What does manual defrosting of the freezer compartment mean

Does the fridge have to be defrosted in the dry freezer?

Some people think, wrongly, that the units with dry defrosting don’t need defrosting. It is not so! It is just as necessary to perform the defrosting process for such refrigerators as for other types of appliances.

The only difference is that it should be done less often, about once in a year and a half, by unplugging it and emptying its contents. The formation of frost in these refrigerators is much less, but it still exists, and it is necessary to get rid of it.

What is an automatic fridge defrost and what is the difference between manual defrost

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Let’s tell you what it is. automatic defrosting of the fridge compartment. The first type is a drip system. It is used in most modern models and only in cold rooms. It is characterized by simplicity and efficiency. The evaporator (cooling element) is located behind the back of the unit, with a drain underneath. When the compressor is running, the ice particles form. When it stops working, the ice melts and the droplets flow into the drain. From there, the water flows into a special tray located on the motor, where it evaporates. This happens gradually and unnoticeably.

The automatic No Frost defrost system of the refrigerator is equipped with the freezer or the refrigerator and freezer compartments only. it depends on the model of equipment. Evaporator located behind the back of the unit or on top of the freezer. There is a special fan inside the chamber that ensures the movement of cold air. As a result, no snow deposits form in it. The frosting occurs on the evaporator that is hidden from the user. Then the fan stops and the heater switches on. Under its influence, the melted liquid flows into the tray along the grooves. This is where it evaporates.

Synopsis. Freezers with the No Frost system are gradually replacing the standard models on the market. But they also have disadvantages. Unlike manual defrosters, they consume more electrical energy due to the operation of the fan. The mechanism installed behind the rear wall reduces the refrigerator’s holding capacity by about 20 liters. Units with automatic defrosting system have a higher cost than conventional refrigerators.

Manufacturers of appliances with a No Frost system recommend turning off the appliance once a day, leaving it with the door open. Because the ventilation system, air supply and moisture removal are closed design, there may be frost formation. By fulfilling this requirement, the user reduces the risks:

  • premature failure of the equipment;
  • Food deterioration due to improper temperature control;
  • increase in power consumption.

Some models of modern refrigerators with manual defrosting are equipped with high-quality insulation, which allows you to defrost them once a year. Therefore, they are not inferior to appliances with the No Frost function, which are also recommended to defrost.

Whether warm air enters through an open door or evaporates from the surface of the food, condensation will settle on the cold surface and turn to ice. The wall of the cooling compartment behind which the evaporator is installed is precisely the drip trap. What it does for automatic defrosting?

Drip liquid into a special hole occurs when the temperature in the cabinet is working and the compressor is stopped. The evaporator heats up, the frost on the wall melts and trickles down through the grooves. This means that there is a drip defrosting of the fridge compartment.

Drip type defrosting of the freezing chamber is used not only in the budget models that do not require additional material investments. It’s often used in a premium multi-door fridge in combination with the No Frost system. Excess moisture is naturally removed from the refrigerator without dehumidifying the air. A walk-in freezer has more usable space because it doesn’t require a fan. The refrigerator is less noisy and energy-saving.

In a combined refrigerator, the freezer would have to be defrosted manually if a drip defrost system was used. The use of the “crying” wall system in the refrigerator compartment and the No Frost system in the freezer is considered the most progressive method of condensate removal.

Use of the drip system does not relieve the user from controlling the condition of the condensate drain hole and its periodic cleaning. Crumbs, dust, or pieces of food wrapping can clog it. As a result, water will accumulate at the bottom and begin to flow out.

Manual Defrost vs Automatic Defrost

How often can you defrost the refrigerator

There are no strict rules on the need for defrosting. The main criterion to be guided by is the layer of ice. How often you have to defrost your refrigerator depends largely on the intensity of its use, the model, and whether it has an auto-defrost function.

The desired frequency of the procedure is usually indicated in the instructions:

  • Monthly defrosting is required for the units with outdated cooling system, including the Soviet “Orsk”, “Biryusa” and “Saratov”;
  • There are no strict rules concerning the necessity of defrosting the snow in the refrigerator compartment; defrosting is performed 3-4 times per year for refrigerators with drip and air-dripping systems (Indesit, Atlant);
  • Once a year, modern refrigerators equipped with the No Frost system are processed.

Snow tends to accumulate in the freezer compartment more quickly than in the refrigerator compartment. Thus, many models are equipped with only one compressor. It is not possible to clean one compartment, and you have to turn off the appliance completely. convenient in operation two-compressor (two-chamber) models.

Why do you need to defrost your refrigerator?

A “snow coat” on the walls of the freezer is always formed if it is not an automatic No Frost system. Moisture from the air, from the foods placed in the compartments of the device condenses on the walls of the heat exchanger and turns into a solid state, i.e. snow, ice.

Consequences of improper maintenance of the refrigerator

Having a lower heat transfer coefficient, this layer acts as an insulator, which leads to the following consequences:

  • Overloading of the cooling system. The temperature sensor gives the signal to start, the compressor works, but the “coat” significantly slows down the air cooling, which changes the normal functioning of the entire system;
  • Wear and tear. Working with the increased load, the refrigerator essentially reduces the resource of the device and creates the risks of the emergency defects and breakages of separate elements and mechanisms;
  • Increased energy consumption. The periods of compressor’s active phase are extended. In other words, the compressor actually idles, using up its life;
  • Violation of temperature storage conditions. The difference can reach values that are critical for certain types of food, medications in the refrigerator. Terms of storage directly depend on the temperature. A deviation of even a few degrees may be sufficient to cause damage.

To avoid these troubles, it is necessary to have regular procedures to remove excessive snow and ice. It should be added that work at an increased load can cause even more unpleasant situations. Although the system is equipped with emergency protection devices, there is a risk of damage to household wiring, fires, etc. This happens very rarely, but it should not be neglected.

The absence of ice is the key to the correct and economical operation of the refrigerator

What kind of defrosting systems are available

In fact, the choice of existing options for implementing defrosting systems is not so great, to understand them is not very difficult. There are currently only two main technical solutions:

Before giving any recommendations, for a better understanding we should consider them all in detail.

Drip defrost

Nowadays, this system is the most common in refrigerators, especially in the budget models.

The principle of operation is simple. At the back of the equipment there is an evaporator, which is a thin, serpentine tube built into the metal plates of the radiator. The evaporator acts as a cooling element. During operation, it heats up and, thus, the ice formed on the inner back wall of the unit melts the moment the compressor stops and gradually (drop by drop. hence the name of the defrosting system method) drains into a special tank.


The main advantages of the drip system include:

  • low cost;
  • Simplicity of the device;
  • convenience of service;
  • Fully automatic operation without human intervention;
  • long trouble-free operation.


Drip method of defrosting the refrigeration equipment also has some drawbacks. They should be taken into account when using devices built on this principle. First of all, these are the following factors:

  • The system proves to be inoperative at a negative working temperature of the chamber. Because of this, such devices do not work on freezing equipment, and you have to defrost them manually.
  • Increased humidity inside the refrigerators because of the moisture that periodically trickles down.
  • The temperature between the upper and lower compartment in vertical refrigerators can vary significantly. Sometimes this difference can reach the value of 5-6 ° C. This feature is often used by practical housewives: perishable food is placed on top and those which should be stored at a slightly higher temperature (for example, vegetables and herbs). on the bottom.

The most frequent problem with these types of defrosters is clogged drain holes. This defect can be eliminated quite simply by your own efforts. accumulated dirt is gently removed with a thin soft wire.

No Frost system

Driptype defrosting systems have been replaced by more perfect and complicated ones comprising the complex of isolated devices the operation of which allows using the refrigeration equipment for a long time without idle times. No Frost appliances need to be turned off for cleaning and washing, not for de-icing and frost removal.

The principle of operation of such systems is much more complicated than that of drip analogues.

The evaporator is a standalone unit that in most cases is installed at the very bottom of the unit or between the refrigerating compartment and the freezer. With the help of special fans the air circulation inside the working chambers is achieved. Moisture in the air is forced into the evaporator and immediately cools to a fine crust of ice. At a certain time, preset by an electronic relay, the compressor stops and the heating elements turn on to melt the ice and evaporate water.

After the cycle repeats over and over again indefinitely.


  • full automatic defrosting;
  • possibility of operation at subzero temperatures;
  • the rapid recovery time of the temperature;
  • uniform cooling in all areas of the unit.


major disadvantages result from the increased amount of auxiliary equipment. This implies:

  • higher costs for the entire construction;
  • Reduced usable volume;
  • Increased energy consumption in comparison with the drip system;
  • theoretically greater risk of malfunction (in practice, No Frost is no less reliable than drip defrost systems).

Some owners of No Frost refrigerators note the increased loudness of the operation after some time of operation. It is usually connected to circulation fans. Operation in conditions of high humidity and low temperatures requires their additional lubrication or even replacement. However, only a master with special skills can perform this procedure, as it requires partial disassembly.

Read more about No Frost system

Many users think that such fridges have no frost in them. However it is not quite so. One should admit that frost, even a little, but still accumulates when the fridge is working. But there is very little frost on the walls.

The principle of operation is as follows. Active participants in the process are the evaporator, compressor and reservoir. There are also hidden fans. They are needed to blow evenly over the cameras. This results in less frost on the walls.

No Frost refrigeration appliances have their own specific characteristics. The fans operate over the entire inner area of the refrigerator. That’s why you don’t need to defrost the freezer.

IMPORTANT ! Because it circulates dry air inside the freezer, it is recommended to keep all food closed. You need cling film and containers for this.

This defrosting system is new on the market. As with the other systems, there is frosting. However, it is safely hidden under the appliance components, which means that it cannot be seen. Thanks to the fan that is installed inside, the device provides the freezer compartment with impeccable cold.

What is the drip defrosting system of the fridge: the principle of the device

Modern refrigerators operate on two systems. One is called “No Frost,” the other “Crying.”. It is the drip system that is called “weeping”. It got this name because of the principle of the operation of this model.

Drip system in a refrigerator is the principle by which almost all modern units work, not counting super-expensive household and industrial models. They are equipped with a special panel that has an evaporator, which is able to adjust the temperature parameter independently.

As a result of the constant operation of the drip system, the chamber of the device is not covered with ice, because all the condensate remains on the inner wall of the refrigerator and drains into the containers designed for this purpose

Such a device works according to the “freeze-thaw” principle. For this purpose, in the back wall of the unit, there is a special element that accumulates ice scale while the compressor is running. Thanks to the program available, the compressor is often switched off. The sensors are designed so that this is done at regular intervals. This system has become popular because of its many benefits.

  • Such models are considered affordable;
  • There is a wide range of models of this type of refrigerator for sale;
  • They are convenient in operation;
  • Sufficiently capacious;
  • Consume less electricity;
  • Are nearly silent.

The disadvantages of this type of refrigerators are as follows: the freezers have no such system and have to be defrosted in the old manual way, the back panel is covered with ice all the time, the bottom and the top sometimes have different temperature inside the chamber.

How quickly the ice appears

Ice freezing on the refrigerator walls is a rather frequent phenomenon. However, if in the case of the old models of the Soviet type, this was a variant of the norm, the principle of operation of modern refrigerators actively prevents it. over, the long accumulation of frozen water sooner or later leads to a breakdown of the unit because of the heat exchange process inside the appliance.

Strictly speaking, the snow coat accumulation is a quite natural process that can take from three to six months in a well-functioning fridge unless of course you have the No Frost system installed. Frosting of the refrigerator is, in fact, the root cause of the mandatory defrosting, which should be performed regularly 2-3 times a year. However, if the frosting appears already after several weeks after the complete cleaning of the device, it is the reason to address to the experts in order to find out the defects.

The physical component of the process is quite simple. Refrigerant takes heat from the refrigerator compartment and gives it away to the environment. This happens in cycles:

Repeatedly. The ice coat begins to freeze when the water droplets have not completely ripened or evaporated, and it can happen due to the following reasons:

  • Frequent opening of the refrigerator door or deformation of the sealing rubber. In these cases, more heat is released unscheduled and, consequently, a greater volume of water is thawed, which subsequently turns into snow.
  • Hot meals. The process is identical to the one described above. Cooling down of the food is accompanied by steam and accelerated heat exchange with the refrigerating chamber that negatively affects the overall performance of the system.
  • Freon leakage. Decreased volume of the refrigerant leads to the fact that the defrost time is shortened or even cancelled. Due to this, freezing occurs all the time, as well as ice accumulation.
  • Breakdown of temperature sensor. This is one of those technical problems that you don’t want to solve by yourself without prior experience. Consult a specialist to determine the problem and replace the broken part if necessary.

If the problem occurs every six months, it is not a problem. As it was said before, a normal functioning fridge needs a complete defrosting at least once in 5-6 months, but the No Frost system can keep up to two years. In the case of frosting the back wall of the refrigerator in the shortest possible time. will require consultation with the master.

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