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Sep 15, 2005 11:13 PM

Help! Refrigerator suddenly freezing everything!

  • w

It's not overloaded in either the freezer or the main compartment, nobody changed the settings (I know because the knob is removed for safekeeping and when I put it back on today it was set just as I had left it) - but suddenly my refrigerator is freezing everything in the main part!

This has happened unpredictably before at odd times, and not just with this refrigerator. Half-frozen tomatoes and sodas and jars of pickles, every single shelf - ugh!!

Anybody know the secret to why they do this?

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  1. This just happened to me, and it turns out that the control in the FREEZER determines the coldness in the refrigerator. All cold originates there. I had accidentally moved the knob in the freeezer and I had the same problem as you, eggs cracked, frozen lettuce etc. Luckily my husband knows everything about electrical appliances and explained to me exactly where the cold air comes from: from the freezer it goes to the top shelf of the fridge, so that gets it the worst if it's too high, etc etc, don't remember everything. So I'm not sure what knob(s) you removed, but if you didn't check the freezer, that's probably it. Worked for me!

    3 Replies
    1. re: coll

      Interesting! I am having the same problem with my freezer-on-the-bottom fridge. Things in the fridge's crisper drawers are freezing, all of a sudden. Don't I risk losing the goods in the freezer if I play around with the temp there too much?

      1. re: LindaMc

        My freezer's on the bottom too, that's why when I cram in too much stuff and slide the drawer back in, it catches the dial sometimes and turns it all the way up (better than turning it down, I guess). So if things start freezing in the fridge, I check to see if the dial in the freezer is not in the middle range. For a home freezer, 0 degrees is fine, I do have a freezer/fridge thermometer to make sure. But as long as everything is basically frozen it's OK with me, doesn't have to be as hard as a rock!

        1. re: coll

          "when I cram in too much stuff and slide the drawer back in, it catches the dial sometimes and turns it all the way up"

          Hhhmmmmm, sounds strangely familiar! I think I'll get up from the computer and investigate!!!

          Thanks again for this very useful info.

    2. This happens to me, too, especially when the weather changes, from no heat to heat, no heat to A/C. Don't know why, but it happens in both my Amana and Whirlpool(how I miss my Sub-Zero). I keep the settings as warm as possible and this seems to alleviate the problem somewhat. I'm sure it also means that my freezers are only good for those things I mean to use up quickly.

      1. Make sure the gasket on the freezer door is sealing proprly. If not, freezer will run almost continully causing the 'frige portion to get too cold.

        1. This happened to me a few months back.It turns out,in
          my case,it was a bum circulating fan motor.I found one
          eventually thru the yellow pages for $80 and since replacing it it's worked fine.
          First,check your ref's air circulation.In my case,
          freezer-on-top,the cooling unit was located behind the
          back wall of the freezer.The circulating fan blew the
          cold air thru the freezer,then down thru the fridge and
          eventually back up to the cooling unit.It doesn't have
          to be over-crowded to be blocked;an ill-placed bag of
          frozen vegetables over the vents can block the air
          flow.If you still have your ref's owners manual,there should be an air-flow diagram in there.After making sure none of the air-flow passageways are blocked,you should feel a noticeable breeze of cold air comming into the fridge compartment from the freezer(in my case,thru a vent in the fridge's cieling).If you don't
          detect this "breeze",then you have a bad circulating
          fan.((Hint:try defrosting the thing completely just to make sure the fan isn't frozen over)).
          If you DO feel the air flow,then it might just be a bad thermostat.The thermostat is located at the last
          "stop" in the air-flow route,thus ensuring that everything else gets cold enough before it kicks off.My
          thermostat is located on the cieling of the fridge compartment where the temperature setting controll is.
          I didn't have to go the thermostat route,so I can't help you there,but the bottom line is to check the air
          flow!It's definately worth looking into.
          Hope this helps.

          1. You have already received excellent 'fridge advice but one thing jumped out at me - "half-frozen tomatoes".
            I always thought that cold temps ruined tomatoes. Aren't temps below 50 degrees detrimental to tomatoes?