We have a 6 year old Frigidaire upright freezer (around 17 cu ft). It suddenly stopped cooling, even though the compressor was running, and it was producing puddles of water on the floor. I thought it might be just icing up, so I unplugged it for a day and eventually, the dripping stopped. I plugged it back in and it appears to be working normally.
I'm aware that low refrigerant can cause it to ice up. However, it's a totally sealed system, with no connections for testing or refill. Which leaves a number of expensive possibilities if there's still a problem:
- Fill it up again with food and possibly lose another batch of food.
- Get it serviced, which would run about half the cost of a new one.
- Replace it.
So my question is about trying to determine whether there is still a problem.
Is it usual or typical for a freezer in normal working condition to build up ice on the coils over time from house humidity, or does that happen only if there's a problem, like low refrigerant?
I kept it at the maximum cooling setting, which produced a temperature of below minus 10 degrees, which is colder than a normal freezer setting. Could this have contributed to its icing up?
If the problem is low refrigerant, best case is that there was always a minute leak and it took 6 years to lose enough to cause this problem. However, that means even if the rate of continual loss is tiny, it's already at a low point, so it would be expected to ice up again.
If the refrigerant is low enough to cause icing, how fast does that occur? For example, If I just run it empty for awhile to see if it ices up again, what order of magnitude of time would be a reasonable confirmation that it's OK (days, weeks)? Or is that too variable to be a useful test?
- Is there anything else that can be checked without specialized refrigeration testing and repair equipment that would indicate whether the system is not running normally?