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I have a bottom load freezer and no matter what setting I put it at (within reason, usually 4-7 out of 8), the whole dag'gum freezer has ice particles and stuff all over all the food, drawers, sides, etc.

What is causing this? I'm assuming it's because there is a hole somewhere where air is getting into the freezer and it's freezing all the free air to everything... is this correct?

3

I think you're on the right track: that ice is coming from the humidity in leaking air. Check your gasket carefully.

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The other possibility that comes to mind is that the defrosting heaters have failed.

What you would be looking for is to see if the sides of the freezer get 'hot'.

I know that is almost useless for a trouble shooting method, but anything else involves crawling under or behind the unit.

Should you be up for that, and have a multimeter. We can go for the next step :)

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