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Freezer Repair Cost

The average cost to repair a freezer is $348.

In this guide

Cost factors
Common problems
Labor
Maintenance
Repair vs. replace a freezer
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to repair a freezer?

A malfunctioning freezer can lead to significant food waste, as well as a huge mess if it goes unnoticed for too long. Recognizing the problem and diagnosing it sooner than later can save a lot in repairs.

The cause of a malfunctioning freezer could be a blocked drain line 1, a poor seal on the door gasket 2, or something going wrong with the coolant lines, coils, or motors. The average cost of a freezer repair is $348, for things like defrost motor replacement, evaporator fan motor replacement, and start relay repairs.

Cost factors

It is generally accepted that freezers are the most expensive appliance to fix. First and foremost, where you live will have an impact on the price of freezer repair. Labor costs vary greatly across the country, and your proximity to qualified technicians can affect your costs. Additionally, you will find that freezer repairs can be more costly if you have an older model for which parts may be harder to find.

A few manufacturers’ freezers have more complicated designs than others. Notably, Sub-Zero and Liebherr are brands that technicians may take longer to work on because of the complex nature of the design. Regardless of brand or age, the number one factor affecting freezer repair cost is the issue itself. Freezer problems can range from simple door gasket replacement to a complex compressor replacement.

Common problems

The good news about freezer repair is that diagnosis is usually relatively simple. The most common problems that folks have with freezers have symptoms that are quickly identified, and a good technician will know where to look once you describe the issue. The following chart details some of the most common problems, oft-recommended solutions, and the average costs associated with those solutions.

ProblemRecommendationAverage cost
Not cold enough

Adjust temperature control

Change door gasket

$65 - $165
Light does not work

Replace bulb

Test the door switch

Replace wiring

$65-$165
Water on floor outside of freezerDrain line blockage cleared of debris$65-$165
Does not run and light does not work

Ensure unit is plugged in

Reset GFI at the outlet

Check breakers

Replace main control board

$65 - $250

Does not defrost

automatically

Manual defrost

Replace defrost motor

$65-$250
Too Cold

Adjust temperature controls

Replace defrost sensor 3 motor or thermostat 4

$65-$350
Noisy

Fan obstruction removal

Manual defrost

Compressor replacement

$65-$650
Starts and stops frequentlyDefrost sensor replacement$150-$200
Freezer runs continuouslyTemperature control thermostat replacement$275-$350
Does not run, but light worksEvaporator fan motor or compressor start relay replacement$275-$550


Labor

While there are a few simple repairs that you might take on yourself, freezers are complicated and most repairs require the help of a certified technician. Specifically, a freezer that has a problem in its coolant system or a freon 5 leak needs to be handled by a person with a special license in most areas. Under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, the United States EPA requires that “technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified.” To pass this exam technicians will need to have received a solid education as well as hands on experience in HVACR. Additionally, local environmental regulations vary state-to-state and even county-by-county, meaning that in addition to the EPA 608 exam, your state or county may also require technicians to have local certifications.

More regulation and certification requirements generally mean that a technician will charge more for services rendered. In most areas, a service call from a qualified technician will cost anywhere from $65 to $165. On average, an additional diagnostic fee may run $90 to $100. However, in most cases service call fees and diagnostic fees will be deducted from the final bill when you decide to have the repair done. You can expect most common freezer repairs, once the parts are available, to take one to two hours and pros charge from $150 to $200 per hour for labor.

Maintenance

Freezer repairs cost more than any other appliance repairs. The good news is that many costly repairs can be avoided, and you can extend the life of your appliance by employing a maintenance schedule.

  • Freezer coils located behind or beneath your freezer should be cleaned of dust four times per year, or as often as once a month if you have pets.
  • Most freezers today have built in auto-defrost systems. However, some older models and chest freezers should be manually defrosted twice a year, or anytime that you notice more than a half inch of build-up inside the freezer.
  • A defrosted freezer can be cleaned with hot water and liquid dish soap. If the freezer has odors after cleaning, place a tray of activated charcoal in the freezer and let it run while empty for a day or two.
  • Mineral deposits can build up in your drain hole and pan and they should be cleaned every three months.
  • To keep your freezer from working overtime and creating excessive frost build-up, a
  • tight door seal is essential. Once a month clean the gasket with mild soapy water while inspecting for any tears or cracks in the rubber.
  • To make sure that your door gasket is performing well, close a piece of paper between the freezer and the gasket and close the door. If you can easily pull the paper out while the door is closed, then your gasket should be replaced.
  • Keeping your freezer stocked helps it to maintain the proper temperature without working too hard, but it is equally important to ensure that it is not over packed as to limit airflow.

Repair vs. replace a freezer

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average lifespan of a home freezer is 11 years. Whether you properly maintain your freezer, the age, and the brand are all factors that will influence how long your freezer may work for you. In addition, there are various factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding to repair or replace your freezer.

If you are still within the warranty phase of ownership, then repair probably makes the most sense. However, if the freezer is nearing the decade mark, with max life expectancy drawing near, you might consider replacement. While 11 years is the average life of a freezer, some brands and models are known to last significantly longer with proper maintenance and care. Before making a decision, check out consumer reviews for your particular brand and model of freezer.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Qualified professionals. When seeking help with any appliance, it is essential to ensure that a technician has experience with your appliance, and that they have certifications to back up their experience, such as SCET or IAST. During a phone consultation, be sure to let them know whether it is a stand-alone, integrated into a refrigerator, drawer, chest, upright, gas, or electric, as well as the make, model, and year.
  • DIY. When dealing with refrigeration and freezers beyond basic maintenance, it is always best to consult with a certified technician. Whether your appliance is powered by gas or electric and taking into account the dangers and environmental impact of coolants, safety is a factor.
  • Freezer’s warranty. Is your freezer still under warranty? Most retailers will cover repairs or replacements within 30 days of purchase. Additionally, manufacturers’ standard warranties are generally good for two or more years after the date of purchase. If you purchase your appliance with a credit card, your credit card company may offer an additional warranty, up to 24 months, after the manufacturer's warranty expires.
  • Home warranties. They may cover repair or replacement costs for freezers. If you have purchased a home warranty, you should check with your provider and make yourself aware of what your benefits are before you have an issue with an appliance.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to replace a compressor in a freezer?

Depending on the age of the appliance, brand, and your location, replacing the compressor should cost between $400 and $650.

  • How much does it cost to repair a freezer?

Freezers are complex with an equal number of simple, easily-repaired components and complex, costly components. Basic repairs can run from $65 to $150, while more complex problems can run as high as $350 to $650.

  • Is it worth repairing a fridge freezer?

If the appliance is less than ten years old and the cost to repair is less than half the cost of a new one, then yes.

  • Is it worth repairing a 10 year old refrigerator?

If you have performed the suggested regular maintenance on your freezer, and the proposed repairs will cost less than half of what it would cost to replace, then you should discuss repairs with a technician.

  • What causes a freezer to stop freezing?

The three top reasons why your freezer will stop freezing are dirty condenser coils, malfunctioning evaporator fan motor, and malfunctioning compressor start relay.

  • How many years does a freezer last?

The life expectancy of freezers varies, depending on how well it is maintained and the quality of the brand. On average, a freezer should be expected to work properly for 11 years.

  • How do you troubleshoot a freezer?

Is the appliance unplugged or have you tripped a breaker or an outlet GFI? Check for appropriate temperature settings and effective door seal. Ensure that the drain line is clear and the catch pan is intact. Lastly, remove all of the food, unplug, allow it to defrost for at least two hours, restart it and wait an hour or two to see if it is working properly.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Drain line: The pipe through which the condensation removed from your home by the AC unit drains out of the house
2 Gasket: A seal that fills the space between two or more surfaces that are joined together, allowing a tight seal even when the surfaces do not fit against each other perfectly
glossary term picture Sensor 3 Sensor: Device that responds to a physical event or change in the environment by emitting an output signal
glossary term picture Thermostat 4 Thermostat: A device that senses and regulates temperature by turning heating and cooling devices on and off
5 Freon: A brand name for the types of refrigerant commonly used in air conditioning systems. It is also often used as simply another word for "refrigerant"

Cost to repair a freezer varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

picture related to the guide

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Binghamton, NY
-3%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Boise, ID
-11%
Bothell, WA
-6%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brookville, PA
-44%
Cambridge, MA
+40%
Canton, TX
-35%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chula Vista, CA
+8%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Compton, CA
+9%
Cranston, RI
+9%
Dearborn, MI
+16%
Edison, NJ
+36%
Edmond, OK
-8%
Fairfield, CA
+5%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Gardena, CA
+9%
Hamden, CT
+21%
Independence, MO
+8%
Irvine, CA
+23%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Macon, GA
+20%
Memphis, TN
+11%
New York, NY
+77%
Northbrook, IL
+41%
Northridge, CA
+14%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Plano, TX
+24%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Portland, OR
+11%
Quincy, IL
-17%
Richmond, TX
+63%
Ridgefield, CT
+48%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Round Rock, TX
-5%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
Sewell, NJ
+28%
Simi Valley, CA
+1%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Stamford, CT
+47%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources