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Are Freezers Worth Repairing?

Freezers play an important role in food storage. Many fresh foods have a limited shelf life. The time required to prepare many foods can be difficult for families and individuals to accomplish all at once. Freezers provide the ultimate convenience and are essential in any kitchen. But are they worth repairing when they malfunction?

Repair Costs

It can cost nearly $700 to repair a freezer on the high end. In most cases, the average freezer repair costs ring in at $350. Repair businesses know that homeowners will ditch their freezers and just buy a new one if the repair costs are too high.

A brand-new upright refrigerator can be bought for $700. And a chest freezer can be found even cheaper at $600 fully installed. When compared to the unknown costs of repairing an old freezer, it is no wonder why many homeowners simply buy a new freezer when they fail.

Understanding How Freezers Work

Freezers work by pumping liquid refrigerant through an expansion value. As the liquid atomizes and expands into a gas in the expansion coils, it experiences a reactionary temperature drop that cools air blowing off the metal coils.

The gas then runs through condenser coils where it condenses back into a liquid. The cycle continues over and over until the cold temperatures trigger a stop signal in the thermostat.

The thermostat sends a signal to the control board that then switches off the compressor until natural environmental factors raise the internal temperature of the freezer and signal for renewed cooling.

Common Freezer Failures

There is no need to replace your freezer if you are able to diagnose it properly. Sometimes, the fixes are simple and can save substantial money. The most expensive repairs involve replacement of the pricey components, such as compressor, control board, or thermostat.

Water Pooling and Freezing

If your freezer is just building up ice at the bottom and pooling water, you can save a lot on repairs by locating the defrost drain tube and pouring hot water down it. Sometimes the water in this defrost tube freezes and clogs the tube, leading to excess water and ice.

Completely Inoperable

If your freezer won’t turn on at all, it could be the power cord, socket, or circuit breaker. You can try plugging your freezer into another outlet and ensuring that the cord is not damaged before you look deeper. If the problem isn’t obvious, consider whether a thunderstorm or power outage may have damaged internal components.

The freezer light should come on even if other components have failed. If the freezer light doesn’t come on, then you know the problem is not the failure of a particular component. Instead, there is likely a problem with the wiring connecting the plug to the freezer or a short in the main power supply of the freezer.

Freezer is Not Staying Cold

As we know, the compressor should turn on when the thermostat signals the control board that the temperatures are too warm. If the freezer is not staying cold, the signal is getting lost somewhere in this chain.

In older freezers, there is also a greater likelihood that the refrigerant has leaked out and is no longer cooling properly. The rubber seals and hoses that hold in the refrigerant leak over time and can compromise the functionality of the entire system.

Check the hoses and seal joints for white chalky powder, indicative of leaking refrigerant. But never try to replace hoses or seals on your own. The refrigerant gas is stored under high pressure and can cause serious injury if the fittings are loosened without professionally evacuating the system first.

Loud Noises

If your freezer is emanating loud noises, this is likely a problem with the compressor or the cooling fan. These components rotate at high speeds and can vibrate loudly when the bearings are bad and parts are worn.


Freezers are not that complicated. You can save yourself money when you understand how they work by pinpointing the defect. Purchasing an extended warranty when you buy a new freezer can save you from the headaches. Calling a repair shop to check out your freezer every so many years and give it a tune up is a smart idea.

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Helpful Hints

Things to check before you call:

  • CHECK for a blown fuse
  • CHECK that the appliance is plugged in
  • CHECK that the dryer vent is clean
  • CHECK that refrigerator controls are at the proper setting