, this side by side refrigerator started forming ice crystals in the freezer section near the ice chute for the dispenser. The customer said the ice would get so bad that it often looked like it had snowed on the inside of the door. A little ice was an annoyance, but the frost would build up in the ice bin causing the ice cubes to stick together preventing any ice from coming out of the dispenser. Tired of thawing out the freezer every couple weeks, they called me for some help.
Ice crystals or frost is not often found in a frost free freezer, partially because the name wouldn't make sense, but more importantly, the air within the freezer is to cold to contain much moisture. That is why if you begin to notice a layer of snow has fallen in your freezer, it's time to look for the source.
Where this frost usually begins is in the warm moist air that we like to keep on the outside of any refrigeration system. As air gets warmer, it has the ability to hold more water as vapor. When this water vapor finds it's way into the cold cavity of a refrigerator or freezer, it will condense on the liner. In the fresh food section, this moisture will appear as if the cabinet is sweating, but in the freezer section, the moisture will begin to grow ice crystals and take on the appearance and texture of snow. As more moisture enters the unit, the frost will grow and with enough time, will take on a winter wonderland theme. Fixing the problem is simply a matter of finding the source of our air leak, and sealing it back up.
The key to finding the leak is to look where the frost has been forming. If you notice frost near the top of the door, you will most likely find a point the door seal isn't contacting the cabinet. If the frost is near the ice chute, well then that is where to look for a poor dispenser seal. Which is exactly what I found.
Ice dispensers use some form of rubber or foam seal to close off the opening when not in use. If this seal becomes damaged, doesn't close due to a mechanical problem, or becomes blocked by a piece of ice, frost will form. The dispenser seal on this unit was not sealing around the top half of the opening and allowing air in at a slow rate. To fix the leak, I replaced the dispenser door seal with a new pad that formed itself to the opening like it was meant to be there. With the new seal in place, the snow stopped falling.