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Frigidaire upright freezer not freezing

I removed panel inside the freezer, fan is spinning, coils are frosty but not overly frozen. Defrost thermostat and heating element appear good, did not put meter on them, since coils were merely frosty. Nothing seems to be protruding to keep the door from fully closing. Temps fluctuate between 35-50°. Where do I need to start looking?

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I have the same model and everything. I changed the Thermostat, still not cold at the top of the unit but freezing at the bottom. I changed the defrost timer, still same issue. I tried a new Thermistor or whatever is attached to the coils, same issue. Defrost heater works as I have seen it in action. Only top half of my coils are frosty. Fan works fine. I cannot figure it out. I do have some oily residue around the lines. I am just lost on this one though. I cannot find my condensor coils; i think they are sealed behind the back wall of the unit. So I cannot clean them. Nor do I know if a fan exists to cool them down. Any help that can be afforded is welcome.

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Hi @tommysparks1 ,

What is the model number of the freezer?

Are there any oily residues on the condenser coils or near the compressor which may indicate a leak of refrigerant? Also are the condenser coils clean and free from accumulated dust etc?

Interesting that there is ice on the evap unit at 35F. Ice only forms at 32F. Are the temps shown found using a thermometer or from a display panel if it has one?

Test the door seals by placing a sheet of paper between the door and the door jamb and with the door closed try to pull it out. It will come out with a bit of effort but not that easily and it definitely should not just fall out. Try this at various places around the door, top, bottom and both sides.

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Model Number FFU20FC4AW2 Manufactuered in 2002. I do not see oil around the compressor or lines. Compressor is 125-130° when it is running, is this normal? I tested the 12 uF capacitor, it is good. I checked ohm in the starter, I read, 63,64,5 ohms. I have had one digital thermometer (Taylor 1443) hanging in the freezer. Now that you are questioning my thermometer, I just added a second (Taylor 1443) about an hour ago. One reads 49° the new one reads 10°. Humm, not what I expected. Ok, just checked the voltage on the 3v battery in the original thermometer and it reads 1.5v. I put a new battery in. 15 min later, one reads 19°, the other reads 18°, not the zero that I hoped for but this might be ok. The door does not do the suction thing like it used to when you shut it. I did the paper test and it pulls out with a little resistance. When I shut the door, it stops right before it completely closes, you have to push it. Maybe hinge adjustments or seal? Thanks Jayeff

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Hi @tommysparks1

Compressors are designed to be able to run for long periods of time. Have never thought about their actual running temps unless they were too hot to touch. This may be of some help with that.

18 F is still too warm though.

Did you check the seals on the hinge side to see if they're OK as far as shape etc goes in case they're causing the door not to close properly i.e. twisted or distorted etc.

Stupid idea but can you prop the door shut so that there is a bit of pressure on the seals and then check the temp after a few hours (to give the freezer a bit of time to cool evenfurther)? That may give a clue.

Is the compressor running continually trying to get the temp down or does it stop and if it stops (for only a little while and not for the longer auto defrost cycle ~15 minutes) what is the temp then? It may be a faulty thermostat that is telling the compressor to turn off when it shouldn't.

Just some more thoughts

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I checked temp again this morning and it was zero. Now 6 hours later, they both read -2. So I guess I have a problem with the door seal or hinge alignment, the door likely did not close all the way and caused the ice cream to get soft yesterday . I used a thermometer with a weak battery and got some bad readings. I was literally going to get a new freezer first thing Monday morning. Thanks for questioning my thermometer! I really appreciate your help jayeff!

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Hi @tommysparks1

Glad that it mostly works OK now, except for having to ensure that the door is closed properly every time ;-)

-2 F is good for a freezer (at least where I am, 0 F is the set temp for most home freezers so getting -2 F is even better although this could just be the difference between your thermometer and the thermostat but it is still 32-34 deg. below freezing point).

It may be the seals or alignment as you say but since it reached the "set" temp maybe all it will take is to make sure that the door is closed properly.

If you think that you need new parts either hinges or door gasket (part name for seal), just search for "FFU20FC4AW2 parts" to get suppliers that suit you.

There's partselect.com, searspartsdirect.com, repairclinic.com and appliancepartspros.com just to name a few of the major ones.

The first two have parts diagrams which help to give a general idea of all the parts location etc.

Cheers

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It sounds like the compressor is running and it seems to be working somewhat. Even if the seals were bad it would still try to work. So it appears you may have two issues. One is the leaky seals so you’ll never seem to actually reach a freezing temp. Two, is it sounds like the thermostat is malfunctioning. It is the thermostat which regulates the temperature. If that’s not working properly you’ll have the issue you have now.

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Hi @josnor ,

Just verifying that it is a Frigidaire Freezer model # FFU20FC4AW2?

Only asking because looking at the parts list from two part suppliers, the condenser coils are on the outside at the back of the cabinet. (see System parts diagram). Because they are exposed to the open air there is no fan necessary to cool them down

supplier 1

This supplier shows the condenser coils in the System parts diagram, even numbers it, but doesn’t list it in the System parts list, although if you search for condenser in the Search by Keyword search box below the parts diagrams, left side of page, it shows that it is available as a special order

supplier 2

This supplier actually shows and lists the condenser coil as part #1- system parts diagram

Two things you mentioned are of concern.

First is “Only top half of my coils are frosty”. This may indicate a blockage in the evaporator unit.

Second is “I do have some oily residue around the lines”. Oily residues may indicate of leak of refrigerant. There is a special oil added in with the refrigerant in the sealed system to lubricate the compressor. If there is a leak then the refrigerant will escape undetected to the air but the oil will leave a trace.

A lack of sufficient refrigerant will cause cooling problems.

You may have to get a licenced refrigerator repairer to check the sealed system. They have the equipment necessary to check the high/low pressures in the sealed system which will indicate what and where the problem may be. I say licenced because depending on your location this is because of the environmental regulations regarding the handling of refrigerant gases. Where I am you cannot even buy refrigerant gas without a licence if you wanted to recharge a sealed system yourself.

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