Question about Kenmore 64802 Top Freezer Refrigerator

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A leak from the fridge

For the past couple days, I have had what looks like oil leaking from my fridge. Its black but don't really smell like oil. It is coming from the left front of the fridge. Like right at the leg. As far as I know there is no kind of motor there. It was suggested that the water pan be full and it could be black water. But there is no way to empty the pan. Plus that pan is above the compressor in the back. Has anyone had this problem or have any suggestions? Thanks,

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  • Lisa Tyndall Jun 22, 2007

    Here is a picture of what is leaking. Like I said its black like oil but not as thick. But like you said there are different kinds of oil. I will check the water pan first. Even though I don't understand how could leak from up front. But there is no telling.

    I will let you know what I find.

    THanks for your help

  • JuiceW1 Dec 07, 2009

    I don't have a solution but I have the same problem. First it was with the fridge at our home, looked exactly like the photo only more liquid. Almost looks like soy sauce, but doesn't smell like anything. It dissolves easily with water clean up. We couldn't figure it out, so we cleaned it up and forgot about it. THEN we are moving to a different house. I clean the fridge at that house, next day same black puddle on the front corners of the fridge at new place. Nothing in the fridge to spill. '~' The only common denominator is that I had recently cleaned both fridges when I found the black puddle. I'm still confused......

  • Adam Jacobs Jun 09, 2012

    I have the same phenomenon. Smells very similar to soy sauce. Some kind of fermentation going on in there or something. Maybe I should try it on some rice, one might be able to achieve an enlightened state of mind from consuming this substance. I love you rare and mysterious black fridge sauce.



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Without knowing a bit more about the black fluid it is hard to guess where it could come from - in a fridge there should be no black fluid and the only oils are mixed in with the refrigerant so the fridge will not be working if any noticeable amount is leaking out, as the gas will leak out as well. As you mentioned, the most likely liquid is water from inside the fridge or condensation from inside or outside that has bacteria growing causing the blackness. this sort of water may usually only be in the water tray at the back but there are many possibilities of it leaking out somewhere else - only way to check is to get the fridge running, up on four chairs or a VERY strong glass table so you can see where it is comning from. Another possibility is that there is some insect, plant or rodent factor - the moist warm space under a fridge is quite popular and they can produce their own liquids and also especially rodents cause unpredictable holes and damage all over the place. also can only be checked by looking very closely at the source of the liquid. The last possible cause i can think of is some sort of corrosion - i have not heard of this type of corrosion with a fridge, but it is quite common on steel ships - salty humidity and chemicals (cleaners/cargo etc) reacting strangely with the paint or steel are normally blamed - just think if you get too many strong cleaning products near the bottom of the fridge and look for general condition of the paint/metal underneath you should be able to see it easily if the black fluid was in any significant quantity - there would usually be a sort of rusty look to the fluid, but not always depending on the combination of chemicals present. Where you describe the fluid coming from, sounds like it could be from the door insulation - maybe leaking through the bottom hinge holes - check that nothing is leaking into the door from inside, although condensation can easily happen in the door body itself if the insulation has separated slightly from the "skin" of the door inside. Last thing to try is to investigate the fluid itself a bit more closely - get some on a piece of kitchen paper towel or a coffee filter and then wet the paper with water also just next to the fluid- the parts of the liquid should separate out a little as the water soaks through the paper and you may just see something that looks familiar. If you get no luck post back and try to describe exactly what the fluid does smell like, without trying to imagine smells like "oil" which means nothing as they are all different and in particular fridge lubricants are relatively odourless. think of things you actually know the smell of and try and describe it in those terms - if you feel brave then it may be worth tasting the liquid - just taste a tiny tiny bit on a cotton bud/Q-tip dabbed on a few different areas of your tongue and then wash your mouth out with mouthwash straight after instead of spitting or swallowing - I know it sounds dangerous and disgusting but it is the way that many professionals identify unknown substances as taste has a much more specific "database" in the brain than smell has. just be sensible. Hope this helps - post back if not - photographs may help if you have a digital camera, especially of the coffee filter test if you get round to it :) Good luck

Posted on Jun 22, 2007

  • Nigel Ridehalgh
    Nigel Ridehalgh Jun 22, 2007

    ps - the comment about condensation in the door also can apply to the side walls of the fridge in the same way :)

  • Nigel Ridehalgh
    Nigel Ridehalgh Jun 22, 2007

    Sorry the photo only deepens the mystery - nothing i think i have seen before but let me know when you figure where it comes from.

    Another idea a friend suggested is that some sort of degradation of rubber/plastic feet or similar (sometimes happens if in contact with certain chemicals) could be the source of the blackness - if the fridge has such feet then just rubbing them will soon tell you if this is an issue.

    Good luck :)


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I know this is old, but my refridgerator started doing just this same thing. Its been awfully humid lately, so its possible that it may be condensation of some sort, but I had a large puddle leak out almost all at once (very similar to the picture) and it smelled very metallic, like rust almost. I also noticed the leak was focused around the front feet, on both sides.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009


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