What Causes Ice to Form in a Freezer?

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Make sure to remove ice in your freezer as soon as you see it forming.
Image Credit: hedgehog94/iStock/GettyImages

When there's frost forming in your freezer, Part Select suggests that it could be due to several issues, from the defrost thermostat to the door gasket. Promptly diagnosing and fixing the problem can save you money and time in the long run.

Tip

Ice or frost forming in your freezer should be removed from evaporator coils as soon as it's detected to keep the appliance working well.

Damaged Door or Lid Gasket

The door or lid gasket can become damaged or cracked over time. This allows air to seep into the freezer. If the gasket has any tears, cracks or other damage, it needs to be fully replaced.

Frost Around the Evaporator Coils

Frost or ice can form on the evaporator coils in a freezer. When water pools on the floor, it may come from frozen water melting from the coils. Cleaning the coils regularly can keep them in good working order and stop water from pooling on the kitchen floor.

A homemade cleaner can clear the dust, grime and frost from the hardworking metal loops that keep the ice maker working well. A mix of equal parts of vinegar and warm water combined with just a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid is a safe, natural and effective cleaner for the refrigerator coils, according to Home Warranty.

Before cleaning the coils, brush them with a refrigerator coil brush. This will help remove some of the grime and ice buildup and make it easier to completely clean the coils. Use the brush on the coils once a year as regular maintenance.

Frost that has formed around the evaporator coils could also be due to a problem with the defrost thermostat. The defrost heater should melt frost before it has a chance to collect on the evaporator coils. Test the thermostat's function with a multimeter. When the temperature is above 37 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be an open circuit.

Cloudy Ice Cubes From the Ice Maker

If you have an ice maker in your freezer, the ice cubes are made by water flowing from the lines into trays. The water then freezes in the trays within the ice maker and the cubes are delivered through the dispenser on the door.

Sometimes, you may notice that the ice cubes look cloudy. This may be caused by impurities in the water that are forced to the middle of the cube. This is due to crystallization that pushes dissolved minerals and gases away from the side of the cold tray.

Cloudy ice cubes from the ice maker aren't just unpleasant to have sitting in your glass, but they may be a sign of a larger issue with the ice maker. Addressing the issue can help keep the appliance in good working order.

Water Filter for Clear Ice Cubes

The compact water filter does quite a bit while it sits quietly working away in its nook within the interior of the refrigerator. If you don't have clear ice cubes, it could be due to a faulty or old water filter that's caked with crud. Cloudy ice cubes from the ice maker may mean that the water filter needs to be replaced or hasn't correctly settled into its cradle within the appliance.

Take a minute to locate the water filter. Check the appliance's owner's manual if you aren't sure where the water filter is placed on that model. Typically, the water filter is at the base of the refrigerator or within the interior, either at the top back or middle drawer section. The owner's manual should also indicate what type of filter you should purchase to replace your current one. If your ice continues to be cloudy, you may want to try flushing the lines.

references

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.

View Work