Jay in the Bay

Refigerator loses coldness, collects and drips water from freezer

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I have a Whirlpool Top-freezer refrigerator at least 10 years old, the bottom fridge temperature warms sometimes and collects water dripping from the freezer.  

The freezer is ice cold, but when I open it up and look in the back, a bunch of water has collected on the bottom of the freezer and froze, and freezes closed the vent ports leading from the freezer down to the refrigerator (I'm assuming this is where the fridge gets its cold from?).  

Any suggestions what might be causing this?  I had a repair place out once and all they did was defrost and suck out water from a drain tube in the back of the freezer but it didn't work.  Thanks!!!

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Unplug the appliance, open the door and defrost it. The passageway from the freezer to frig is frozen. There is a small opening that at times might have a fan too to push the cold air to the frig section. You can see it at the top center or along the side of the frig. 

 

Also watch how how you pack the frig and freezer to not block that opening. 

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10 mins ago, saltfisherman said:

Unplug the appliance, open the door and defrost it. The passageway from the freezer to frig is frozen. There is a small opening that at times might have a fan too to push the cold air to the frig section. You can see it at the top center or along the side of the frig. 

 

Also watch how how you pack the frig and freezer to not block that opening. 

Thanks.  Yeah, I do that every so often, but it keeps happening.  Looks like there's a tube opening in the back of the freezer that leads to a drip try under the unit, but it freezes up.  Could this be part of the problem?

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That happens with my sons also,  the kids go in it so much that it Ices up.  
Needs tone defrosted .

Screws up his door ice maker also. 
 

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48 mins ago, JimW said:

Check drain for freezer defrost cycle.  Sometimes you have to take a lot of bits out to clean it. 

Thanks. I figured its that.  Sny recommendations on a tool to use to clean it?

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I have the same issue with a Kenmore which is made by Whirlpool.  I have tried everything short of replacing the defrost timer.  Still does it.  The timer is my next stop.  

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This may or may not help, however, it should be done once a year regardless. On the bottom front of the fridge there will be a removable grille.....pull it off, stick a shop vac with narrow nozzle in there and vacuum the radiator fins thoroughly. My fridge was doing something similar to yours and I removed the grille just to have a look. Well, there was a thick dust bunny in there big enough to choke a horse. The fridge works perfectly now.

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11 hours ago, Jay in the Bay said:

Thanks. I figured its that.  Sny recommendations on a tool to use to clean it?

Idea that comes to mind. String trimmer line, it’s thick and stiff. Warm it up to straighten and push down the hose. Once you’ve got it through add a piece of string and pull that through. If you have a gun cleaning snake you can use that or make your own with the string and a small piece of rag. 

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12 hours ago, Jay in the Bay said:

Thanks. I figured its that.  Sny recommendations on a tool to use to clean it?

Not sure where it is or how you get to it.  I have a bottom freezer and had to remove drawers and slides, ice maker, rear panel to get to it.  Then I could have used anything.  Piece of trimmer string might be a good idea if you can see it

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For show and tell, if you have access to a simple thermometer with a cable, insert the remote sensor into the freezer compartment and monitor the high and low memories that are recorded.  During the defrost cycle, a heating element inside the freezer compartment cycles "ON" and warms the cooling coils, to the extent that the ice formed on the coils melts.  The atmosphere in the freezer section will vary from below freezing to above freezing.   The water produced from melted ice needs to drain from the freezer compartment.  Sometimes, the water exit path becomes blocked and things begin to back up.

 

You might find a hose running externally from and along the back side of the freezer compartment.  The condensate will normally be routed to a pan below the refrigerator, where it is allowed to evaporate, until the next defrost cycle begins.

 

Standing water created by the freezer defrost heater, in the freezer compartment, will eventually find a path from the freezer that leads to mess somewhere, usually.  You may never even see water and the melted ice is just retained behind the freezer panels and grows larger and larger.  During this time, the freezer loses efficiency as the ice starts to insulate the cooling cooling, adversely.  Anyway, the blockage that occurs can, over time, develop into a substantial piece of ice that will not thaw during the designed defrost cycle.  Any type of additional contamination can aggravate any blockage of the drain hole in the freezer itself.

 

If you unplug the fridge to allow for a thorough melt of all freezer section ice, Do Not under estimate the amount of frozen water in the freezer.  During the unplugged thaw, you may become surprised at how much water runs from the freezer, while you are sleeping or away.  That water can flood the floor and damage wood floors, for example.

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I have some experience with fridges/freezers.  Could be one or a combination of a few things but these are the key things.  The drain line could have an obstruction as mentioned above that is keeping condensate from flowing after a defrost cycle so everything refreezes and essentially compounds on itself after each defrost cycle.  Defrost timer has a problem. It's usually a failed contact that connects to the heat element.  Defrost heating element or defrost heating element sensor is bad. In this situation, it's most likely the sensor that is bad. The sensor basically a temperature sensitive switch and it's an internal contact that fails. Rarely the element fails. A basic, volt/ohm meter to do some continuity tests is all you need.  If it were me, I would do this. Purchase a new timer and a thermal sensor and replace them. Then clean the drain line.  Most recent drain line problem I came across was a garlic clove right at the opening.  Any of these will cause the coil to freeze up and reduce efficiency.

Edited by rwalter7

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My problem was caused by a frozen drain line to the drip pan under the fridge. Part store sells a small metal piece you attach to the defrost heating element and put in the drain line. Problem solved for under $20. Google repair clinic for a video & actual part needed

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Once you clean it, the hole and grill, spray wd 40 in the ( dry ) hole.

And keep the grill at least 10 cm away from the wall.

Edited by glos

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On 3/20/2020 at 8:37 AM, playhard said:

For show and tell, if you have access to a simple thermometer with a cable, insert the remote sensor into the freezer compartment and monitor the high and low memories that are recorded.

I had a episode with my fridge last week and I was thrilled to use my newish multiprobe meat thermometer that sends data bluetooth to the phone where it graphs the temp. I replaced the mainboard on the Samsung and defrosted the coils. It seems OK, but the problem is I don't have a baseline of what the actual temps are when it was functioning "perfectly".  I have a probe in the top and middle of the fridge and the temps between them can vary by >10 deg. And while the fridge is set to 34, hey never get below 37 or so. But is that "normal"?  

 

I've concluded that these digital readout devices like ranges and fridges are programmed not to show the normal variation that a thermostatically controlled device has because it would freak people out. So when you turn on the fridge (or our new range oven) it shows the temp slowly get to setpoint, and then it never leaves it, essentially lying about the temp from then on. When my fridge gets whacky, it'll show 34 deg but it's obviously way warmer inside, when I cycle the power, suddenly it'll read 60 deg!

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