Why Chest Freezer Not Working After Moving? How to Troubleshoot? 

Moving can be incredibly stressful, especially if your appliances don’t work when you’ve moved them into your new home. If your chest freezer isn’t working after moving, what is the issue? 

A chest freezer may not work after moving because the compressor or evaporator fan is faulty. Other causes include the door not sealing shut properly, a power source problem, or dirty condenser coils. These issues are typically easy to fix, and you can usually resolve them yourself. 

In this article, I’ll discuss the common reasons why a chest freezer might stop working after a move. I’ll also offer suggestions for how to fix it, so you can get back to using your freezer as soon as possible. Let’s get to it! 

1. The Compressor Is Faulty or Broken

A common problem when moving a chest freezer is that the compressor can malfunction. Moving can be hard on appliances, and the compressor might break if it is a particularly bumpy move. When this happens, your freezer won’t work, causing everything inside to thaw after a while.  

Compressors are an essential part of a freezer’s operation because they squeeze the refrigerant particles under pressure and pump them to the condenser, where they lose heat. They then enter a metering tube and into the evaporator, where all the heat is absorbed, leaving behind an icy vapor that freezes everything around it. 

To check if the compressor is faulty, I recommend unplugging the freezer from the power source and then unplugging the start relay from the compressor. 

If you shake the start relay and you hear rattling, good news! The problem is likely with the start relay and not the compressor. The start relay is usually a much cheaper and simpler fix. However, the issue is probably with the compressor itself if you don’t hear a rattling. 

Read: How To Reset Frigidaire Freezer Alarm?

How To Fix?

I recommend having a professional look at the compressor and replacing it if necessary unless you have mechanical experience. Another important thing to note is that compressors are expensive, so if you need to replace it, consider if the freezer is worth saving. You may find that it makes more financial sense to buy a new freezer. 

If you’re able to get your hands on a replacement compressor and you feel confident in your ability to replace it yourself, follow these steps: 

  1. Unplug the freezer from the wall.
  2. Remove the compressor cover. 
  3. Remove the old compressor. 
  4. Place the new compressor in the now vacant spot. 
  5. Attach the capacitor to the compressor. 
  6. Add the refrigerant. 
  7. Connect the valves according to your unit’s wiring diagram. 
  8. Replace the compressor cover. 

2. The Freezer’s Door Isn’t Sealing Properly

The freezer door gasket may have been jostled or damaged during the move. If it isn’t properly sealing the freezer, the cold air will escape, and the freezer won’t be able to do its job properly.

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If the freezer doesn’t seal, it will never reach temperatures cold enough to properly freeze the items inside, which is a big problem. If you’re experiencing the opposite problem and your freezer is too cold, check out my article on five possible reasons why your freezer might be too chilly. 

Read: Frigidaire Freezer Beeping Alarm Codes: How To Troubleshoot?

How To Fix?

To fix a freezer door gasket issue, it’s best to replace it with a new part. After noting your freezer’s model and serial number, you can buy one online or at an appliance repair shop. Once you have the new gasket, here’s how to replace it: 

  1. Unplug the freezer from its power source, and remove all the items inside. 
  2. Lift up the edge of the gasket. 
  3. Detach any screws or bolts holding the old gasket in place.
  4. Remove the old gasket and throw it away.   
  5. Stretch the new gasket over where the old one was, ensuring that the magnet edge is facing out. 
  6. Reinstall the screws or bolts. 
  7. Check for any gaps. 

3. There’s a Power Source Problem

There’s a good chance that your chest freezer isn’t working, not because of the freezer itself, but because it isn’t receiving the power it needs to run. If you’ve recently moved, you might not know about any problematic power outlets. There might also be an issue getting power. 

Read: How To Fix Chest Freezer Door Seal?

How To Fix?

Troubleshooting a power source problem is straightforward. Simply unplug your freezer from its current power source, use another power outlet, and see if it operates normally. If not, the plug may be broken or have loose connections. Open the plug, tighten any loose wires, or replace it.  

4. The Evaporator Fan Is Faulty

As I mentioned above, moving an appliance can cause some damage, and another important part that could be affected is the evaporator fan or fans. If one of the fan blades gets bent or broken during the move, you will need to replace the fan. The fan blows air throughout the freezer, distributing the cold air to freeze food. 

A sign of a faulty evaporator fan or fans is a humming noise from the freezer. If you’re hearing humming, I suggest reading my article on why your freezer is making a humming noise for more information and your next steps.   

How To Fix?

Once you’ve determined that the evaporator fan is faulty, you will need to replace it. Here’s what to do: 

  1. Acquire a manufacturer-approved replacement fan online or from an appliance parts store.
  2. Unplug the freezer. 
  3. Remove the screws from the evaporator cover. 
  4. Unplug the fan. 
  5. Remove any bolts or screws holding the fan in place. 
  6. Remove the old evaporator fan. 
  7. Position the new fan in the old fan’s place. 
  8. Plug all the wires into the harness. 
  9. Replace the evaporator cover, and plug in the freezer. 

5. The Condenser Coils Are Dirty

Hopefully, before you moved, you took the time to inspect and clean your freezer. However, no one’s perfect, and your freezer’s condenser coils might be dirty. Dirty condenser coils may block the airflow, making your freezer work harder than it should. 

An evaporator coil cools the refrigerant, removing the heat and allowing the air to cool and freeze anything near it. However, the system won’t work properly if too much dirt or debris is blocking the way and not allowing the air to get through.  

How To Fix?

If you believe that the condenser coils are causing your chest freezer not to function properly, this is what you need to do: 

  1. Unplug the freezer, and remove any panels covering the coils. 
  2. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean out the coils.
  3. If the coils are particularly dusty and dirty, use a vacuum cleaner hose to suck out any remaining debris.
  4. Replace the panels. 
  5. Plug the freezer back in, and check if it’s working. 

If you don’t have a brush, you can use a soft microfiber cloth to clean the coils.     


Chest freezers can stop working for various reasons. These include a faulty compressor, an insufficient seal, inadequate power from the power source, a bad evaporator fan, or dirty condenser coils. These issues are likely to occur during a move when the freezer is being transported and you aren’t quite confident in your new surroundings yet. Luckily, these problems are relatively easy to fix, but they mostly involve replacing a faulty part.  

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