We lost our electricity for about a week. I unplugged the upright freezer so it wouldn't get a surge when power came back on. Food removed, no ice build up. When I plugged it back in it chilled nicely, but didn't freeze. What kind of problem am I looking at?

5 Answers 5


Freezers are not really designed to freeze things (at least not an entire freezer full of unfrozen things), they're designed to keep things frozen. They're also designed to work with stuff in them, and will likely not be as effective when empty.

From your question, it sounds like you're running an empty freezer, and waiting for it to get cold. This will likely never happen. Put some frozen stuff in there, and monitor it for a bit to insure it's keeping the stuff frozen. If it is, put the rest of the stuff in. If not, you'll have to investigate further.


This is just a guess because you don't have a lot of info but I am guessing your freezer plug was never undone and that you have some ice build up causing the freezing overall. I would unplug, open freezer, take out defrost plug, and leave sit for a day or two. Put drain plug back in, shut the door, and see if it freezes.


When I plugged it back in it chilled nicely, but didn't freeze.

I'm not sure what you mean by "It didn't freeze".

Are you indicating that you left some water in there for 48 hours and the water didn't freeze, or a freezer thermometer placed in there for several hours after the compressor stopped running read above 0C (32F), or just that you held your hand in there and it didn't feel as cold as a winter day?

If you just waved your hand around inside, or felt the insides of the freezer, chances are good that you simply aren't a good indicator of freezing.

Place a plastic container half full of water into the freezer for 24 hours. Don't open the freezer during that time - it's trying to freeze water through simple convection currents inside the freezer (with a little contact at the base of the container) and it's going to take a long time.

When a freezer is full of frozen goods, things freeze faster because the items around them - already frozen - are absorbing some of their heat, and the freezer itself merely needs to take a little heat out throughout the day to make up for the heat gained by the one item.

But an empty freezer has no thermal mass to absorb all that extra heat you suddenly add, and the heat moves slowly, so even once you find that the thermometer or container of water is frozen after 24 hours, you'll find that until you fill the freezer with other goods you will experience poor freezing conditions.

In fact, while mostly empty, every time you open the door you will lose the vast majority of the "cold" you've saved inside the freezer as the air is exchanged for warm, humid air.

So use a freezer thermometer or container of water, give it a long time, and you should find that it's working as intended. Then add already frozen goods to it as fast as you like, but only add room temperature goods a few a day until the freezer is mostly full of frozen items.


I would get a thermometer and see what the temperature is reading on the gauge. You can also get a bowl of water and see if it freezes. It may be your defrost timer, relay on your compressor, etc. First things first...Need to see what temperature it is maintaining. Hope this Helped Tim


Mini freezers have a control button where you take it and reset the thermal coupling take it all the way down to zero plug it in then run it up to Max placing some type ice tray of water. David in for at least 24 hours if it's freezing or trying to freeze in 24 hours it is working. But even your freezer has a controller but not just a plug. Find that control button set it down and reset it.

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