Short answer: If your Kenmore freezer isn’t freezing, first ensure the thermostat is set correctly. Inspect door seals for leaks and clean the condenser coils.

Kenmore, a renowned brand in the appliance industry, offers a range of reliable freezers. However, like all appliances, issues can arise over time. One of the most common problems faced by users is the freezer not maintaining the desired freezing temperature. This can be attributed to various reasons, from simple operational errors to more complex mechanical failures. Understanding the potential causes and solutions can save both time and money for the user.

Common Causes Of A Kenmore Freezer Not Freezing

Faulty Condenser Fan Motor:

Common Causes Of A Kenmore Freezer Not Freezing
Faulty Condenser Fan Motor

The condenser fan motor draws air through the condenser coils and over the compressor, aiding in cooling these parts. If the motor is faulty, it could cause the compressor and coils to overheat, leading to inefficient cooling and potentially shortening the life of the compressor.

Faulty Evaporator Fan Motor:

This fan motor circulates air over the evaporator coils, helping to chill the air that is blown into the freezer compartment. If it fails, the freezer might not cool effectively, resulting in increased temperatures and possible food spoilage.

Bad Compressor:

CommonA Kenmore Freezerr Problems: How to Fix Them
A Kenmore Freezer Compressor

The compressor is the heart of the freezer’s cooling system. It circulates the refrigerant that removes heat from inside the freezer. If the compressor is bad or fails, the freezer won’t cool at all.

Faulty Thermostat:

The thermostat monitors the temperature inside the freezer and tells the compressor when to turn on or off. If it’s faulty, it might cause the freezer to run constantly, not at all, or at an incorrect temperature.

The Water Inlet Valve:

This valve controls the flow of water to the ice maker and water dispenser. If it’s malfunctioning, it could lead to no ice being made, a leak, or even flooding.

Ice Maker Module:

This module governs the ice-making cycle. If defective, the freezer may not produce ice or might make too much or too little.

Kenmore Freezer Start Device:

How To Replace: LG/Kenmore Refrigerator Compressor Start Device
Kenmore Compressor Start Relay

This device helps start the compressor. If it’s faulty, the compressor might not start, and the freezer will not cool.

The Evaporator Coils are Frosted Over:

Over time, the evaporator coils can accumulate frost due to various reasons, like a faulty defrost system. This can reduce the efficiency of the cooling process, as the frost acts as an insulator, preventing proper heat exchange.

Kenmore Freezer Main Control Board:

This board is the brain of the freezer. It manages the various components and their operations. If it malfunctions, various parts of the freezer might not work as they should.

Kenmore Freezer User Control and Display Board:

This board is the interface between the user and the freezer. It displays the temperature, and other settings, and allows the user to adjust them. If it’s faulty, you might not be able to make adjustments or see current conditions.

Kenmore Freezer Temperature Control Thermostat:

Similar to the general thermostat but specifically for Kenmore models, it regulates the temperature inside the freezer. If it’s defective, it can cause temperature issues.

Freezer Door Left Open:

Leaving the freezer door open inadvertently allows warm air to enter, increasing the temperature inside. This can cause food to thaw or spoil and increase energy consumption.

Kenmore Freezer Door Gasket:

This is a seal around the freezer door. If it’s damaged or not sealing properly, it can let out cold air and let in warm air, reducing efficiency.

Poor Air Circulation:

Proper air circulation ensures uniform cooling inside the freezer. If there are obstructions, like overpacked food items, it can lead to uneven cooling and potential spoilage in areas that aren’t cooled adequately.

How To Fix A Kenmore Freezer Not Freezing?

Checking coils
Fixing temperature

Check the Air Circulation:

Ensure there’s at least a one-inch gap between the refrigerator and the wall. Check that food or other items are not obstructing the vents inside the refrigerator.

Check the Door:

Examine the door seals for any tears or cracks. Make sure the door closes securely and isn’t being blocked by food items or compartments.

Check the Hoses:

Examine the hoses at the back for any visible damages or kinks that could affect water flow or ventilation.

Check the Defrost Drain:

Ensure it’s not clogged with food particles or ice. If it’s blocked, this can cause water to pool at the bottom.

Clean the Condenser Coils:

The coils are located either at the back or the bottom. Use a coil brush or vacuum to remove dust and debris. Dirty coils can affect the refrigerator’s cooling efficiency.

Check the Condenser Fan:

Located near the coils, ensure the fan spins freely and is not obstructed. If it’s noisy or doesn’t run, it might need replacement.

Check the Compressor Relay:

Located at the back, it helps start the compressor. If the refrigerator is not cooling, the relay might be faulty. It can be checked with a multimeter.

Check the Evaporator:

Look for excessive frost. If there’s too much frost, it could indicate a problem with the defrost system.

Check the Defrost Timer:

This component cycles the refrigerator between cooling and defrosting. If faulty, the refrigerator might frost over. You can manually advance the timer to initiate a defrost cycle.

Check the Evaporator Fan:

Ensure it’s working and circulating air properly. If it’s noisy or doesn’t run, it may need repair or replacement.

Check the Water Supply Line:

If you have a water dispenser or ice maker, ensure the water supply line isn’t kinked or leaking.

Check Ice Maker Module:

If the ice maker isn’t working, the module could be at fault. Ensure it’s properly connected and receiving power.

Reset the Freezer:

Checking compressor
Fixing Kenmore freezer not freezing

Sometimes, simply resetting the appliance can help. Unplug the refrigerator from the wall socket, wait a few minutes, then plug it back in. Check the user manual for any specific reset procedures for your Kenmore model.


Is it normal for the sides of my Kenmore freezer to be warm?

Yes, it’s normal. The freezer sides can become warm due to the heat dissipated from the condenser coils. However, if it becomes too hot, it might indicate an issue.

How often should my Kenmore freezer go through a defrost cycle?

Typically, modern freezers defrost every 6 to 12 hours. If yours isn’t, it might be stuck in a mode or have a faulty defrost timer.

Can I use an extension cord with my Kenmore freezer?

It’s not recommended. Using an extension cord can lead to voltage drops which might affect the freezer’s performance.

Why is there a lot of ice buildup inside my Kenmore freezer?

It could be due to a faulty door seal allowing humid air inside or issues with the defrost system.

My Kenmore freezer is making a strange noise. Is that related to it not freezing?

It might be. Unusual noises can indicate issues with the evaporator fan motor, the compressor, or other components.

Why is there water at the bottom of my Kenmore freezer?

It could be due to a blocked defrost drain, or the door might not be sealing correctly, allowing in warm air that creates condensation.

Should I unplug and replug my Kenmore freezer if it’s not freezing?

Yes, this can act as a “soft reset”. Unplug the freezer, wait for a few minutes, and then plug it back in. However, if problems persist, it’s best to consult a technician.


The effective operation of a Kenmore freezer, like any household appliance, is crucial for daily convenience and food safety. If a Kenmore freezer is not freezing, it can lead to food spoilage, increased energy consumption, and unforeseen costs. Through the comprehensive assessment of various components such as the compressor, evaporator fan, defrost system, and thermostat, among others, most issues can be diagnosed. However, consistent problems should be addressed with the assistance of a professional technician to ensure the longevity and efficiency of the appliance. Regular maintenance and checks can preemptively catch many issues, ensuring uninterrupted performance and safeguarding the contents stored within the freezer.

Key Points

  • Faulty components such as the compressor, evaporator fan, defrost system, and thermostat can lead to freezing problems.
  • The freezer’s cooling efficiency can be affected by dirty condenser coils, blocked defrost drains, or malfunctioning ice maker modules.
  • The condenser and evaporator fans play a pivotal role in circulating air, and their malfunction can hinder proper cooling.
    Regularly inspect and clean the condenser coils.
  • Ensure unobstructed air circulation inside and outside the freezer.
  • Examine the freezer door for proper sealing to prevent air leaks. Resetting the freezer (unplugging and replugging) can act as a soft solution to minor glitches.
  • An unusually warm freezer side can indicate heat dissipation from the condenser coils but can also hint at a potential issue.
  • Strange noises from the freezer might indicate component malfunctions.

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