Refrigerator freezing food? I opened my refrigerator and the milk and food is partially frozen. My water bottles are almost ice! It feels extra cold in the refrigerator area but the freezer seems to be working fine. Last night before I went to bed everything in my fridge was cold but not frozen. If the food and liquids in the fridge are freezing, what would make my refrigerator all of a sudden start to freeze all the items in it? Is my refrigerator broken? Please Help!
Quick Answer: If your refrigerator is “all of a sudden” freezing your food and drinks, the temperature setting for the fridge has been inadvertently set TOO LOW or TOO COLD. Try setting the refrigerator section temp to medium or the number 5. If your refrigerator lets you set the exact temperature, set it to 40 °F or a little below. This can happen on freezer-on-the-bottom refrigerators too where food in the fridge’s crisper drawer “all of a sudden” freeze. Set the temp to 40F in fridge section and 0F in the freezer section.
NOTE: On some fridge/freezers, the temp control in the freezer sets the coldness for the refrigerator section too.
4 Reasons a REFRIGERATOR will FREEZE FOOD and items in it:
1 – The temperature for the refrigerator has been set TOO LOW or Set warmer. Most common reason.
(HOW TO FIX = Adjust the temp setting to correct the problem)
2 – If the coils on your fridge are dirty or dusty, then the compressor needs to work harder and longer to keep the freezer temperature at freezing temperature. When this happens, on some refrigerator models, the refrigerator can over cool and freeze food and drinks.
(HOW TO FIX = Clean the coils on your refrigerator – Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and use a canister vacuum to remove the dust off the coils)
3 – There is a gasket on your freezer door. Make sure it is sealed/sealing correctly. If the freezer door is not sealing properly, the freezer will run continuously and cause the fridge section to get too freeze.
(HOW TO FIX = Check seal on freezer door – If cracked, ripped, or worn, replace it with a new gasket/freezer door seal)
4 – Newer refrigerators have an air duct that is adjustable. Usually it is positioned where the milk is supposed to be to keep it colder than the rest of the refrigerator.
(HOW TO FIX = It may be positioned in the wrong area so slide the air duct door closed)
To avoid this problem in the future, buy a simple inexpensive fridge thermometer. Not only will you always know the exact temp in the fridge, but if the temp ever rises or lowers, you will know the temp setting has been inadvertently changed and needs to be adjusted.
If someone changed the temp in the fridge by accident, next time it may get changed the opposite direction and the temperature in the fridge could rise (get warmer). You need to watch the fridge temp to be sure it never gets too high. If the temp in the fridge rises (gets warmer), your risk for foodborne illness can rise also. So pay attention to the fridge and freezer temperatures.
To be sure your fridge is always working as designed, keep the temperature at 40 degrees fahrenheit or a little below. Many older refrigerators do not show the actual temperature in the freezer or fridge sections. Using an appliance thermometer will let you monitor the temp and re-adjust the temp of the refrigerator or freezer if needed. If your refrigerator does not have an actual temp display, use an inexpensive thermometer in the fridge and the freezer.
If your food, drinks and everything in your refrigerator is frozen or partially frozen and you need help, please leave your issue below and we will be happy to help.