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fridge ok but freezer stops freezing food while still making ice


I've been using this Amana side-by-side since 2004.

The fridge is working fine.

The freezer is still making ices.

The freezer's coldness, which remains at/above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (since 2 weeks ago), is obviously colder than fridge's but is not cold enough to freeze foods.

Today I removed all the foods in the freezer to open the inside back panels and removed the ice buildup that was right above the coils using a hairdryer.

But it remains about the same so far for the past 5 hours.

Could someone please advise what I could look into next? Or, is it about time to replace it with a new one?

Thank you very much in advance!

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Hi @lifelearner ,

What is the model number of the refrigerator?

Sounds as if the defrost heater is not working or perhaps the defrost timer.

Was the evaporator fan iced up as well? Can you hear the evaporator fan inside the freezer compartment running when the doors are closed?


Thank you for your response.

The model# is ARSE67RBS.

I don't even know what the evaporator fan is but when it was working, I used to occasionally hear of a little annoying motor starting sound in addition to a continuous usual noise if I was near the fridge but I don't hear that motor starting sound any longer. It's now just the continuous usual noise without any tone change.


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Hi @lifelearner ,

The evaporator fan is a fan which draws air across the evaporator unit (which is normally freezing cold). It is located in the freezer compartment. This air is distributed throughout the fridge and freezer until the desired temp is reached.

It is not to be confused with the compressor fan which is located outside the fridge/freezer compartments and is designed to keep the compressor cool.

The evaporator fan turns off when the doors are opened as you don't want to blow the cold air out of the compartments. It turns back on again when the doors (both) are closed.

Here's a link showing the evaporator fan parts section (part #6 -11) of your fridge and its' location (roughly) in the freezer. It should be behind a back panel inside the freezer near to where you found the coils iced up. Once you've found the fan, either listen to it starting up or mark the blades to check if it has rotated after you close and open the doors (allow 10-15 seconds between close -open door to allow enough time for the fan to turn)

If the fan doesn't turn disconnect the power from the fridge and measure the fan motor using an Ohmmeter to see if it is OK. If it is reconnect the power and then use a Voltmeter to check if there is power being supplied to the fan. If you don't know how to do this then DON'T as there may be lethal voltages present.

If the fan rotates OK then you have to start checking the defrost heater part #7 in the parts diagram no.7. Here’s a link to the main page for parts for your fridge

Again disconnect the power and use an Ohmmeter to check the heater is OK.

Let us know how you get on.

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Thank you very much, Jayeff!

Do you think replacing either part is something an average guy can do?

Also, after defrosting the ice buildup above the coil yesterday, I realized that stinky rotten smell started coming out from the refrigerator and I couldn't stand in the kitchen because of the odor. I know that it's not from the food in the freezer, although they are not frozen. It gotta be from the refrigerator but if I open the doors of fridge and freezer, I couldn't smell this odor inside the refrigerator but only near the refrigerator.

Does it make sense at all about this odor and do you know why it's happening?


Hi @lifelearner ,

It may be that the drain tube (part #22 cabinet section 01) leading from the freezer to the evaporator pan (on the outside of the fridge) is blocked and any defrost melt water is becoming stagnant or mildew is forming in the tube etc. and the odour is present because the temp has risen when you melted the ice.

Just speculation on my part.

As to the repairs. Fixing it is usually quite straight forward, finding out what is the problem is harder.

Can you hear the evap fan start/stop as you close and open the doors? Try placing you ear right against the fridge to listen for it

Once you have gained access to the evap fan, the defrost heater is nearby so you can test both at the same time at least for electrical continuity by using an Ohmmeter. (function found in a DMM -Digitl Multimeter -adequate ones available <$20 at larger hardware stores). It is safe to do this as you can and should disconnect the power from the fridge to test.

If either one is faulty then you can order the correct part and replace it.

If both test OK then it becomes more involved and testing has to be done with the power on.

If you are unsure about testing with live voltage floating around then leave it to the experts.


Thank you very much again for sharing your expertise, Jayeff!!!


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