Fixing Common Maytag Freezer Issues

Fixing Common Maytag Freezer Issues

Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

Maytag is a popular home appliance brand that makes a range of freezer units. This tech tip covers troubleshooting for different issues, including units not freezing, clicking sounds,  running all the time and leaking water.

Troubleshooting applies to these Maytag freezer models:

















Not Freezing

Not freezing is a common issue that often only requires a simple fix instead of replacing the entire unit.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Check condenser coils: Condenser coils are a critical component in refrigerators and freezers. They transfer heat from the refrigerant to the surrounding environment. New freezers have clean coils, but over time they can attract dust, which can affect performance. To confirm coils are clean, turn off the unit, pull it out from the wall, and visually inspect. If they’re dirty, use a vacuum to remove the dust. Please note that freezers with internal coils do not require cleaning.
  2. Check evaporator fan motor: This device passes air over the coils, making heat transfer more efficient. When the motor stops working, the freezer will struggle to achieve freezing temperatures. Typically when the freezer door is opened, a micro-switch automatically switches off the fan so it doesn’t operate. To check that it’s working properly, find the micro-switch, press it, and see if the fan moves. If it doesn’t, contact a Maytag engineer to fit a replacement – part numbers WP2315539, WPW10189703, W11024089, WPW1012855, WPW10514110, and WP3-60336-001.
  3. Check the start relay: If the start relay isn’t operating correctly, the compressor won’t run, and the freezer won’t cool. If you have a multi-meter at home, you can check if the start relay is malfunctioning. Remove the component from your freezer, and then place the multimeter probes on the start and run terminals. If the unit smells burned or you can’t achieve continuity, order a replacement part.

Runs Constantly

There are many reasons why your Maytag freezer might be running all the time. Check these potential solutions:

  1. Issues with temperature control thermostat
    • Rotate control thermostat from lowest to highest setting. If you hear an audible click, the thermostat is unlikely the source of the problem.
    • If there is no click, connect the thermostat to a multimeter to test for continuity. Lack of continuity indicates a defective part.
  2. Issues with defrost timer
    • If the defrost timer doesn’t switch on, frost will accumulate on the evaporator coils, causing them to stop functioning correctly.
    • To check the defrost time, turn it using a screwdriver, and listen for a click. This should cause the compressor and fans to switch off and the coil heater to switch on.
    • If the heater switches on and defrosts the coils, the timer is faulty.
  3. Dirty condenser coils
    • On most freezers, condenser coils are inside the freezer walls and don’t require cleaning. However, if they are at the back of the unit, be sure to remove dust every 6-12 months.
    • Pull the freezer away from the wall to provide access to the coils.
    • Vacuum or use a duster.

Leaking Water

Occasionally, the freezer may leak water which usually means the defrost drain is clogged or frozen. During defrost cycles, water leaves the freezer through a defrost drain. However, water can freeze over the drain, causing subsequent flows to spill out of the bottom of the freezer over the floor.

To resolve this issue, do the following:

  1. Switch off the freezer and remove it from the wall (if you have a freestanding unit).
  2. Access the defrost drain.
  3. Thaw any ice using hot water, delivered via a turkey baster.
  4. If you experience this problem repeatedly, consider installing a drain heater.

Constantly Makes Clicking Sounds

Some Maytag freezers develop clicking sounds as they get older. This issue is caused by either a faulty start relay or problems with the compressor. Start relays provide power to the compressor – the unit that cools the freezer. When they start to fail, they can make a clicking sound.

Here’s the fix:

  1. Unplug the freezer from the main power supply.
  2. Locate the start relay.
  3. Unplug and remove the relay from the compressor (usually by unscrewing it).
  4. Use a multimeter to test for continuity between the start and run terminals.
  5. If it fails a continuity test or smells burnt, swap it out for a new one.

Compressors are vital components that circulate refrigerant throughout the refrigerator, via evaporator and condenser coils. When they become defective, they too can make a clicking sound.

Here’s the fix:

  1. Unplug the freezer from main power and pull it from the wall.
  2. Locate the condenser unit. It should be visible at the back of the appliance or behind a shroud.
  3. Use a multimeter to test for continuity between the electrical pins on the side of the compressor.
  4. If the circuit is open, it means that the compressor is defective and should only be repaired by a licensed professional.

Light Not Working

Freezer lights, just like normal lights, have a limited life. If your freezer light is out, check the following:

  1. Ensure that the light bulb is burned out and not any wires or connections to it.
  2. Check the control and display board. Sometimes these can become defective, preventing power from reaching the light (though this is rare). If the indicator light is in good working order, but won’t light when you open the door, you might need a new control panel.


Visit Fred’s Appliance Academy to learn more about the training provided in appliance repair.

Special thanks to Fred’s Appliance Academy for this helpful tip!

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