Leaking Fridge Freezer

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Occupation:
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Not sure where to post this question on my Kitchen Aid fridge. My wife just paid a repair man $140.00 today to fix a plugged drain line on our kitchen's fridge/freezer. It is a French Door fridge with built in ice maker and water inside.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego
    There is usually a drain in the freezer ( necessary because of course the freezer defrosts itself periodically.) That line takes the water to a pan located under the condenser coil/compressor area. The heat from those items evaporates the water. Your line is plugged...a fairly common problem. You need to find the line....starts somewhere on the floor of the freezer...and blow it out. Or it may have an ice clog in it.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Occupation:
    Retired Industrial Automation controls/tech s
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I second that emotion
     
  5. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Occupation:
    Retired Industrial Automation controls/tech s
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Kitchenaid fridges are just another product of Whirlpool, and if you look (even not too closely), you will see many similarities in the way they are built, layed aout, etc. If the drain line from the evaporator clogs up, and it is not from ice, it is most likely from dust mixed with the condensate that is supposed to run down into the pan at the bottom. I would think that if you did a poor job of cleaning out the refrigerant liquid lne cooling coils, the fridge/freezer would not do its best job at cooling or freezing food efficiently.

    My current fridge, a rebadged LG side by side Sears Kenmore Elite, has not had this problem yet after 2 years, and I ashamed to admit I only vacuumed the coils under the fridge once so far, but it was not so bad.


    I had a new Kemmore elite just prior to that for one year that was a rebadged Whirlpool that Sears service could not fix because the problem was the program in its controller's firmware. Sears would change all the parts involved, but the problem remaned the same because Whirpool never re-wrote the little routine that would grind up some ice that would sit on the dump trap door and melt EVERY 23 hours and 55 minutes, exactly. That would melt, and grow mold in the area of the trap door. I uploaded a video to Sears, and they offered me a replacement fridge to choose from within a 100 to 200 more bucks over the cost of my original purchase. I paid over $2,200 for the first fridge. The "LG" one was $2,300.

    I wonder how the thousands of other purchasers of the same first fridge made out with their's. The only reason I saw the mold is because I looked up into the ice dispenser chute to see what was going on when it made a grinding noise every day at "almost" the same time.

    Its sad when you get a service tech to your house and you feel like (and actually DO) know more than they do.

    At least Sears does have good customer service people on the phone and an excellent online customer advocate group.
     
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    If the drain line plugs up, it leaks from the next available space...it's not the drain pan that's the issue, it's the opening of the drain from the freezer TO the drain. Now, I suppose they might make the pan bigger to also trap water from the other exit points, but those aren't engineered as secondary drains - they're just leaks and they happen to get to the floor rather than being trapped. If the drain is open, you should never get enough water during a defrost cycle to overflow the pan. The heat from the compressor is more than enough to evaporate that periodic defroster water volume.
     
  7. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Occupation:
    Retired Industrial Automation controls/tech s
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. A refigerator autopsy is needed to see how small its urethra tube is:p

    maybe they get kidney stones?
     
  8. nestork

    nestork Janitorial Technician

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    John, the drain line on a frost free fridge will be located at the bottom of the evaporator pan. The evaporator pan is a pan which sits below the evaporator and collects all the melt water when the fridge defrosts itself. On some fridges it's fairly common to have that line clog up on you, on others, it almost never happens.

    If yours is a top mounting freezer, just look in your freezer compartment for a removable panel. That panel will most often be on the back wall of the freezer compartment, but on GE 12 cubic foot fridges, the removable panel is actually the floor of the freezer compartment. Often the screws holding that panel on will be covered by pop-out buttons.

    If it's a side by side with the fridge on one side and the freezer on the other, the evaporator coils will be in the mullion between the two sides, and there should be a cover that's removable from one side to service the fridge.

    Once you have the panel off, you should see a fan with fan blades and an evaporator coil made of aluminum tubing. The evaporator pan will be under the evaporator with the coil tubing, and you should find a small (3/8 inch diameter or so) drain hole in the bottom of it.

    Now, use a piece of stranded copper wire (with the insulation still on) to use as a snake to clear the crap out of that drain line.

    Dried up food from the freezer compartment gets blown by the evaporator coil and by your shifting things around in the freezer and drops into the spaces where cold air gets into the freezer. When the fridge defrosts itself, melt water from the evaporator coil washes that food down into the evaporator drain, and causes the rubber drain line to get plugged.

    My guess would be if you phoned around to 3 or 4 places, none of which could afford full page ads in the yellow pages, but only their name and phone number, they'd all charge considerably less than you were quoted to clean your evaporator drain line.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  9. This usually happens with the freezer. There is draining issue. You just need to defrost it nothing more than that. If this causes the water to fill in your kitchen or other rooms then you need to contact the public adjusters to claim the insurance.
     
  10. KuiPor

    KuiPor New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto
    I have exact same problem on same model of Fridge, in my case, I suspect it is because I didn't tilt the fridge backward a little bit, as when I roll out the fridge to clean the dust, I unscrew the legs in the front but when I move it back, I didn't screw it up again to make it tilt.... so the fridge leak the water on the front left side instead of at the back dripping pan....

    so I just screw up and hopefully the problem resolved....

    the guy who charge you $140 could have done that too.....because I don't think the drain hole can be plugged easily for this model.
     
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I have a 13 year old Whirlpool with an ice maker. Never have had an issue like you describe. The water from the auto defrost goes into a pan underneath and evaporates. There must be a line coming from the freezer portion to the pan that is plugged or kinked somehow. As a side note, most of us replace the saddle valve with a ball valve adapted to copper tubing.
     
  12. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    1. I have had exactly the same problem with a clogged drain line in a 15 year old Kenmore fridge. Basically a moldy dust ball plugging up the funnel that collects water from the coils after a defrost cycle. Cleaned it out easily and no more trouble for last 2 years.

    2. RE: icemaker reliability: look at current issue Consumer Reports. They divide refrigerators into 2 classes for their reliability tables: those with icemakers and those without. Guess which group has by far the most trouble?

    I have fiddled around with the icemaker in my Frigidaire many times to nurse it along until finally replacing the whole kit and caboodle last year. Good news is that it is a very easy swap and you can buy replacement icemakers pretty cheap (at least for my model) on the web.
     
  13. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    That would be extremely annoying to say the least!
    This is a bad design. I don't recall ever seeing anything in a refrigerator owner's manual about the need to clean out the drain system. Not that easy to do for a DIY'er either -- you have to take off some of the plastic panels in the fridge
     
  14. jacobsond

    jacobsond DIY Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Fairmount, North Dakota
    Your defrost drain was plugged. The design on this fridge is poor IMHO using what they call a duckbill type design. http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Grommet/W10309238/1937679
    The “new†design on is not much better than the old design. Instead of using a P type trap they use a little rubber grommet with a slit in the bottom to let the defrost water out. Well it plugs. I usually cut the slit open a little wider to get better water flow but that will let more moist warm air into the freezer so it may frost up more. To get to the grommet you take the back off the fridge look for where the drain comes out remove the grommet and clean/replace. Then use a hair dryer to melt the ice buildup in the drain pan under the coils in the freezer. I hope they come up with a hose with a trap as a fix on their next attempt. The new design plugs just as easy as the old. As far as sears goes Ill keep most of my comments to my self because they are not good in this area. 7 day wait to get the service to your home then 7more days when a part needs to be ordered. So usually around here a 14-30 day repair time is not unusual.Don't get your appliances from a lumber yard either.The lumberyard doesn't have service people. Our store sells and services. You can actually talk to me the serviceman. In our small store our customers are also our friends.
     
  15. jacobsond

    jacobsond DIY Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Fairmount, North Dakota
    Sorry your having so many problems. I fix them don't build them so like many things quality has gone down because in the USA we shop price not quality. Fridges flooding is rare but can happen. The flimsy supply lines can crack water valves can stick open. It doesn't happen a lot but it happens. The saddle valve failure is unfortunate but not the fault of the fridge it is the fault of the valve manufacture or the installer or both/neither. I know the saddle valve did not come with the fridge. It is purchased separate. We sell water line kits all the time. Install them and have no issues.We always recommend the customer have a plumber install a "real" valve but there we are again with cost. Now back to the defrost drain there is less than 1/4 cup of water produced.When the drain plugs usually the bottom of the freezer gets iced up and if it goes unnoticed a small puddle of water develops in front of the freezer. Like any leak if its caught right away little or no damage. The design on your fridge gives more trouble others but plugged defrost drain can happen with all models and brands. I for one wont give up my ice and water just like I wont give up the dishwasher and cloths washer just because of the potential for a leak.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  16. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Occupation:
    Retired Industrial Automation controls/tech s
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    OK, so last night my wife points out to me that the floor is wet behind our Kenmore elite fridge (made by LG); I pull the fridge out away from the wall and see something I had to look at more than once to believe. I guess it is good that the leak is not from the fridge condensate itself. The 1/4" copper line I ran between the fridge and the little ballvalve I put in a few years ago, sprang a leak within the area where I curled it into an about a 5 inch diameter loop. It must have weeping for at least a little while because it had scaled over with some green oxide crust. when I scraped off the crust with my finger nail, it started dripping about 1 drop per 20 seconds. When I formed that loop a couple of years ago, i was careful not to kink the tubing, which was very soft and made the loop with enough length so the fridge could be pulled away from the wall when necessary. I guess the last time I moved the fridge was a while ago judging by the dust bunny population. Must have been a factory defect in some Chinese made tubing? Going to replace it this afternoon and inspect the bad area with an eye loupe.:eek:
     
  17. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Occupation:
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Bob I think we need to build shower pans for these new fridge installations.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
  18. viclee1117

    viclee1117 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    long island
    I have the same problem and its very fustrating and I have woods floors also. How did you turn off the water? I do not want to use it anymore cause when the ice cubes fall on he bottom (which is all the time) they melt and water literally pours onto the floor so I would rather not even use the ice maker anymore.
     
  19. dj2

    dj2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Years ago I had an Admiral side by side that leaked right after the warranty was up. A friend told me to look at the drain tube, and sure enough it was plugged by some paper from the factory.
    Fast forward, last year my Hotpoint leaked. A quick look at the drain line and sure enough it was plugged too with some debris.
    I assume that during assembly, careless workers cause these things to eventually cause a leak. low quality control? sabotage? frustration? low pay? who knows.

    John, you don't need to install a floor drain, that's absurd. Just keep the back of the fridge clean and watch for ice build up - a sign of water in the wrong place. Regarding what your repairman said about this happening every 2-3 years - it's not a rule.
     
  20. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE

    Very disappointing, John!

    If this is your condensate drain line freezing up, and there is no debris causing this to happen, I have read on some of the appliance forums that some techs will wrap copper wire around the defrost coils and run the wire down the drain a little ways - that way every time the fridge does a defrost cycle it melts any ice build up. I think I have seen some actual repair kits that use this principle in one of the appliance repair parts sites.
     
  21. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Occupation:
    Rocket Scientist
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Is your drain pan full ?

    Many designs have a removable drain pan behind the front kick plate. The compressor and condenser are in the bottom.

    The small drain pain will hold water temporarily during defrost, then the condenser heat and fan evaporate the water.

    If you have a spill inside the pan will fill up, and the water does not have time to evaporate before the next defrost cycle.

    Or you can have blocked airflow, that can cause the same problem.


    Good Luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
Similar Threads: Leaking Fridge
Forum Title Date
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Remodel shower stall kits prone to leaking? Nov 8, 2016
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog New home - leaking shower arm inside wall Oct 26, 2016
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Bathtub faucet leaking Sep 7, 2016
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Leaking slip over bathtub faucet Aug 26, 2016
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Shower drain leaking Aug 13, 2016

Share This Page