgomery Wards energy saver fridge, freezer causes our ice cream to melt and has caused some spoilage. But it freezes ice cubes after about 12 hours.

1st. though I am not tech suavy I am thinking it is not getting cold enough. So what type of thermometer would I need to get that could be put in the freezer to see what temp it really is.

2nd. what can be done and how do you clean these coils I have been hearing about in some other posts? And where are they?:confused:

There is no money to replace so I am hoping there is something I can do to fix the problem.:(

Wuzzat? 01-30-2013 08:13 AM


Originally Posted by poorgrlkc (Post 82823)
causes our ice cream to melt and has caused some spoilage. But it freezes ice cubes after about 12 hours.

For ice cream you should have 0F to 10F but you must be having less than 32F for the cubes to form.

woodchuck 01-30-2013 09:18 AM

The coils you can clean are behind and underneath the unit behind the cardboard cover. You can blow the dust off or wipe it off. Some you can access from the front with a special brush. But I doubt that is your problem.

The evaporator coil behind the cover on the back wall inside the freezer will ice up under normal conditions. Every 8 to 10 hours for around 20 minutes the defrost timer (or in most newer models the electronic adaptive defrost control) will turn the defrost heater on to melt the built up ice. There is a defrost thermostat which prevents the heater from overheating the freezer by breaking the heater circuit when the temp reaches close to 32 degrees F. The entire cooling system shuts off during the defrost cycle and starts back when the timer advances through the cycle.

If this ice is not melted it will continue to build up until the air can’t flow over the coil to circulate the cold air through the freezer and into the fridge. The temperature change in the fridge is usually noticed first followed by the freezer.

If the defrost thermostat is bad it can prevent the heater from coming on OR it won’t turn the heater off when it gets too warm. It is clamped to the evaporator coil at the top to sense the temp. If it appears to be misshapen it is bad.
With an ohm meter it should show continuity when cold and none when warm.
You can also bypass the thermostat to see if the heater comes on then. If it does then you know the thermostat is bad and needs replaced.

The defrost heater is located on the evaporator. It is in a tube which is at the bottom and can also go up the sides of the evaporator. On some types you can see a burnt spot if it’s bad. With an ohm meter it should show continuity from end to end when disconnected from the wiring in the freezer. You can also test the wiring for voltage when it’s in the defrost mode.

If you have a defrost timer you can test it. It can be located under the fridge behind the kick panel on the front. Some are in the fridge with the controls at the top. You can turn the defrost timer till it clicks and everything shuts down. The heater should now come on. If it does, replace the timer because that means the timer is not running. If it doesn't, check the heater and defrost thermostat. Turn the timer again till everything starts back up to end the defrost cycle.

If you have an adaptive defrost control instead of a timer, replace it if the heater and thermostat test good. It is located in the fridge with the controls in some models and on the back in others.

Austin 01-30-2013 10:22 AM

Is the ice cream in the door?

poorgrlkc 01-30-2013 03:20 PM

no when i bought ice cream I would always put it in the back of freezer to keep it as cold as possible. Last night I noticed that the freezer section dial was set on 2 so I put it on 5 hoping that that solves the problem

poorgrlkc 01-30-2013 03:21 PM

Thanks so much for everyones help I will look into this and get back

Austin 02-01-2013 08:48 AM

Did you get it figured out?

Another thing I thought of is how full is the freezer? It can be -10 but if there's to much in it insulating the contents the cold may never get a chance to reach the ice cream.

nealtw 02-01-2013 05:26 PM

Of all the things you put in the freezer, ice cream is the last thing to freeze solid, you may have to turn it up a little.

Wuzzat? 02-01-2013 07:37 PM

The lowest answer I saw for ice cream freezing is 21F, but it may soft at this point. Probably it's rock hard below 0F.

If you can freeze a saturated salt solution (so much salt in the water that it collects at the bottom of the container no matter how much you stir) you might be at -6F, a bit too cold.

poorgrlkc 02-03-2013 03:34 PM

Thanks I did figure it out. 1. the temp setting was set to low 2. there was a lot in the freezer at the time.
Thanks for all your help

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:54 PM.