Frosting up in fridge or freezer

Ice One cause of excessive frost and snow-like ice in a fridge or freezer can be a poorly fitting or damaged door seal. If the door seal becomes distorted or worn then the seal will start to allow warm moist air into the freezer or fridge. This can cause snowy ice to deposit around the shelves in a freezer or on the back wall of a fridge.

If the door seal is worn then clearly it needs replacing, but if it’s just a bit distorted it can sometimes be manipulated back into shape with the aid of either a hair dryer or a hot cloth.

Carefully heat the seal and try to form it back into the right shape closing the door and letting the seal cool before opening the door again.

Another possible cause of frost in fridge or freezer

If the fridge or freezer is not level the cabinet may become twisted. This can cause the door to distort. The door won’t fit properly and the seal will be compromised. This can allow gaps which again lets warm moist air get drawn into the appliance.

So make sure the appliance is properly level. Check it with a spirit level from front to back and left to right. The feet are adjustable. If necessary use some packaging under the feet.

You can always try the paper test, which is to place a piece of paper between the seal and the frame and see if it will hold, if it doesn’t the seal will be letting warm air into the unit.

Fridge door seals that can’t be replaced

Many modern fridges and freezers do not have replaceable door seals. You can only buy a complete new door. This is disgraceful. It’s another consequence of manufacturers making appliances less repairable in order to make them cheaper to manufacture.

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On the subject of door seals it is not advisable to open any fridge or freezer door by curling your fingers around the frame. This can result in the seal wearing and eventually splitting. Always use the handle, and don’t forget if you do reshape a door seal always fully defrost the unit afterwards. Another point to remember is that if the door seal has split on the face that touches the frame it needs to be changed. If it is split on the outer side crease it is only cosmetically unsightly.

Tips: When placing food in the fridge or freezer

Introducing warm food, or uncovered food in dishes can introduce moisture, which can then ice up. so cover food up in airtight containers. Also, when putting away shopping keep the doors open as little as possible and make sure the freezer is extra cold first by using the fast freeze button..

..Read the instruction manual on the fast freeze button, which is designed to be used prior to introducing fresh food. (Don’t leave it on after though.)

Ice or water in base of fridge or freezer

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10 thoughts on “Frosting up in fridge or freezer”

  1. Hi,hoping for an answer as this is becoming a pest.My Hotpoint fridge freezer appears to work fine but the drain hole gets blocked quite frequently.The only answer so far is a complete de frost but its not long before the fridge is full of water again.I believe its ice that is blocking the tube but I dont know why or what we are doing to cause the ice to form.its definitely not blocked by anything but ice.

  2. Hi

    My John Lewis JLUCFZW6002 frost-free freezer sounded the high temp alarm the other day and after emptying it I discovered a large lump of ice under the element behind the rear internal panel (which I had to unscrew to obtain access). The general advice seemed to be to leave it 24h to defrost.

    However I picked up a tip on how to defrost it quickly – use a desk fan to blow room air into the freezer. It had defrosted enough to allow me to remove the large block within an hour.

    It seems to be Ok now, though I suspect (as mention in a comment on the other freezer page on this blog) that the drain hole isn’t big enough as it was blocked with ice. Will have to monitor it over the next few weeks.

  3. Our 9 year old Hoover frost-free fridge/freezer has a recurring fault. The fridge section gets too cold and starts to freeze the contents. Changing the temp dial makes no difference. On 3 occasions we have defrosted the whole FF and the problem has gone, only to return after a time. Most recently, we only had two weeks before it started freezing produce again. Any ideas what the cause might be or is it time to invest in a new one? Thank you

  4. If you have a recurring problem, which clears for a while after a full defrost but returns then either the issues I mention in my article are still present and the problem will reoccur indefinitely until fixed or there is another problem which needs investigating by a proper refrigeration engineer such as a faulty sensor or pcb.

  5. Thank you so much for your speedy reply. If the fault were a sensor or pcb, are these costly things to repair, or in view of the age of the unit, should I be thinking about replacing it? Thank you.

  6. Our Hoover frost free Fridge/Freezer has developed a fault whereby the bottom of the freezer is forming ice – there was also a piece of ice (about 2″ long) formed in the fridge at the side of the unit near where the drain hole is can you please help with what could be wrong or what to do to rectify the fault

  7. janeinbushey: Sensors and pcb’s shouldn’t be too expensive to replace, a mid-price repair I would have thought.

    Reena Hepburn: The water from defrosting should run down the back wall and be channeled through a small hole at the bottom out to a small tray on top of the main compressor where it evaporates. If the hole is blocked the water can instead run into the base of the appliance.

  8. Marie McDermott

    There is a large lump of ice to the right of the drainage hole in my fridge(FF). I think the drainage hole is free but he back wall of of the fridge has white ice on it too. Water is getting into the veg compartments and under the boxes too. Help please. Thankyou

  9. I have a 3 year old frost free Beko fridge/freezer which has suddenly started freezing everything in the fridge compartment. I’ve had an engineer out who replaced a small circuit board at the back of the fridge and another one in temperature regulator housing. It was left running for a few hours but unfortunately it hasn’t solved the problem, it’s still freezing up. The freezer is still working, though it is freezing everything really solid! I would be really grateful for any info you could give me. Many thanks.

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