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I recently found my refrigerator to not be cooling anymore. Opening the evaporator compartment, I find the following:

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So, one end of the coil has frozen over. After I remove the ice, I turned on the appliance again and after an hour, the location now looks like this:

enter image description here

In other words, it is starting to ice over again.

What causes this behavior and how do I proceed in diagnosing/resolving the problem?

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Cause, generally: Refrigerant leak leading to improper pressures leading to improper temperatures.

Fix - if the refrigerator was made to be serviceable, have it serviced by a refrigeration professional. Some refrigerators are not made with ease of servicing in mind. Not "add refrigerant" - find and fix leak, and only then add refrigerant, likely involving vacuuming out all the refrigerant in there now and storing it to be re-installed after the leak is fixed. In the USA (and possibly other places) it's illegal to vent refrigerant to atmosphere, or to work on refrigerant system without a license to do so. If your refrigerator uses an older refrigerant such as R12 or R22, those are becoming quite expensive (another reason not to vent what's in there to atmosphere.) It's not very DIY-friendly given the tools and training and license required.

Fix 2 - shop for a new fridge.

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  • Thanks. Would there be some visible evidence of a refrigerant leak that I can use to confirm?
    – Ana
    Jan 18 at 1:50
  • @Ana if you'll take the tour, you'll note that the appropriate way to say "thanks" is to click the up arrow next to answers that you've found helpful and the check mark next to the one that helped the most (for times when you get more than one answer, which you still might).
    – FreeMan
    Jan 18 at 17:01

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