What to do if your freezer stops working?

Answered by Frank Schwing

When your freezer stops working, it can be a stressful situation, especially if you have a lot of frozen food that you don’t want to go to waste. Here are some steps you can take to help preserve your food and potentially fix the issue with your freezer.

1. Assess the situation: First, check if the power is still on in your home. Sometimes a tripped circuit breaker or a power outage can be the cause of a non-working freezer. If the power is on, move on to the next steps.

2. Keep the freezer closed: Opening the freezer door frequently can cause the temperature inside to rise rapidly, leading to faster thawing of your frozen items. Keep the freezer door closed as much as possible to maintain a cold environment.

3. Transfer perishables: If you have any perishable items in your freezer, such as meat, seafood, or dairy products, consider transferring them to a cooler with ice packs or to a neighbor’s freezer if available. This will help prevent spoilage in case the freezer remains non-functional for an extended period.

4. Use dry ice: Dry ice can be a useful tool to temporarily keep your frozen food cold when your freezer is not working. Place heavy cardboard on top of the packages of frozen food in each compartment of your freezer, and then place the dry ice on top of the cardboard. This helps to insulate the food and slow down the thawing process. Remember to handle dry ice with care and follow safety guidelines.

5. Monitor the temperature: If you have a thermometer, place it inside the freezer to monitor the temperature. Ideally, the freezer should be kept at or below 0°F (-18°C) to ensure the safety and quality of your frozen food. If the temperature rises significantly, it may be time to consider alternative storage options for your food.

6. Troubleshoot the freezer: Once you have taken the necessary steps to preserve your food, you can start troubleshooting the issue with your freezer. Check if the power cord is properly plugged in and if there are any visible signs of damage. Clean the condenser coils at the back of the freezer, as dust and debris can cause them to overheat and affect the freezer’s performance. If you’re comfortable doing so, you can also check the freezer’s internal components such as the thermostat, compressor, or defrost timer for any obvious issues.

7. Seek professional help: If you’re unable to diagnose or fix the problem yourself, it’s best to call a professional appliance repair technician. They have the expertise and tools necessary to identify and resolve issues with your freezer. It’s important to note that attempting to repair the freezer yourself, especially if you’re not experienced, can potentially cause further damage or void any warranties.

Remember, each freezer model may have specific troubleshooting steps, so referring to the manufacturer’s manual or contacting their customer support can provide additional guidance.

If your freezer stops working, it’s essential to act quickly to preserve your frozen food. Keep the freezer closed, transfer perishables if necessary, and use dry ice to help maintain a cold environment. Monitor the temperature and troubleshoot the freezer if possible. If all else fails, seek professional assistance to get your freezer up and running again.