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Old 02-28-2007, 11:53 AM
Opus1 Opus1 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Tucson, AZ, USA
Posts: 1,242
Whirlpool fridge problem: ice buildup--with picture!

My freezer has been gradually growing a sheet of ice along the bottom right side for the last month or so. There also seems to be a fair amount of water dripping into the fridge compartment (it's a freezer on top model). I thought that part of the problem could be caused by an ice buildup in one of the internal parts: somehow water got where it wasn't supposed to, froze, and is now blocking proper drainage. So yesterday I unplugged the thing and waited for all the ice to melt and then sopped up all the water.

This morning I check and while there isn't an ice sheet yet, I do notice that one section has once again filled with ice. Here
is a picture of the freezer compartment. On the bottom shelf, the thing in the middle that juts out from the back has a moat running around it about a quarter inch wide and deep. That moat is completely filled with ice. I have a feeling it's not supposed to be. I'm guessing it's just a matter of time before I start having problems again.

Any ideas on what's causing this problem and how I fix it? Thanks.
Old 02-28-2007, 12:03 PM
Squink Squink is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 20,327
That 'moat' usually has a plastic tube connected to it that runs down to the evaporation pan under the fridge. The tube sometimes gets clogged with fungus and goo, which caused water to back up and freeze. Forcing some water through the tube should clean it out.

Last edited by Squink; 02-28-2007 at 12:04 PM. Reason: fungus is not a funguy
Old 02-28-2007, 12:24 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 10,430
As Quink says, I've had this problem with my GE fridge. Stupid GE repairman couldn't fix it ($75 service call) so I used my garden sprayer to force a jet of air through the tube. All the nasty stuff dropped like it should have into the evaporator tray underneath and it was fine. I took the added precaution of running bleach water down the drain several times over the course of an hour or two to ensure that whatever was in there wouldn't re-reproduce.

I still have pooling problems, though. For some reason during defrost cycles water pools up underneath the fan that blows air into the refrigerator below. After multiple defrost cycles, the fan eventually gets frozen into the ice and then there's no more refrigerator cooling. At least you get warning several cycles early, as the fan blades will provide audible feedback as they drag across the accumulating ice. I've replaced the fridge recently (kitchen project justified it), but it still irks me that I couldn't find a solution. The drain is open, and it's the only drain. There's a path for the water to move from below the fan to the drain, but the water just doesn't cross. I took the trouble to perfectly level the fridge and everything. ::shrug::
Old 02-28-2007, 12:29 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Voting anti-obamanation
Posts: 10,300
In addition to Squink's suggestion, do a seal check with a dollar bill, or other denomination. Close the freezer door on a bill and then attempt to slide the bill around the perimeter of the door. It should encounter firm resistance everywhere. If you find a spot where the bill slips out easily, the seal might be deformed, allowing excess humidity to enter the freezer compartment.
Crows. Keeping our highways clear of roadkill for over 80 years
Old 02-28-2007, 12:35 PM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,581
I agree with the previous suggestions, but wanted to point out that you made me smile with the "Lean Cuisine" next to the mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Also, what is the "vegetable birds nest" product?
Old 02-28-2007, 01:00 PM
Trunk Trunk is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Baltobama, YesWeCanyland
Posts: 9,764
I'm concerned about the lack of beer glasses and vodka bottles in your freezer.
Old 02-28-2007, 01:33 PM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,581
^hehe. My freezer at home currently has a bottles of Belvedere, Grey Goose, Skyy, and Jagermeister. Other than that there is a ziplock bag of tomatoes and a couple boxes of vegie burgers.
Old 02-28-2007, 06:08 PM
robcaro robcaro is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Posts: 1,420
I have a Whirlpool Refrigerator that looks like yours. It had an ice buildup problem similar to yours. I had the technicians come to look at it. They opened up the back and bottom of the freezer and cleaned out a lot of ice. They also replaced the icemaker unit and the problem quit.
A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour. ~Elbert Hubbard
Old 02-28-2007, 09:42 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,893
It's also possible that the defrost cycle timer has stopped...usually due to a lubrication failure IME. I've managed to free up several of these, and re-lubed with kerosine, they seem to run for many more years....they are not expensive, but the appliance parts place is not open on weekends when I have time to dig into a troublesome fridge, so I have had motivation to try to fix.


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