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Frost Buildup - Refrigerator

Troubleshooting Refrigerators Last Updated 08/16/2016

Frost buildup inside the refrigerator can only occur when warm humid air from outside of the refrigerator combines with the cold dry air on the inside.

The most common causes of frost buildup inside the freezer or refrigerator compartments are the gaskets not sealing properly or the doors being left open for too long.


  1. Do you see any error codes on the display?

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

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

    Checklist:

    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. Adjust the leveling legs, if needed, 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.

    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 yourself, it is strongly recommended for a trained technician to perform the repair because it will require disassembling the refrigerator.

    To request a technician, please visit our repair service.

  6. Please select your type of refrigerator:


    Side by Side Models

    French Door Models

    Top / Bottom Freezer Models
  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 in the door switch.
      Reed (Magnetic) Switch: Place a magnet over the switch.

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

    Yes No
    1. Make sure that no items are blocking the droor 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 require repair service

      If the above steps have not resolved the issue, your unit will require repair service.

  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.

    Do 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, 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 repair service.

    1. Make sure that no items are blocking the droor 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 require repair service

      If the above steps have not resolved the issue, your unit will require repair service.

  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 in 24-48 hours. To prevent this in the future, always open the freezer drawer completely.

One can prevent frost buildup in a freezer by:

  1. Limiting the time the door is open and keeping the freezing compartment correctly filled are all important
  2. Limit the amount of time the freezer is 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 freezeraway from a hot water heater or furnace. Too much heat or cold causes your freezer to work overtime, the result is Frost.
  4. Break up large packages into smaller, airtight packages. Smaller packages freeze better. Also, make sure you dry each package before placing it in the freezer. Remember: moisture is the enemy.
  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. If it is ripped or torn, replace it.
  6. Don't 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. Don't place hot items in the freezer. If you are 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:

  • Frequently opening 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 very full freezer can block the air vents, preventing proper air circulation that also causes frost buildup

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