Leaking Kitchen Aid Fridge Freezer (model KBF S25EVMS3) - plugged drain line.

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

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    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.

    We started noticing water dripping out of the freezer and first thought it was the kids leaving the door open or dropping ice cubes. Then I pointed my finger at my wife since I caught her one morning leaving it slightly open. With very careful use of the fridge and freezer we still had water dripping out and pooling in front of the fridge.

    I pulled the fridge and turned the water off. I defrosted the ice build up in the bottom of the freezer and thought I had at least solved the problem. Nope. Keep happening.

    What a piece of crap this fridge. So today the repair man comes and tells us the fridge is not under warranty and the drain line is plugged. What drain line? There is no drain line hooked up to the fridge so what was he talking about? Where does the drain go?

    The repair man went on to say this will continue to happen every 2-3 years.... Are you kidding me? So every 2-3 years we can look forward to water staining our kitchen hardwood floors. Nice.

    Any thoughts? Can I rig up a better drain line and run it into a separate plumbing line?

    I have teased my wife about installing a linear drain in front of this fridge and she said no - but now it's looking like a good idea. Maybe I'll just pipe it in 1 1/2" ABS and run the line down into the laundry room's sink - kind of like a washing machine back in the day.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    8,997
    Location:
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    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. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    I second that emotion
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Thanks men. Could I send the water instead to a separate drain line like I mentioned? If this line can plug every 2-3 years like the repair man said maybe I need to go medival on the fridge and install a larger drain line. I do not want to pay some repair dude $140.00 every 2-3 years for the life of the fridge nor do I want my floors damaged anymore than they already are.

    We did a poor job of cleaning the coils or something he said as well. Could the dirty coils have slowed down the evaporation effect?

    This same fridge specifies a self piercing water line hook up which I did - that failed a year and a bit ago and flooded the basement. We have had nothing but problems with the fridge. Anything in the back freezes - just a pile of junk.

    I'm so glad our custom kitchen was designed for this fridge ------ NOT.

    JW
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Operation - Fridge Drain Line

    If this is a common problem then I am going to start informing the builders I work with that I have another plan. My wife this morning has green lighted operation Fridge drain line!

    JW
  6. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    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.
  7. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    I have heard this same commented many times before. When this fridge does crap out I will be shopping at Sears for a replacement.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    JW
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    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.
  9. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Leaking Kitchen Aid Fridge Freezer - $140.00 an hour for repairs???

    How could a drain line in a fridge plug up anyway? It's inside the fridge....

    The repair man said this is a common problem with the Kitchen Aid fridges. I find it hard to believe that dust floats inside the fridge and blocks the drain line.

    $140.00 and hour for repairs.... I should be switching trades at those rates.

    JW
  10. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    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?
  11. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    When it comes to cars and appliance repairs I have a big fat "Zero Skill Set". When this puppy leaks the next time I'll be ready. It won't be for a little while but I will install a drain either below or in front of this fridge. Once done my linear drain count in my kitchen will be up to 3 or 4 - depending on if I put one in front of the dishwasher or not.

    JW
  12. nestork

    nestork Janitorial Technician

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    98
    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
  13. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Thanks for the information. Our Fridge is a French Split with two doors up and a pull out drawer at the bottom. I will monitor the repair until it fails again and then see how I can alter this from happening in the future. We will do a better job keeping the coils clean and hope it never happens again.

    Thanks to everyone how offered insight on this repair.

    JW
  14. 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.
  15. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    The fact that a new fridge can fail so bad is alarming.

    Based on your post it sounds like I just call my insurance company and it magically gets fixed. Then there is the deductible, all the strange workers in my home - and all over a piece of crap Kitchen Aid fridge.

    Kitchen Aid should be paying to fix these repairs. Maybe then they would not design such a crappy system.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  16. KuiPor

    KuiPor New Member

    Messages:
    1
    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.
  17. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    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.
  18. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Thanks Gary. The first time this crappy fridge leaked it was the saddle valve that failed - I was reading and following the instructions and they where clear "Must use a saddle valve". The fridge is a piece of junk. We just make Ice the old fashion way now. Not taking any chance with Kitchen Aid. Will never buy another again. JW
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  19. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

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    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.
  20. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Thanks Steve. My fridge was not even two years old. You would think a brand new fridge could last more than a few years before leaking out and staining the hardwood floors. Lucky for me my hardwood was actually plywood! But still. Brand new. Really???
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