KitchenAid Refrigerator Freezing Up (How To Fix)

Finding frozen food in the freezer compartment is alright, but not in the fridge where fresh food is stocked.

Imagine opening your KitchenAid fridge to find kale, spinach, or Caesar dressing for your dinnertime salad, only to find them completely frozen.

Needless to say, this is not how your fridge should work. The freezing should be limited to the freezer section, while the fridge should merely cool the food items to keep them fresh.

There is definitely something wrong if everything suddenly starts freezing, and you may need to look into the problem and fix it. Let’s find out the possible causes of a freezing KitchenAid fridge and look into the solutions for the same. 

Possible Causes Of A KitchenAid Refrigerator Freezing Up

1. Incorrect Refrigerator Temperature

Sometimes the KitchenAid refrigerator setting can be set to a lower temperature than required, and this may cause items to freeze up. It could be that the temperature setting was lowered accidentally while fixing some other issue in the fridge. In any case, if the temperature in the fridge compartment reaches zero degrees Fahrenheit, it is bound to freeze the food items sitting within.

Generally, the right temperature for cooling foods is between 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while the freezer temperature needs to be set at -2 degrees Fahrenheit. Fix the problem by manually increasing the temperature by one degree in the fridge and allow 7 to 8 hours for resetting. If the freezing problem still persists, raise the temperature by another degree and check after 8 hours again.

2. Blocked Air Vents

If the temperature settings are fine in the refrigerator, there could be an issue with the vents that allow air circulation. The exact location of the vents depends on the KitchenAid model in question, but you might need to locate them manually to rule out this problem. 

Essentially, the air vents maintain the flow of cool air in the fridge compartment and help maintain the temperature within. However, if there is something blocking the airflow, the cool air will end up freezing the area around the vents. On top of that, the rest of the compartment will not receive adequate cooling, which will create an imbalance in temperature. 

This problem can occur when there are dishes or things blocking the vent too. So, find the vents and avoid placing your food and dishes very close to them lest the airflow will get blocked. 

3. Storing Food In The Wrong Area

The fridge has certain areas that are naturally cooler than others, and the positioning of vents and the location of the freezer also impact the cooling. Since cooler air tends to be heavier, it settles in the lower sections  of the fridge making these parts cooler than the rest of the fridge. Still, these areas should not freeze the food items unless they transition into the freezer. 

A few changes in the placement of food in the fridge might prevent temperature-sensitive items from freezing. For instance, placing milk near the air vents is a good idea because it tends to get spoiled unless properly cooled. Similarly, items like meat, eggs, and fish can be stored on the lower shelves where the air is cooler.

4. Insufficient Amount Of Food In The Refrigerator

Whether it is the refrigerator compartment or the freezer section, the temperature remains constant no matter what the amount of food is in the fridge. Thus, when there is too little food in the fridge for long, it causes ice accumulation inside the appliance. KitchenAid refrigerators are usually good at handling temperature fluctuations, so there should not be any malfunction due to this.

However, too much cool air flow will eventually cause ice build-up, and sections of the refrigerator compartment may accumulate ice that needs to be scraped away. To keep the fridge working properly, ensure the 3/4th of the fridge is filled with food most of the time. If that’s not possible, keep a few extra jugs of water in the fridge to prevent it from freezing.  

5. Dirty Condenser Coils

If you have checked the KitchenAid refrigerator compartment for all possible issues and still find it freezing, it could be a case of dirty condenser coil. The condenser/evaporator coil is responsible for generating cold air, which is later circulated to all parts. However, dirty coils fail to function optimally unless they are cleaned regularly.

In fact, the condenser will have to work extra hard to keep the air cool, and this will create two issues. Firstly, it will strain the system and increase the chances of damage. And, it will produce extra cold air that will cause ice formation. 

What To Do When The KitchenAid Refrigerator Freezes Up

1. Thermistor

A thermistor in the fridge checks the air temperature in the compartments and sends signals to the compressor and evaporator fan for further action. The problem arises when the thermistor malfunctions and does not take correct temperature readings. If it fails to detect the temperature, the compressor will continue to provide cold air, eventually causing some sections to freeze up. 

Basically, the thermistor resistance is ideally supposed to change as the unit temperature changes. Sometimes, the difference in resistance is not apparent, so you can check for continuity using a multimeter. However, if there is no continuity, it might be time to replace the thermistor. 

2. Damper Control

Another part you can check is the damper control which should be closed under normal circumstances. If the damper control happens to be closed, you can safely say that it isn’t causing the problem of freezing. 

However, when this part is open and does not close after a while, it could be allowing too much cold air into the refrigerator section. 

3. Thermostat

In ordinary conditions, a fridge thermostat will send voltage to the compressor and fan motor so that they can function effortlessly. When it does not send voltage to these parts, the fridge produces excess cold air that ultimately freezes the food stored.

To check the thermostat, you will need to turn it from the lowest setting to the highest one and wait for a clicking sound. Once you hear the click, you can rest assured that the thermostat is working fine. Also, check it for continuity, and if it doesn’t appear normal, you may need to change the thermostat. 

What To Do When The KitchenAid Freezer Freezes

We all know that the sole job of a freezer is to freeze food so that it does not get spoiled. So, it might seem strange to worry about excessive freezing occurring in the freezer compartment. But, you must remember that excess cooling will create ice in unwanted places and will strain the system after a while. 

Thus, if there seems to be too much ice forming in the ice maker, here are a few things you can check. 

1. Check The Freezer Drain

Often the freezer drain gets frosted over, and the water that is supposed to travel through it gets accumulated. Once accumulated, it will inevitably freeze in one place and block the drain. One quick check of the drain at the back panel will tell you whether it is frozen or not. 

Of course, if it’s frozen, you should call a professional to get it fixed before it gets damaged.

2. Check The Seal On The Freezer Door

If the seal on the freezer door is tight enough, moisture from the atmosphere will seep into the freezer box. This will sit in random places in the refrigerator compartment and ultimately freeze. One way to check the door seal is by placing a one dollar bill between the doors and trying to pull it. If the paper comes out easily without any tension, the door seal is loose. 

Take some measures to fix the seal or replace it if required. Additionally, it might help to observe how often the freezer is left open or how frequently outside air is allowed inside. 

3. Note The Foods Placed In The Freezer

Putting hot food in the freezer compartment is a complete no-no because it will melt the existing frost, and the water will seep into unwanted nooks. If you often place hot foods in the freezer, the constant melting will contribute to ice buildup in potentially sensitive parts of the freezer. 

To avoid this issue, make it a point to cool down the food items before placing them in the freezer. At this point, it is also crucial to mention that overstuffing the compartment will also cause problems. As we discussed previously, blocked vents reduce the amount of airflow, thus creating condensation due to the increase in temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove ice build-up from the freezer or refrigerator section?

Firstly, switch off the power to the refrigerator for safety and use a cleaning cloth to dip it in hot water to wipe the frosted area. Gently press the icy area so that it melts, or use a soft brush to scrape away the excess ice. Try not to use a sharp or pointy object to clear the ice since it may create irreversible damage in the compartment. 

How to prevent ice build-up in the KitchenAid refrigerator?

Conduct regular checks to see if there are blocked vents and rearrange the items if the airflow is restricted. Make sure to avoid overloading the fridge with food so that the cooling system does not undergo strain. Finally, adjust the temperature setting if you observe that it has been lowered by accident. 

Final Words

One can avoid frozen fridge compartments by keeping an eye out for the signs and taking action immediately. A few of the parts are easy to check on your own if you have a multimeter. And, if you can find out the problem area, you are one step closer to fixing it. Remember to unplug the fridge from the power source before checking the compressor or condenser coils.

That being said, you must contact a KitchenAid technician to check the fridge or freezer if the ice build-up is severe. Sometimes, fixing the issue may not be possible for fridge owners, and professional help might be required. 

That’s all for today, bye!

Read our KitchenAid french door refrigerator review, next.

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