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Plugged defrost drain line in KitchenAid Refrigerator KTRS22KHBT00

We have had this unit in continuous operation since 2000 and recently encountered water dripping into the refrig compartment from the air vents just below the freezer. Removed the freezer drawer and assembly and found the freezer floor covered with ice and the drain line at the back of the unit, frozen. Removed the ice and melted the plugged line (using a hair drier and boiling wate) Line now appears clear. I assume something plugged the drain and it eventually froze? How did something get into the line or is their some other issue related to the line getting plugged? Thanks, Fred

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  • frreev6 Jan 13, 2009

    Thanks, you were right on the money! We aren't sure what may have clogged the line, but we decided that at least once a year we would use a small, flexible brush to "clean out" the line.

  • roy_loveall_ Feb 22, 2009

    freezer line in freeze froze. How do you get to the line.

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If the freezer is on top then empty out the freezer and remove the bottom and back liner of the freezer compartment usually phillips screws. In the back you will see the freezer coils along with a defrost element. Below these two items u will see a drip tray that collects water from the coils on defrost cycle, in the center of the pan will be a drain hole that connects to a hose that leads to a pan under the refrigerator.Normally the water is collected there and evaporated. The hole in the tray in the freezer is clogged. Thaw it and clean it until you can pour water in it and it goes to the pan down below. please rate me
algae, bread ties andf other thing mysteriously get in there and clogg it

Posted on Jan 13, 2009

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Even though I flush water down drain tube and seems to be clear, ice builds on pan quickly, must defrost manually every month??

Posted on Feb 28, 2010

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1 Answer

My KitchenAid KTRC22KK leaks below when hooking up to water line. The leak is not at the connection, but under the refrigerator. ???


Hello, You would have to pull the unit out away from the wall and remove the rear panel down the bottom that gives you access to the compressor area. You can see if the leak is coming from either one of the water lines or if the leak is coming from the compressor drain pan. The compressor drain pan is where the water that is defrosted off the evaporator coil goes down a hole with a tube attached to it into this drain pan in which the compressor fan in the unit is supposed to evaporate the water. Try removeing the rear panel on the inside back wall of the freezer couple 1/4" screws. This will give you access to the evaporator coil. If you see any ice build up on the evaporator or under the evaporator blocking the drain then your unit would be having a defrost issue. Message me back after you check for the defrost issue and also the compressor drain pan if these are clear then you would have to diagnose if your unit had water or ice going to the door both of these water lines. I await your reply Thanks Rick
p.s if your unit does have water going to the door also assure the connection that goes into the bottom of the door is not broken or cut as well I will look up your schematic when you respond if you need me to point out any areas of this repair

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This sounds like a defrost problem. Which could be the heater, the terminator, or the defrost timer. If the heater burned out, it's a good idea to replace the terminator as well.

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I have a top freezer/refrigerator and notice that ice is accumulating in the freezer and underneath the freezer in the fridge. What are my settings supposed to be set at? What should I do?


It sounds as if your refrigerator has stopped automatic defrosting of the evaporator coil or has a plugged defrost drain.. Below is some information provided by: www.repairclinic.com, to help you understand what may be wrong with your unit. If it is not cooling properly, you may be able to get it cooling again, temporarily by removing all perishable items, unplugging the unit, and allowing it to stand idle wth the doors open. This will allow the ice to melt, which will allow air flow to resume normally through the unit. Allow several hours for the ice to thaw completely, then close the doors and return it to an operational status. Put water in both compartments and when satisfied with the results of temperature, i.e. frozen in freezer and cold in fresh food compartment, you can put perishables back in. This will allow normal operation for only about a week until the defective part gets replaced, then it will start warming up again.
If the drain is plugged then the diagrams should show the routing so you can clean it out.
Today, all but the smaller, apartment-sized refrigerators are self-defrosting. Self-defrosting means what it implies--though frost continues to accumulate inside the refrigerator, it melts automatically. The self-defrosting system has three functional components:

Defrost timer
Defrost heater
Defrost thermostat.
Defrost timer The timer is like a clock. It continually advances, 24 hours a day. Every 6 to 8 hours, the timer turns off the cooling system of the refrigerator and turns on the defrost heater.

Defrost heater The defrost heater is similar to the burners on an electric stove. It's located just beneath the cooling coils, which are concealed behind a panel in the freezer compartment. The heater gets hot. And, because it's close to the cooling coils, any ice or frost build-up melts.

As the frost and ice melt, the resulting water drips into a trough. The trough is connected to a tube that drains the water into a shallow pan at the bottom of the refrigerator. The water is then evaporated by a fan that blows warm air from the compressor motor over the pan and out the front of the refrigerator.

Defrost thermostat The process ends after either the amount of time specified on the timer or when the defrost thermostat near the cooling coils senses that the heat near the coils has reached a specific temperature.


Detailed parts diagram:
http://www.repairclinic.com/Refrigerator-Freezer-On-Top-Appliance-Diagram

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there is a drip pan located underneath you ref but most likely your prob is a plugged drain line coming from the freezer. when you ref goes into automatic def the water doesnt run out into the drip pan but instead onto your floor..

you can clean the drain line by removing the rear cover in the freezer compartment and using hot water to thaw the drain below the evap coil.

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I can offer a suggestion. It sounds like you have a plugged defrost drain line. This is where the water goes to in the bottom of your freezer when it goes through the defrost (removal of ice from the freezer coil) cycle. It sounds like that hole is plugged and now the water/ice has now frozen in the vent that lets air circulate down into your refrigerator compartment. What I usually do in this case is to unplug the refrigerator, empty out the freezer compartment. Usually I also end up either pulling off the back panel or the bottom panel (in the freezer compartment) Looking for that defrost drain hole and thawing it out with a heat gun (be careful of melting plastic) or actually I use a hair dryer. I can sometimes do this also by pouring small amounts of HOT tap water onto it and then sopping/absorbing it away with a sponge or dishcloth. I repeat this until I get the water to go down the drain tube

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