Kitchenaid freezers are considered very reliable appliances that receive overwhelmingly favorable reviews from users thanks to their robust construction and quality.
With that being said, one issue users have reported experiencing is that the freezer will suddenly stop working for no apparent reason.
This can seem like a catastrophic failure unless you know what you’re doing, but don’t worry! It’s usually not as bad as it seems.
In this guide, we’re going to explain what causes Kitchenaid freezers to stop working and give you all the information you need to get yours back in working order as soon as possible.
Why is your Kitchenaid Freezer Not Working?
When a kitchen freezer stops working, it usually means that something in the cooling chain has run into trouble.
This could be due to something becoming dirty, freezing over, or a component having failed.
1. The Condenser Coils are Clogged
At the back of your KitchenAid fridge sits a series of coiled tubes through which the compressor pumps refrigerant. As this refrigerant condenses back into liquid form it dissipates the heat into the air between the coils which is then blown away by the condenser fan.
However, as these coils are located outside of the fridge it’s very common for them to get clogged up with dust, hair, and dirt.
This clogging can act as an insulator for the coils and prevent the heat from being expelled from the freezer, essentially removing its ability to cool.
These condenser coils need to be cleaned out intermittently to ensure the heat can be removed properly.
2. The Condenser Fan isn’t Working
Even if the condenser coils are working, it still needs something to blow the heat away from the fridge otherwise the cooling isn’t going to be efficient enough for the freezer to work.
To test if the condenser fan is working or not you should first turn the KitchenAid fridge off and unplug it from the power supply.
Try to turn the fan blades 360 degrees by hand to see if anything’s impeding its movement, maybe it just needs cleaning out.
If that doesn’t work you should then test it with a multimeter. If it’s found to be defective it will need to be replaced.
3. The Evaporator Fan isn’t Working
While serving a similar function to the condenser fan, the evaporator fan sits inside the KitchenAid refrigerator and circulates the air, allowing the hot air to pass over the evaporator coils which turns the refrigerant into a gas.
So once again if this fan breaks, your freezer wont be able to cool itself very efficiently.
You should follow the same diagnostic process here, turn the KitchenAid refrigerator off and check the fan in case it’s obstructed.
If the fan blades can move you’ll need to test the fan with a multimeter and replace it if it’s not working.
4. The Start Relay is Broken
Once the temperature in the freezer increases beyond the threshold set by the thermostat, it needs to turn the compressor on to cool down.
Compressors can’t start by themselves, so the start relay produces a small electrical charge which kickstarts the compressor into action.
So if the start relay breaks, the compressor can’t start meaning the freezer also can’t cool.
This should also be tested with a multimeter for continuity and if found to be non-functional the easiest option is to just replace it.
5. Check the Temperature Control Thermostat
The temperature control thermostat is responsible for monitoring the internal temperature of the freezer, and when it gets too warm it sends out voltage to the compressor and evaporator/condenser fans.
It’s essentially the start button or the whole cooling cycle.
An easy way to test if this device is working is to turn it to its lowest setting manually, then slowly turn it to its highest setting.
At some point, you should hear a clicking sound which indicated that the start relay is turning on the compressor.
If you are not able to hear this then the thermostat may have failed and need to be replaced.
6. Check the Start Capacitor
The start capacitor works together with the start relay to turn on the compressor when the freezer needs to cool. It stores an electrical charge and assists in jump-starting the compressor.
This component should also be tested with a multimeter for continuity, and once again if it’s found to be faulty it will need to be replaced.
7. The Thermistor may have Failed
The thermistor is a small sensor that monitors the internal temperature of the fridge and is used to tell other components when they need to turn on.
Sometimes this sensor can become dirty and just need a bit of a clean. However, if it fails it will need to be replaced.
8. The Compressor may have Burned Out
A compressor is what physically compresses the refrigerant and allows it to pass through the condenser coils.
When a compressor fails it can be costly to repair, so depending on whether your fridge is cheap or expensive will dictate whether this component is worth replacing or not.
How to Fix a Kitchenaid Freezer Not Working
A freezer’s ability to cool itself relies on a series of components that analyze the current temperature, turning on the compressor when it’s time to cool things down.
If any of the components in this cooling chain fail or burn out, then they most likely will need to be replaced.
1. Unclog the Condenser Coil
When the condenser coil gets too covered in dust and dirt it won’t be able to expel heat properly. So we need to give it a good clean to get it working properly again.
This is easy to do, all you need is a brush and a vacuum cleaner.
Brush all the condenser coils down to dislodge the dust, keep your vacuum cleaner nozzle nearby to suck up all the debris as it’s dislodged so you don’t make a mess in your kitchen.
2. Replace the Condenser Fan
If you have checked the condenser fan blades and found an obstruction that’s preventing the fan blades from turning you should unblock them.
After testing the condenser fan with a multimeter if it was found to be defective then the only solution is to replace it.
Here the best option is to contact Kitchenaid customer support who will help arrange for a technician to install it for you.
3. Fix the Evaporator Fan
The same process should be taken for the evaporator fan. The only difference is here it’s located inside the machine so you may need to remove the internal access panel to gain access to the fan.
If it’s found to be non-functional, you should once again contact Kitchenaid support for further assistance.
4. Replace the Start Relay
Replacing the start relay is a far easier process.
- Start by disconnecting the power supply
- Remove the back panel to gain access to the fridge.
- Remove the start relay cover, if you’re not sure where this you can check your user manual to find out its exact location for your particular model of fridge.
- Disconnect the wires that are attached to it, it’s a good idea to take a picture before disconnecting them so you’ll know exactly how to plug in the new one.
- Take out the old start relay and discard it, put the new one in its place.
- Plug the wires back in and re-attach the panel.
- Power the fridge back up.
5. Install a New Temperature Control Thermostat
If you are not able to hear the clicking sound of the compressor starting it may be due to the temperature control thermostat failing.
You should first test it with a multimeter and if it’s not working then you will need to contact a technician to install a new one for you as these are too difficult to self-service.
6. Replace the Start Capacitor
If the start capacitor has been tested and found to be defective it will need to be replaced.
Replacing a start capacitor involves some quite complicated wiring, if you are not confident in doing this yourself our recommendation is to contact Kitchenaid support who will arrange for a trained technician to help you.
7. The Thermistor may have Failed
Start by disconnecting the power from the fridge and removing the thermistor cover. If you are not sure of its location you should consult your fridge’s user manual.
Now you can simply pull the old thermistor out of its mounting clip and then unplug the wire harness, being mindful of its wiring sequence as you’ll need to plug the new one in the same way.
Install the new thermistor and re-attach the cover.
8. Replace the Compressor if Needed
As the compressor is quite an expensive component to replace, you should first figure out if this is cost-effective.
For cheaper fridges, it oftentimes works out cheaper to just replace the whole fridge rather than try to repair it.
If you decide it needs to be replaced, you’ll need a Kitchenaid technician to help you do this.
9. Replace the Main Control Board
As this is hard to diagnose yourself, we suggest replacing the main control board as a last resort.
Control boards are seldom repaired as they are too difficult to repair on a component level, instead, the entire board will usually need to be replaced.