How To Fix A Leaking Freezer

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    One of our friends asked a question about their freezer. They want to know why their freezer is leaking and how do they fix it.

    This is a pretty common problem and the solution is really easy. They own a side by side refrigerator freezer unit so the problem with the melting isn’t going to ruin the food in their refrigerator but if you own a top and bottom refrigerator the freezer can cause water to leak into the refrigerator and it can cause damage to your food.

    In our home because we have a top bottom unit I keep a small dish at the back of the fridge on the top shelf and put a hand towel under it to catch any spillage. If you have the same type that I do look in the back of your refrigerator near the top shelf. You will likely see a drain tube that will allow water from the freezer to drain out into the fridge.

    I had another over under that had the drain tube directed to a small aluminum pan that sat on top of the refrigerant compressor. As the compressor ran it would heat the water in the pan and help it evaporate. This was a nice design but eventually the pan got a small hole an required repair.

    I guess technically we are suppose to defrost our refrigerators about once a year and sometimes I do this on a nice day in the spring or fall when I am cleaning the refrigerator. Defrosting is when you allow the refrigerator and freezer to get to room temperature and this will take longer than you think because the internal parts like the drain lines are surrounded by insulation.

    In the case of over under refrigerators you are likely to have the drain in the fridge. In side by side refrigerators you are likely to have the drain tube at the bottom of the freezer and it will most likely run to a holding pan.

    It is normal for your freezer to cycle and cause this water to form continually while it runs. However when you defrost your freezer any remaining ice in the freezer drain line will be released all at once.

    So, If you ever had a loss of temperature in your freezer this drain line may overfill any holding pan. This can happen in a loss of power or it can happen in the winter if you have a garage refrigerator when the compressor senses the temperature outside of the refrigerator is lower than the temperature inside. So any time that the surrounding air gets below about 30f to 40f the compressor will not turn on or not turn on often enough to keep the freezer cold and the inside of the freezer might actually get warm. Whatever the reason you need to cure the problem.



    If you have a fridge manual you may be told where the drain tube and water holding pan is located. If you don’t have a manual you will have to explore and find it yourself.

    Take the front grill off of the fridge and look under it for any holding pans.

    Slip your finger into the pan and feel for water. If there is water try your best to remove or drain the water out of the pan.

    If you have a over under refrigerator I can suggest what I do and put a small bowl in the back of the fridge on a towel and check it once in a while. When the water drains from the freezer it will be cold and you can probably expect it to form ice in the bowl. Be careful that you don’t overlook it and let it overflow.

    If you have a clog in the drain line this can be difficult to fix it may require partial removal of access plates and maybe compressed air being forced through that drain line and then maybe a concentrated bleach to make sure any bacteria that might have formed and clogged the drain is removed.


    Final Note

    A little water from the freezer isn’t something to be alarmed about it may just mean ice has formed in the drain line and you need to defrost the freezer.

    It may also mean that your drainage pan is overflowing or has a hole from age and rust.

    The cost to fix this problem can be nothing or it may require professional service if you can not unclog a blocked drain tube.

    Access to the service manuals for all of your appliances especially your more expensive ones is very important. You could have ended up calling out a service technician to be charged $300 for a call that was nothing more than the need to unplug your freezer for half a day and let it thaw.






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