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Frost Buildup - Refrigerator

Troubleshooting Refrigerators Last Updated 04/26/2017
Frost Build - Refrigerator

Frost buildup inside the refrigerator occurs when warm, humid air from outside of the refrigerator combines with the cold, dry air on the inside.

Frost buildup inside the freezer or refrigerator compartments are caused the following reasons:

  • The gasket is not sealed properly.

  • The doors were left open for too long.

Before we proceed, let's troubleshoot your freezer.

  1. Do you see any error code on the display screen?

    Yes No
  2. If you have any errors displaying on your refrigerator's display screen, visit our Error Codes - Refrigerator article.

  3. Verify that the unit is leveled correctly; most issues on refrigerators originate from improper leveling.

    Steps to follow:

    1. Open the refrigerator doors.

    2. Place a level on top of the refrigerator to check that the unit is leveled from side to side.

      (If a level is not available, fill a glass half full of water, and set it on top of the refrigerator to gauge if it is level.)

    3. If needed, adjust the leveling legs until the cabinet is leveled from side to side. The refrigerator legs should be extended so that the unit tilts to the back about 1/4" - 1/2".

    4. Once the cabinet is confirmed to be leveled, check the doors to see if they are aligned, or if one is higher than the other.

    For further assistance and more information on how to adjust the feet, visit our LG Refrigerator Leveling Instructions article.

    Next Step
  4. Has a sheet of ice has formed at the bottom of the freezer?

    Yes No
  5. If a sheet of ice has formed at the bottom of the freezer, this is likely caused by a blocked drain line.

    To prevent any damage to the unit or to you, it is strongly recommended that a trained technician should perform the repair because it will require disassembling the refrigerator. Please visit our Request a Repair page for a professional service.

  6. Please select your type of refrigerator:


    Side by Side

    French Door

    Top/Bottom
  7. Is frost building up in the refrigerator or the freezer?

    Refrigerator Freezer
  8. Is the ice maker in the door?

    Yes No
  9. Is frost building up in the refrigerator or the freezer?

    Refrigerator Freezer
  10. Note: If the doors are not aligned correctly, freezer temperature air can leak around the gaskets of the vents for the indoor icemaker.

    For further assistance and more information on how to level the doors, visit our LG Refrigerator Leveling Instructions article.

    Next Step
  11. Is frost building up in the refrigerator or the freezer?

    Refrigerator Freezer
    1. Open the refrigerator door, (one at a time).

    2. Locate the switch, reed or magnet.

    3. Test the door sensor.

    4. Push Switch: Push the door switch.

    5. Reed (magnetic) switch: Place a magnet over the switch.

    Does the lights turn off when the door switch is pushed in?

    Yes No
    1. Make sure that there are no items are blocking the door from shutting completely.

    2. Check the door gasket for any tears or rips.

    3. Make sure the gasket is properly connected to the liner.

    Note: If the gasket is ripped, torn, or twisted, the unit will require a repair service. Please visit our Request a Repair page for a professional service.

    If you have tried everything, for your own convenience, you can request a professional repair service online.

    Request a Repair

  12. Is there more frost buildup on one side of the freezer than the other?

    Yes No
    1. Open the refrigerator door.

    2. Locate the switch, reed or magnet.

    3. Test the door sensor.

    Does the lights turn off when the door switch is pushed in?

    Yes No
  13. Is there more frost buildup on one side of the freezer than the other?

    Yes No
  14. If the lights turn off when the door switch is pushed in, increase the temperature in the refrigerator compartment 2°F or 1 setting.

    Note: 37°F is the recommended temperature for the refrigerator, and 0°F for the freezer; however this depends on how full your refrigerator is.

  15. If the lights did not turn off when the door switch was pushed in, the refrigerator will require some repair service. Please visit our Request a Repair page for a professional service.

    1. Make sure that there are no items are blocking the door from shutting completely.

    2. Check the door gasket for any tears or rips.

    3. Make sure the gasket is properly connected to the liner.

    4. Note: If the gasket is ripped, torn, or twisted, you will require repair service.

      If you have tried everything, for your own convenience, you can request a service repair online.

      Request a Service Repair

  16. This means the freezer drawer is out of alignment.

    To realign the freezer drawer, fully open and close the drawer firmly 3 times. Once realigned, the defrost cycle will melt away the frost within 24-48 hours. To prevent this in the future, always open the freezer drawer completely.


Where is the Frost Located?

Select the area of your refrigerator or freezer mostly affected by Frost.

Most times, slight openings around the refrigerator door can allow enough moisture to enter into your refrigerator which causes frost buildup. Foods, drinks, containers and other items in your refrigerator can obstruct the door from closing properly.

Steps to follow:

If you discover frost appearing on the back wall of your freezer, this may be as a result of some simple reasons:

  1. How full is your refrigerator?

  2. Temperature setting affects frost buildup as well. If the freezer is relatively empty, there is more air circulating, and a low temperature causes more of the excess air to freeze. On the other hand, a tightly packed, full freezer can block the air vents, preventing proper air circulation that also causes frost buildup.

  3. What is your current Temperature Setting?

  4. If your temperature is presently below 0oF, you may need to increase your temperature for 24 hours. Many times, due to the low temperature of your refrigerator/freezer, it may not be melting off the previous frost buildup that had accumulated in your refrigerator when the door was not properly closed.

Check your freezer door to ensure that it closes firmly.

Steps to follow:

  1. Make sure that there are no items are blocking the door from shutting completely.

  2. Check the door gasket for any tears and rips.

  3. Make sure the gasket is properly connected to the liner.

  4. Note: If the gasket is ripped, torn, or twisted, you will need to request a repair service.

If you notice a plain sheet of ice formation on the bottom of your freezer, check your freezer door to ensure that it closes firmly.

If a sheet of ice has formed at the bottom of the freezer, this is likely caused by a blocked drain line.

To prevent any damage to the unit or to you, it is strongly recommended that a trained technician should perform the repair because it will require disassembling the refrigerator.

Check your freezer door to ensure that it closes firmly.

If the problem persists, that means your refrigerator may not be properly leveled which gives access to external moisture through the opened space between the alignments.

There is a quick method you can use to discover if your refrigerator is properly aligned before requesting for a professional technician.

Steps to follow:

  1. Open the refrigerator doors.

  2. Get a small quantity of vegetable oil.

  3. Gently rub some vegetable oil on the rubber gaskets of the ice maker.

  4. Open the door gently, and check the inside wall of the refrigerator.

  5. You should be able to see the circular oil traces on the inside wall where your rubber gasket made contact.

  6. NOTE: If the oil rings from the gasket line up properly to the vents in the inside wall, you will need to request a professional technician.

NOT LINED UP: If the oil ring and the gasket do not properly align, do not panic, simply follow the following steps:

  1. Open the refrigerator doors.

  2. Place a level on top of the refrigerator to check that the unit is leveled from side to side. (If a level is not available, fill a glass half full of water and set it on top of the refrigerator to gauge if it is level.)

  3. If needed, Adjust the leveling legs until the cabinet is level side to side. The refrigerator legs should be extended so that the unit tilts to the back about 1/4" - 1/2".

  4. Once the cabinet is confirmed to be leveled, check the doors to see if they are aligned, or if one is higher than the other.

For further assistance and more information on how to adjust the feet, visit our LG Refrigerator Leveling Instructions article.

Important tips:

  1. Limit frequent opening of the door, and keep the freezing compartment correctly filled.

  2. Reduce the amount of time the freezer is left open. This will help keep the temperature inside your freezer consistent and cold. You should always make sure the door is properly closed each time you use it.

  3. Keep the freezer away from a hot water heater or furnace. Too much heat or cold can cause your freezer to work overtime, and the result is frost buildup.

  4. Break up large packages into smaller, airtight packages. Smaller packages freeze better, and make sure you dry each package before placing it in the freezer.

  5. Clean your freezer seal (often referred to as a gasket) monthly by wiping it down with a soapy cloth. Add bleach if you see mold,  and if it is ripped or torn, replace it.

  6. Do not block your freezer's airflow by pushing it too close to the wall. The coils on (or in the back of) the freezer need some space to cool your freezer efficiently.

  7. Do not place hot items in the freezer. If you have freezing leftovers or hot food, wait until they have cooled to room temperature. This will prevent frost in the freezer and frost-bitten food.

FAQ:

  • Frequent opening of the refrigerator door creates humidity because it lets warm, humid air enter the unit; making it more difficult for the refrigerator to remove the excess moisture. The moisture can also build up inside a refrigerator when it’s started up after a long period of inactivity.

  • Temperature setting affects frost buildup as well. If the freezer is relatively empty, there is more air circulating, and a low temperature causes more of the excess air to freeze. On the other hand, a tightly packed, full freezer can block the air vents, preventing proper air circulation that also causes frost buildup.

Author - Sanmi Ajanaku

Sanmi is a Home Appliance expert and author of this help library article. Please leave him feedback below about the page.

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