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How To Defrost the Freezer

If your freezer has an automatic defroster (frost-free) but does not defrost, return to our troubleshooting guide and look under "Freezer does not defrost automatically". The trouble is with the defrost system, such as the defrost timer or defrost heating element.

If your freezer does not have an automatic defrost feature, you will have to defrost it manually. Some freezers have a manual defrost setting on the temperature control or a push button.

If your freezer has no defrost feature at all, you can defrost it by unplugging it and placing a defrost heater into the freezer. Essentially, you just have to wait for the ice to melt. Leaving the refrigerator closed will keep the food cold, but the freezer will warm up above freezing fairly quickly. Ideally, you should empty the freezer and store the food in a cooler packed with ice, otherwise, defrosting will take longer.

Don't chip out the ice from your freezer or you risk puncturing the coils and causing a refrigerant leak. If a puncture does occur, it can be patched with epoxy, however it rarely lasts more than a year or so. Plus, a professional will have to be called in to recharge the system with refrigerant; an expensive repair.

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