Looks like there is a drip pan in front of motor - the drip pan is filled with something that looks like congealed cooking fat. How do you get the drip pan out to clean it? I've taken off the cardboard cover on the back but it doesn't appear there is any way to get the drip pan out to clean it. Help!
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My name is Peter. I am a retired field service refrigeration technician.
Plastic holds odors. The smell may not becoming from your drain pan, but more likely the liner.
What to do:
1.) Remove the shelves, ice bucket and crisper drawers and scrub them with a baking soda base cleaner.
2.) Scrub the liner walls.
3 .) There are deodorizers especially made for refrigerators; One for the fresh food section and one especially for the freezer section. You can get these for any appliance store.
4.) Ok, lets check the drain pan.
a.) Unplug your unit or turn the main breaker off.
b.) Raise the two leveling screws in the front to allow you tp pull your unit out.
c.) Having enough room to get behind your unit, unscrew the bottom cover.
d.) Observe. You either have the terrible drain pan design, where the drain pan is fixed on the top of the compressor with hi-temp adhesive. Do not attempt to remove. Over time the adhesive dries out and the drain pan falls off.
The other type of drain pan is almost just as bad. You have to unbolt the compressor and other things to access. Do not attempt this.
What field technicians do when there is a drain pan leak, is repair the leak with duct tape and a high temperature silicone adhesive. In this case if there is an odor, sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda around the drain pan.
If you are referring to the drip pan that on the bottom of the fridge, that could be the source of your odor problem. Take the pan out and check to see what is in it. Normally there should only be just water that comes from the defrost cycle.
You may have had something drip and somehow get under the fridge. I know blood dripping from meat will smell. It could have dripped down through the defrost drain tube to the pan underneath. You can access the pan from the rear by removing the cardboard cover. If the smell seems to be coming from the pan, it's difficult to remove so I would just pour some bleach in it to kill any smell and you may can wipe it out from there. The drain tube may also have the smell in it so you can pour some bleach into it from the inside of the freezer at the bottom of the rear panel. You can move the fridge to see if anything is pooled on the floor that might smell.
Is it a musty smell or that of something / (rodent) decomposing? If you only smell it when it is running then look for BLACK gunk that will probably appear almost like a paste. Even things like cat or dog hair will collect in damp areas. There should be a white plastic drip pan under your unit. Look for the freezer white plastic drain hose on the rear bottom of your unit on the freezer side and follow that hose to the drip pan. It catches water every time the unit defrosts which is 3 - 4 times a day depending on which defrost timer your unit has.
Usually there is a build up in the drip pan that gets mucky and then stinks like mold. It will of course need cleaned.
Also look at the fan area for the coils. Sometimes there are unwanterd home critters that attempt to get through the running fan blades and end dead up inside the cooling coil metal radiator area.
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You may have had something drip and somehow get under the
fridge. I know blood dripping from meat will smell. It could have dripped down
through the defrost drain tube to the pan underneath. You can access the pan
from the rear by removing the cardboard cover. If the smell seems to be coming
from the pan, it's difficult to remove so I would just pour some bleach in it
to kill any smell and you may can wipe it out from there. The drain tube may
also have the smell in it so you can pour some bleach into it from the inside
of the freezer at the bottom of the rear panel. You can move the fridge to see
if anything is pooled on the floor that might smell.
I had the same problem, but just fixed it. I have a maytag bottom freezer and when the fan blower comes on, there was a foul/stale smell that permeated the kitchen. There is no drip pan that I could remove to clean.
I just removed four screws from the back cover of the fan blower area, reached in with a small cup of organic odor remover and poured it into the drip pan just under the fan blower.
Any odor remover would work. probably vinegar or enzyme odor remover would work, too.
I now have fresh smell when the fan blower comes on.
You have a couple possibilities. Either something spilled in the frig and ran down into the drip pan or you have a dead critter under there. The pan is not removable and cleaning it is a pain. take a good look under there from the back and the front. Eric
I just had the same problem with my kenmore side by side. I have been noticing a nasty smell for the last couple weeks when the fan comes on. My husband just took the whole back of the refrigerator apart and put a flashlight in there. We could see the drip-pan and it was filled with stinky black mold!! It was very hard to remove, but he managed to get it out by taking the lower front (where the filter goes) apart and then he was able to slide out the drip pan and clean it out! Problem solved.....but Kenmore should really make the drip pan more accessable!
Thank willie for helping with one:
"Well, it looks like the pan is a seperate plastic pan and not the compressor mounting pan like some of the newer ones are.
It appears that you have to remove the condensor fan motor and mounting bracket then maybe the pan will left up and over the compressor, or maybe there is enough room to lift the pan up and out the front over the condensor coils"