Solved: Refrigerator Evaporator Coil Partially Frosted!

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

When only part of your refrigerator’s evaporator coil frosts over, it’s a puzzle. Why does it happen, and what does it mean for your fridge? We’ll dig into this frosty issue and find out how to fix it. Let’s crack this cold case!


Solving Partial Frosting on Refrigerator Evaporator Coils

  • Faulty Defrost Timers: If the timer is broken, it fails to activate the heater, leading to frost buildup. Replace or repair the defrost timer.
  • Worn Door Gaskets: Damaged gaskets allow humid air in, causing frost. Inspect and replace worn door gaskets to maintain a proper seal.
  • Damaged Defrost Thermostat: A malfunctioning thermostat won’t signal the heater to turn on, resulting in ice accumulation. Check and replace the thermostat if necessary.
  • Defective Defrost Heater: An impaired heater can’t melt frost, turning it into ice. Repair or replace the defrost heater to ensure proper function.

What Causes Refrigerator Evaporator Coils To Freeze Up?

#1. Faulty Defrost Timers

Your refrigerator has a defrost timer that automatically switches on a heater to thaw frost buildup. Imagine it as a clock scheduling when to warm up your fridge’s coils.

If this timer breaks, it stops telling the heater to turn on. When that happens, the heater stays off, and frost starts to pile up.

  • Problem: The Defrost timer doesn’t kickstart the heater.
  • Result: Frost accumulates leading to frozen evaporator coils.

#2. Worn Door Gaskets

Think of the door gaskets as your refrigerator’s seal. It keeps the humid air outside from sneaking in.

If these gaskets are worn out, moisture makes its way in. Moisture from the air turns to frost on your coils.

  • Problem: Door gaskets can’t keep the humid air out.
  • Result: Frost forms quickly, overwhelming the fridge’s defrost cycle.

#3. Damaged Defrost Thermostat

The defrost thermostat watches the coil’s temperature like a hawk. When it gets too cold, it tells the heater it’s time to melt the frost.

If it’s broken, the heater doesn’t get the memo and stays off. Ice then starts to build on your coils.

  • Problem: The thermostat can’t signal the heater to turn on.
  • Result: Your coils get covered in ice.

#4. Damaged Defrost Heater

Your defrost heater is crucial. It turns on several times a day to melt away any frost.

If it has damage and can’t heat up well, it’s like having no heater at all. Thus, the frost turns into a thick layer of ice.

  • Problem: The heater can’t melt the frost.
  • Result: Your evaporator coils become blocks of ice.

Refrigerator Evaporator Coil Location?

Your refrigerator’s evaporator coil is a crucial component that allows the appliance to stay cold. It usually resembles a radiator and is located behind the freezer compartment.

Here are the steps you should follow to find the evaporator coil in your fridge:

  1. Clear your fridge:
    • Move everything out of your fridge.
    • Place them in a clean area.
  2. Prep your fridge:
    • Disconnect the fridge from its power source.
    • Defrost any ice with a hairdryer and dry up the area.
  3. Remove internal parts:
    • If your fridge has an ice maker, unscrew the bracket.
    • Take out the evaporator fan motor screws and the motor itself.
  4. Access the coils:
    • Find and remove screws, plugs, or buttons on the back cover of the freezer.
    • Carefully take off the cover to expose the evaporator coils.

If you encounter a dirty evaporator coil or dirty condenser coils, this can impact the fridge’s efficiency.

Keeping these coils clean ensures that your fridge and freezer function properly. Remember that regular maintenance is key to the lifespan of your household appliances.

How Do I Keep My Refrigerator Coils From Freezing?

Notice changes in your fridge, like less cooling and higher power use. These can signal coils are starting to freeze.

Take action early to stop bigger issues. Regularly check up on your fridge’s health to keep it running smoothly.

Remember, frozen coils often stem from other damaged parts. Parts like defrost heaters, timers, and thermostats, when broken, lead to frost.

Refrigerator Evaporator Coil Partially Frosted

Make sure these are in good shape to avoid frost problems. Here’s a simple table to summarize:

Parts to MonitorPurpose
Defrost HeaterMelts frost from the coils
TimerManages the defrost cycle
ThermostatRegulates temperature
Door GasketsSeals the cold air inside

Keep space clear around the defrost drain and coils. This allows air to flow and the defrost cycle to work properly.

Inspect these parts routinely. By doing so, you’re guarding against unexpected frost build-up.

How To Defrost Refrigerator Evaporator Coils?

#1. Defrosting Using a Thermostat

  • Adjust your refrigerator’s thermostat to the desired temperature.
  • Place a container behind the fridge to catch water from the exit pipe.

The compressor will shut off when the set temperature is reached, melting the frost. Dispose of the water as the container fills.

#2. Manual Defrosting

  • Remove all items from your fridge and place towels beneath the door.
  • Turn the thermostat to Zero and unplug the fridge.

Let the door stay open to allow warm air to circulate inside. Afterward, dry the interior and gently wipe the evaporator coil.

#3. Defrosting Using a Heater

  • Take out everything from the fridge including trays and baskets.
  • Set the thermostat to Zero and introduce warm air with a heater.

Make sure to open the door, letting the warm air envelop the coils. Remember to empty the water tray located at the bottom when full.

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