Whirlpool Refrigerator Keeps Freezing Up—What Could Be Wrong?

Having your whirlpool refrigerator freeze up on you can cause a ton of stress. Whether it's part of your fridge that is freezing or the food inside of it, it's not an ideal situation. That's why we have researched all of the possible reasons why your fridge might be giving you trouble so that you can get it fixed as quickly as possible!

Depending on what part of your whirlpool refrigerator is freezing, there are a few different possible causes.

  1. Evaporator Coil
    • Heater
    • Defrost Thermostat
    • Timer
  2. Food Inside Your Fridge
    • Temperature Setting
    • Items Disrupting The Air Flow
    • Faulty Door Seal

You might also just have part of the inside of your refrigerator freezing, like one of the drawers, which is usually an easy fix. Knowing exactly what your fridge's temperature should be is another piece of important information.

From the entire appliance to everything inside of it, you have probably put considerable money and time into it. That's why it's important to make sure that you have as much information as possible before identifying and fixing the issue. The faster you get it fixed means, the less trouble you'll have. Continue down below for a detailed look at dealing with your whirlpool fridge freezing up!

Spacious and large contemporary designed kitchen room with a minimalist approach to design, Whirlpool Refrigerator Keeps Freezing Up—What Could Be Wrong?

What Could Cause Your Whirlpool Fridge To Freeze Up?

Like with most modern machines, refrigerators have a lot of moving parts. Since there are so many parts, it can make finding the one that's malfunctioning difficult. Unless you know what to look for.

1. Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is the copper tubing in the back of refrigerators that make their insides cold. So, if this part is freezing up, then it will cause major problems for the functioning of your fridge. For a more in-depth look at the science behind how evaporator coils work, check out this article from the University Of Calgary.


The defrost heater is usually right next to the evaporator coil, either above or below it, depending on your model of refrigerator. To check if your defrost heater is the problem, you can use a multimeter to check if it has a current running through it. If not, then it will need to be replaced. Here is a video reference on how to replace it!

Start shopping for multimeters here on amazon!

Defrost Thermostat

The defrost thermostat will be located behind the back panel in the freezer. This part is what determines when the heater turns on to defrost the evaporator coil. If it's faulty, then the heater won't know that it needs to do its job. The best way to see if it's working is to use a multimeter on it as well.

Look for a replacement whirlpool defrost thermostat here on Amazon!


The defrost timer should be located on the right-hand side of the fridge's control housing. To test the timer, turn it slowly until it clicks. If the heater and thermostat are working and the heat comes on, then the thermostat needs replaced. You shouldn't have to manually turn it for it to work.

Check out replacement defrost timers on Amazon.

2. Food Inside Your Fridge

Grabbing something out of your fridge only to find that it's frozen is more than just a little annoying. While food won't go bad from being frozen in the fridge, it can be very inconvenient.

Temperature Setting

The temperature setting is usually at the top of the inside of your whirlpool fridge. While it might seem too easy that the setting on a dial can freeze your food, it can easily happen.

To see if this is your issue, simply check your temperature setting. If it is set to a colder temperature, then that is probably the reason for your frozen food. Simply turn it up a little until you find the perfect setting for your fridge!

Items Disrupting The Air Flow

Cold air is circulated through your refrigerator using vents. If you place food so it is blocking a vent, then that food can freeze over time. To stop this from happening, make sure that your items are evenly dispersed throughout your fridge. Another problem with an uneven food layout is that the cold air may settle to the bottom of the fridge and freeze some items there.

Faulty Door Seal

If the seal or gasket on your fridge door is faulty, then cold air will escape. This means that your appliance will start working harder than it has to keep the compartment cold.

This process can result in items being frozen due to the uneven amount of cold air being pumped into your fridge.

Look here for a replacement door seal on Amazon.

How Do You Keep Crisper Drawers From Freezing?

When food in your refrigerator's crisper drawer is freezing, it's usually from a lack of items to absorb the cold air. If there is more food in the drawers and the bottom of the fridge than at the top of it, then cold air can settle there and freeze some food.

You can also try adjusting the temperature setting on the fridge or the individual drawer if it has one.

What Temperature Should A Whirlpool Refrigerator Be Set At?

According to Whirlpool, the standard temperature for their refrigerators is 37 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you may need to adjust that depending on different factors.

It's possible for the setting to get bumped or messed with at any point, so it's important to keep an eye on it. If you have a large or very small space that the fridge is in, you may also need to adjust the setting. The best practice is to start at the recommended setting and adjust it as needed for your space!

How Do I Reset The Thermostat On My Whirlpool Refrigerator?

If you find that your whirlpool fridge is not reaching the temperature that you have it set to, then you may have to reset the thermostat. The easiest way to reset your whirlpool fridge is to find the button on the top of the inside of it. This is the button that the door hits when it's closed. Push that button three times and wait a few seconds. If you can hear the fridge start to run, then it worked!

You may also need to do the above process on the freezer if that didn't work. If neither of these methods works, then you might have to be more invasive. For a visual guide on how to do that, here is a great video!

When Is It Time To Call An Expert?

Calling an expert or repair technician is always a great fail-safe. If you don't feel as though you can safely test or replace any of the faulty parts, then it's better to call someone whose job it is to do so. There's also no shame in trying to fix it and getting in over your head. Either way, that's what the experts are paid to do.

What Is Frost Control In Whirlpool Refrigerator?

Frost control is a new whirlpool feature that helps regulate the temperature of the appliance. Using new motor and thermostat technology can better prevent frost build-up in your refrigerator. This new feature also helps food last longer because of the better temperature control.

Finishing Up

Spacious and large contemporary designed kitchen room with a minimalist approach to design

While having your whirlpool refrigerator freeze up is very inconvenient, it doesn't have to be the end of the world. If the evaporator coil is freezing, then it's likely an issue with the heater, thermostat, or timer. When your items inside of the fridge start to freeze, it is usually due to the temperature setting, how the food is arranged, or from a faulty gasket on the door letting air out.

With all of this information, you should be able to get your fridge working correctly again and only have to worry about what you're going to fill it with!

For more refrigerator needs, make sure to click on the links below!

Can You Add An Ice Maker To Your Fridge?

What Is The Average Volume Of A Standard Fridge?

At What Temperature Should A Bosch Fridge Freezer Be Set?

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