We open and close it x times a day, and sometimes even at night for the greediest. On all these openings, the refrigerator will sometimes remain open for long minutes, the time to put away all the groceries or to choose in the middle of the night if you fall for the slice of pâté or the piece of cheese… Despite this , regardless of the season and the temperature of the room, the pantry must always maintain a constant cold so as not to break the cold chain. But it sometimes happens that the food is partially or even completely frozen. It can be quite frequent if we do not intervene, but we still have to understand the reasons.
Possible reasons for freezing
The food in the vegetable drawer is almost frozen, the food at the bottom of the fridge is totally frozen: there are several possible causes for this malfunction. Rest assured, it is not necessary to immediately rush on good deals in store, but perhaps rather to adopt good habits or to call a professional if it is a technical problem.
1 – The fridge is badly positioned
Very often, there are only a few options for placing the fridge in your kitchen, but the planned location may not be suitable. If it is too close to a heat source (oven or radiator) or facing south with direct sunlight, it will increase cold production and cause certain foods to freeze. Also, it should ideally leave him 5 cm of space with the wall to prevent him from overheating.
2 – The food touches the back wall of the fridge
By directly touching the back wall of the fridge, some foods can freeze. It is therefore better to systematically leave a few centimeters of margin between the products and the wall.
3 – The fridge is too full
You’ve just done the shopping and oops, it’s overflowing! Be careful, an overcrowded fridge does not allow good circulation of the cold, which will be concentrated in one area and will not reach certain foods or too little. The risk is of badly preserving foods that are not cold enough, but also of freezing those that are too cold. To limit excessive temperature variations, opt for a ventilated fridge!
4 – The thermostat is incorrectly set
The general temperature of the fridge should be between 2 and 6°C. To check it, a warning light inside the fridge should be displayed in green if the temperature is satisfactory. If it no longer works, simply place a thermometer in a glass of water for 2 hours in the fridge. Too cold a temperature can cause your food to freeze. Thus, depending on the result, the thermostat will have to be readjusted.
5 – Door switch stays on
If it is faulty and does not go out when the door is closed, it will be a source of heat in the passenger compartment and, again, will cause excessive cold which will lead to freezing.
6 – The door seal is damaged
If it is no longer airtight, it will let in heat, cause overconsumption of the fridge, and the freezing of foods closest to the onset of cold weather. To test the good insulation of the fridge, just place a sheet of paper by closing the door. If the sheet of paper falls or slips a few centimeters, the seal no longer does its job properly. It will then have to be changed.
7 – A faulty sensor
Several probes in various places of the fridge make it possible to homogenize the temperature. On the other hand, if one of them is defective, it can indicate a bad temperature and create an excess of cold. A multimeter can be used to check their correct operation.
8 – A faulty thermostat
If it is damaged, it too may produce an excess of cold and cause the food to freeze. To test it, you will have to unplug it, take out the probe and place it in a glass filled with ice cubes for a few minutes. You can then replace it and quickly reconnect the thermostat to the fridge. A throttle click should be heard. If not, it is probably defective.
9 – The damaged electronic card
Like the thermostat, if it fails, it will cause excessive cold. You can replace it yourself or hire a professional.
10 – The damper does not close
The fridge does not constantly produce cold. It self-regulates intermittently. On refrigerators with No Frost technology, it is the freezer fan that will send cold to the refrigerated part. The damper is the shutter that opens in the fridge when it calls for a cold period. If it is faulty and remains permanently open, the cold from the freezer no longer has a barrier and enters the fridge constantly, which can cause the food to freeze. Note that the freezer part is always below 18°C. As for the other accessories, it will be necessary in this case to change it.
11 – The compressor is faulty
It causes the circulation of the refrigerated fluid which will allow a homogeneous regulation of the cold. If it is faulty, it too will cause excess cold. It is also a spare part that can be changed by a professional.
Good gestures upstream
You were able to solve the problem, so much the better! To prevent this from happening again, some advice and good habits upstream and on a daily basis are important to put in place.
Regularly defrost your fridge
A ventilated cold refrigerator, equipped with No Frost technology, will not produce frost since it benefits from a homogenized temperature system with automatic defrosting. On the other hand, for the other models with static cold, it will be necessary to plan a regular defrosting. If the formation of frost on the walls and the cooling circuit is completely normal, it should not be allowed to accumulate. Beyond 3mm thick, your fridge will over-consumption unnecessarily because an “igloo” effect will occur, which means that the frost, which acts as an insulator, will retain the cold and will not allow it to spread.
Don’t overfill your fridge
We have talked about it, too much in a fridge will cause poor circulation of the cold which risks both over-cooling the food closest to the motor, and also not sufficiently cooling the furthest away.
It will therefore be better to avoid loading your fridge to the maximum for the next 15 days, but rather to go back more often to do the shopping. A weekly rhythm is suitable, even if it means returning in the middle of the week to add freshness.
Choose a fridge that suits your needs
If your fridge is always full, is badly positioned, or overconsumes, it is likely that it is no longer suited to your current needs. Two criteria are essential in choosing your fridge, apart from the cost of course:
- Volume : It depends on the number of people in the household. It is estimated that a volume between 100 and 150 liters will satisfy a single person, between 150 and 250 liters for 2 to 3 people, and over 300 liters for 4 or more people.
- The climate class : It corresponds to a range of room temperatures that the fridge is able to withstand while maintaining its optimum operation. If the fridge is installed in a room where the sun hits it directly, or near the oven and its climate class is not suitable for it, it risks over-consuming, not distributing the cold correctly and creating frost . It is important to refer to the indices indicated, such as “N” which corresponds to the temperate climatic class which supports a room temperature between 16 and 32°C, or “T” which corresponds to the tropical climatic class which supports a room temperature between 18 and 43°C.
It is important to do a weekly sorting of food by checking the expiry dates. Put foods at the DLC1 the shortest in front, and those that go the farthest in the back, and not the other way around. Thus, the rotation will be more natural, and it will facilitate the preparation of the shopping list so as not to buy too much.
Only cold food!
It is necessary to wait until the products placed in the fridge are cold before putting them away. If a dish is still hot, it will destabilize the ambient temperature of the fridge and cause it to over consume. These disruptions promote the production of frost and disrupt the cold chain of other foods in the fridge.
1 DLC : Use-by date, also called expiry date. It is determined by the producer or processor and represents the date from which perishable foodstuffs are likely to present an immediate danger to human health.