Tip & How-To about Refrigerators

Water leak from freezer? Ice on freezer floor?

Water leaks can come from may sources, this tip is designed to help with water that is from the freezer due to a defrost drain not working properly.

The Basics:

Frost free refrigerators have automatic defrost cycles. Without this automatic cycle the cooling coils would become covered in frost and the cold air could not circulate where needed. To rid the coils of frost every 8 to 10 hours a heater is activated for around 15 minutes, this is long enough to eliminate the frost but not long enough to warm the freezer temperature. During this defrost cycle the water that is created by the frost thawing is designed to flow down a drain into a pan under the refrigerator and evaporate from the heat produced by the compressor and condenser.

The Problem:

The drain that the defrost water flows down can get restricted and plug up or drain so slow it freezes. Depending on the model of refrigerator it can be a very easy fix or a bit more complex.

The Solution:

Locate the evaporator (cooling coils) they are going to be in the freezer section behind the shelves and back wall. On some side by side models you can simply remove the lower bin (drawer or shelf) from the freezer and you can see the drain opening. On most models both side by side, top mounted and bottom mounted freezers you will need to remove the panel from inside the freezer, this will require unplugging the refrigerator, removing the food and shelves and the panel behind the shelves, on some models you will need to remove an ice maker to get this panel off.

Once the panel is off you should see a tray, pan or trough that the water drips into off of the coils. In this pan will be a hole about the size of dime. This is the drain. If heavy ice is built up, you may not see it.

Be careful working around the evaporator coils, they can be sharp and also are very fragile, do not poke, chisel or pound on them. To remove the ice use hot water or a hair dryer. If a hair dryer is used be careful not to get the plastic walls of the freezer too hot. Use towels to capture the water as the ice melts, you do not want the water running on the floor.

Once the ice is gone and the drain opening is visible, take a turkey baster or syringe and squirt very hot water down the drain until the water runs down it freely. It make take a while, depending on how far down the blockage is. Have towels around the sides and front of the refrigerator to absorb any water that spills out of the pan when working on this and for a few hours after. Once the drain is clear, reassemble and enjoy a leak free refrigerator.

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1 Answer


Open freezer, remove lower crisper & look for solid ice on freezer floor & area at rear of freezer. If present, defrost drain is restricted. Depending on make & model remove ice, remove rear wall and clear defrost drain trough and drain path. Verify by removing kick panel, pour a cup of near boiling water through drain and watch as it drains into pan. Once clear, pour one ounce of bleach into drain tube. Also check as water is draining into pan that the pan is not leaking due to pan cracks. This solution is based on the fact that you are stating no hoses are bad.

Mar 27, 2012 | Freezers

1 Answer

Hello i have an admiral fridge freezer model number GS2126CEDW.water keeps leaking from the freezer at the front left hand side.there is also a build of of frozen water at the bottom of the freezer.I have only just defrosted it.Please help.


The most likely source of that water is a frozen/blocked drain for the defrost drain at the bottom of the freezer behind the back wall of the freezer.Its a fairly common problem so i have written this tip explaining how to clean that drain for the defrost.


Oct 12, 2011 | Admiral 26 cu. ft. Side-By-Side...

1 Answer

I would like to download a manual for Krnmore freezer 253. I tried to defrost, water came out of the bottom, not the designated spot. Jackie

The defrost drain is clogged in your Kenmore freezer .Due to this water is coming out of bottom.-------- The drain hole needs to be cleared.--------You can pour hot water to melt ice around drain . To see where the drain hole is located, and to get the manual, click the link below:--- http://technoanswers.blogspot.com/2011/08/kenmore-freezer-253-nor-draining-water.html ----------- This will help.Thanks.Helpmech.

Aug 03, 2011 | Kenmore Freezers

1 Answer

my GE fridge is leaking water on the freezer side


This would be due to the defrost drain being clogged. The automatic defrost cycle melts the frost on the evaporator every few hours and the water from that is suppose to flow down a drain tube, if the drain becomes restricted the water will leak out the freezer door. Here is a link to some instructions I put together on how to clean it out.

Defrost Drain Cleaning

Jul 18, 2010 | GE Refrigerators

1 Answer

Freezer on top leaks water into fridge during defrost of freezer


This would be due to a clog in the defrost drain. I have put together some information on cleaning this out. Follow the link below and let me know if it was helpful.

Defrost Drain Cleaning

May 21, 2010 | Refrigerators

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