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Ice on the walls of the fridge: what to do?

Modern housewives do not need to rack their brains over how to preserve the freshness of shrimp,

herbs, milk, meat, and foods used for cooking their favorite dishes. The only task the refrigerator

owner has to address from time to time is to remove ice and snow “coat” from the walls of the

freezer. Although some manufacturers relieve users of this problem too by equipping the appliance

with No Frost system or automatic defrosting option. Frost build-up in the refrigerator may become

a serious problem only if it is caused by the malfunction of major appliance units operation –

compressor, thermostat. In other cases, the problem is easy to eliminate – it might be enough to

periodically defrost the appliance and monitor proper functionality of its parts.


Frost build-up in the refrigerator


When you see ice on the back wall of your fridge, take adequate measures immediately – find the

cause, perform a repair, if it is necessary. Accumulation of frozen water impedes the process of heat

exchange and leads to breakdowns, therefore, by no means should you postpone maintenance of the

equipment. It is worth noting that emergence of snow “coat” is a natural process and may take from

several months to half a year.

“Planned” icing of the refrigerator makes its regular defrosting mandatory – this simple procedure

has to be performed at least 2 or 3 times a year. To defrost the unit, you need to:


– remove food from the freezer;

– disconnect the appliance from the power source;

– clean the inner space from dirt and melted water;

– connect the appliance to the power source and continue using it.


However, if ice and snow emerge on the walls of the fridge already after a couple of months after

defrosting, you should contact the technician – the unit may have broken down and needs repairing.

Reasons that may lead to abnormal operation of the equipment are not always obvious. To detect

them, specific equipment and technical knowledge are needed.


Possible causes of malfunction


To answer the question of why frost is building up on the back wall of the fridge, you do not

necessarily need to be a physicist: refrigerant (freon) takes up heat from the chambers and gives it

to the environment, resulting in formation and freezing of water droplets on the inner surface. The

formation of snow “coat” does not take place only if the appliance is equipped with No Frost

system, which prevents the appearance of frost. Among the reasons of rather frequent build-up of

frost in the refrigerator, the following causes should be singled out:


– wearing out of the door seal (as a result heat comes into the inner space, water melts and gradually

turns into snow);

– placing hot dishes in the refrigeration compartment (leads to accelerated heat exchange, disrupts

system operation);

– leaking of refrigerant (leads to continuous frosting and causes icing of the inner surface);

– temperature sensor failure.


To understand why the back wall of the fridge is covered with snow, contact the Service Center.

The technician will explain the reason for failure and take all measures to eliminate it.


If sensor is the cause of failure


Not every user knows what parts make the operation of refrigerating equipment efficient and

reliable. It would be impossible to cool food without adequate functioning of refrigerator

temperature sensor. This device controls the t° in refrigeration and freezer chambers and gives

signals to the motor-compressor, causing it to switch on and off. The following signs may indicate

that the temperature relay has broken down: a unit operates continuously, freezes too much, shuts

off randomly. If the cause of ice on the back wall of the refrigerator consists in temperature sensor

failure, you should temporarily stop using the appliance and call the technician.

Ignoring the problem may lead to failure of the motor-compressor. If thermostat fixes incorrect

temperature and causes the compressor to run continuously, the equipment will break down soon,

and the cost of its repair will increase by several times.


If compressor is the reason for failure


Motor-compressor of the refrigerator rarely breaks down, however, its replacement is among the top

services of specialized service centers. It is almost impossible to repair the unit yourself, therefore,

to call the specialist is the only rational decision. The following are typical signs of impending

breakdown of the device:


– the unit operates noisily, you hear unusual sounds and typical tapping;

– freeze option won’t activate, although enough refrigerant is available in the system;

– the compressor started working without pauses.


If you fail to call the specialist in time, the “heart” of refrigeration unit may soon break down due to

premature wear. Compressor malfunction is often caused by the breakdown of thermostat and cowl,

depressurization of the door, loosening of fasteners, mechanical damage, caused by falling,

inadequate transportation.


If ice is building up in the refrigerator: proper care


For your refrigeration appliance to operate properly, and for ice build-up to occur due to natural

reasons only, follow the rules of operation, developed by the manufacturer. Refrigerator care must

be regular and high quality – it is important to adhere to defrosting schedule by timely removing the

snow “coat” and replacing worn parts. Experts recommend defrosting the appliance every 6 months.

If the unit is equipped with a No Frost system, the procedure may be postponed for two years.

Proper placement of food may ensure adequate air circulation in refrigerator chambers – food

should be placed space-effectively but at a sufficient distance from each other. If equipment breaks

down, it is advisable to invite the technician to your house, since refrigerator units may get damaged

during transportation to the service center. You should only trust service centers that offer warranty

and have a large range of original parts.

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