Is this how a freezer is supposed to work ?

I set my freezer to -14 degrees celsius. It gets to -15, then slowly warms up to around zero. As it gets to 0, I do hear the compressor trying to turn back on a couple of times. But I hear a humming sound until it clicks off. Once it gets to -1 or something, the compressor finally starts to work bringing back the temperature to -14. And it repeats cycles

Or is my freezer supposed to hover around -14 ?

  • replaced the start relay,
  • tested compressor for open windings
  • new logic board
  • defrost heater is good.
  • the temperature should stay almost constant ... if you have any other questions, then edit your post
    – jsotola
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 23:47
  • 1
    I just asked a friend to do a temperature check on his freezer over time. Same behaviour as mine minus the extra noise....Now I wonder if they all work like this ?!
    – ender maz
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 0:42
  • If the freezer is part of a two door refrigerator, note there is only one compressor for the freezer. When the refrigerator needs to cool down, it 'borrows' coldness from the freezer using a fan. Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 4:43
  • @SteveWellens Yes, they are both bottom freezer fridges.
    – ender maz
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 8:31
  • 15 seems a bit much, but you do need a spread (called hysteresis) between the turn on and turn off point. This factor lengthens the cycle length and reduces compressor starts, which tend to cause a lot of mechanical and electrical wear. That said, be sure to measure close to the fridge's internal temp sensor so you can determine what info it's actually considering.
    – dandavis
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


Pretty simple answer. No, That isn't how it is meant to work. It should control the temperature in a fairly small temperature range (deadband). 15 degrees is a huge range and it is likely a faulty compressor or something related to the compressor control system, without more information it is hard to pinpoint what is faulty exactly.

I'm not a refrigeration mechanic, but if the motor is humming and not moving, it sounds like it something has seized and doesn't start moving until it heats up due to the coils overheating. It is probably going to get worse until it completely seizes and trips a fuse or melts something.

I'd check at what temperature the start relay is turning on, it should be well before 0c.

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