Imagine the frustration of reaching for a refreshing beverage or a perfectly ripe piece of fruit, only to find it encased in a frosty block of ice. The occurrence of a refrigerator freezing food meant to stay fresh is a perplexing and bothersome issue faced by many homeowners. Your refrigerator, which is supposed to preserve and chill food at an ideal temperature, has turned into an unintentional freezer, leaving you puzzled and wondering why this chilling dilemma is happening.

Common Causes of Refrigerator Freezing

Faulty Gas or Wet Wall

Faulty Gas Refrigerator

  • Tennis ball-like ice formations in one area of the fridge indicate a potential problem with the gas or wet wall.
  • Seeking professional assistance is recommended to address this issue.

Dirty Condenser Coils 

Problems that can be caused by a dirty condenser coil
Dirty Condenser Coils: How They Can Affect Your AC Unit

Understanding the Refrigeration System

Refrigerator Operation Basics

How does a refrigerator work?
How refrigerators work

Possible Thermostat Control Issues

Troubleshooting The Most Common Thermostat Problems
Thermostat Not Working Properly?
  • If the fresh food section is cooler than the recommended temperature, it might be due to a faulty thermostat control.
  • Verify that the temperature setting is correct and give the refrigerator 24 hours to stabilize.
  • If the problem persists, consider replacing the thermostat control.

Damper Control and Its Impact

Damper (flow)
Damper control – Heating, Air & Refrigeration
  • Modern refrigerators use auto dampers to regulate airflow between the freezer and fresh food compartments.
  • A stuck open damper can lead to a significant drop in the fresh food section’s temperature.
  • Check the damper assembly and its sensor for defects or obstructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fix the gas or wet wall issue myself?

It’s best to call a professional to handle gas-related problems and wet wall repairs for safety and proper resolution.

How often should I clean the condenser coils?

Cleaning the coils every two to three months will prevent freezing and ensure optimal fridge performance.

What should I do if the fresh food section remains too cold?

First, check the thermostat settings and allow time for stabilization. If the issue persists, consider replacing the thermostat control.

How can I troubleshoot a malfunctioning damper control?

Make sure the damper assembly isn’t obstructed and check for any mechanical defects. If necessary, consider replacing the damper or its sensor.


Your refrigerator should be a reliable ally in keeping your food fresh, not an icy adversary! By understanding the common causes of refrigerators freezing food and following the troubleshooting tips provided, you can regain control of the temperatures in your appliance. Remember, when in doubt or facing more complex issues, it’s always wise to seek professional assistance.

Key Points

  • Tennis ball-like ice formations may indicate gas or wet wall faults.
  • Regularly clean condenser coils to prevent freezing and save energy.
  • Refrigerator operation involves continuous air circulation between freezer and fresh food sections.
  • Check thermostat control for temperature-related issues.
  • Damper control regulates airflow and can cause freezing if malfunctioning.

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