Question about Sub-Zero Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

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Ice build up condensation will not drain down the tube to the catch pan under the refiridgerator. As much as 3 inches of ice will build up between the veg bins, causing mold builup in fridge, Model 550 frezer is set on #1 drain tube is freezing between catch basin and collection tray.

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I had the same problem but fixed it recently. The problem originates with the drain trough mounted on the back interior wall of the fridge that slopes down into the middle. The drain tube is attached at this point and runs to the pan under the unit. This drain trough is screwed to the interior and sealed with silicone caulking. Over time the caulking breaks free from the interior wall of the fridge allowing the defrosted water to leak past the trough, collecting in the bottom of the compartment under the veggie drawer. It freezes there building up an ice ***** that eventuallly wraps around the drain tube. Any water that now runs into the tube freezes in place over time forming an ice plug preventing any drainage at all. Now the defrosted water begins to flood the interior of the fridge eventually leaking out which it did in our situtation.

There are two solutions. One is to take off the drain trough, clean it up and the interior wall of the fridge. Also thaw out the ice plug in the drain tube and make sure it is clean and drains freely. I used hot water and a syringe to inject it into the tube until the ice melted. Dry everything off. Reattach the drain trough using silicone caulking approved for kitchen/bath use. You may have to shut down the fridge and warm it up to meet the application temperature limit of the silicpne. The other solution is simpler. After cleaning and drying the drain trough, I applied an adhesive backed closed cell foam rubber gasket (3/16" thick automotive) to the back surface of the trough that sits against the interior wall of the fridge when in place. When screwed back in place, the gasket is compressed preventing water from leaking past. The fridge does not have to be warmed up for this fix. It has been in place for a few months now with now problems.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009

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I HAD THIS PROBLEM ALSO. I DISCONNECTED THE DOWNSPOUT TUBE AND SNAKED/WRIGGLED A PIECE OF FLEXIBLE COPPER WIRE DOWN THE TUBE. I USED MULTISTRAND 12 GAUGE, 24 INCHES OR SO, STRIPED THE INSULATION AND APPLIED ELECTRICAL TAPE ABOUT EVERY 1 1/2 INCHES TO KEEP THE STRAND TOGETHER. WRIGGLED IT DOWN AS FAR AS POSSIBLE, PUT IT UP THROUGH THE DOWNSPOUT DRAIN, BEHIND THE RUBBER SEAL SO IT ENDED UP ON THE BACK WALL OF THE FRIDGE AND TAPED IT THERE. I HAVE HAD NO PROBLEM FOR OVER A YEAR WHERE BEFORE I WAS DEFROSTING THIS EVERY MONTH OR SO. THIS CAN ALL BE DONE WITHOUT PULLING THE FRIDGE.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

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Kenmore refrigerator


Hi David
In the freezer compartment - under the panel where the water / ice is collecting - towards the back - is a small pan. The pan collects the water when the defroster cycles on to melt ice & frost that collects on the cold coil behind the back wall panel. The pan has an opening with a small tube connected that allows the water to drain out to the larger pan on the floor under the fridge.
If the tube is clogged, the water will not drain and will eventually freeze. Every time the defrost comes on, some of this water will collect under the panel and drip into the fridge compartment if the drain remains frozen.
You will need to clear any obstruction in the drain tube with a short, flexible snake. Access it from the freezer compartment. Remove any built up ice and make sure the pan has not been bent or damaged in such a way that it will no longer allow the water to get to the drain tube. If the tube is clogged due to ice, you will have to thaw it out first. Squirt hot water down the tube to do this quickly - I used a turkey baster and towels in the freezer with excellent results. After the ice has been cleared - use the snake to make sure the tube is open. Replace / repair parts as needed.
After clearing, pour some water down the tube to check for flow. If flowing, empty the drain pan on the floor under the fridge. Next, mix up about 6 to 8 ounces of a 10% bleach + 90% water solution to pour into the drain you cleared. This will kill any biological (mold, etc.) blockage in the tube. Empty the drain pan on the floor under the fridge again - but be extra careful as it has bleach in it.
My fridge did this to me several times before I figured out that ice was blocking my drain. I got a piece of #10 copper wire - long enough to hang from something above (coil, heater, etc.) in the coil compartment down about 4 - 6 inches into the drain tube. Doing this allows the warm air from the heated space during defrost cycles to be conducted down the copper wire into the drain tube - making it it impossible to freeze up. It works perfectly! I recommend a #12 or 10 copper wire, but aluminum works well too. I'd stay away from steel or anything that can corrode - because it will.
Good luck!

Jun 13, 2013 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Where is the drain hole? The refrigerator is defrosting and the condensation is under the bottom drawers instead of the pan beneath the frig. I can't find the place where the water should be draining...


The drain is in the FREEZER. Frost and ice melts off the evaporator coil during the defrost cycle and collects in a tray directly under the coil. The tray is pitched to the drain tube that runs inside the fridge wall to a pan under the fridge - where the water is evaporated by the heat created by the compressor and the fan that cools the condenser coil.

To see these parts, unplug the fridge. You'll need to remove the inside rear wall of the freezer. That means the freezer needs to emptied, ice maker removed, etc. Chances are that the drain is clogged - most likely with ice. Manually defrost with a hair dryer and use a turkey baster filled with hot water to direct a stream into the drain tube. Resist using tools to chip ice - the components are made with soft metal and if punctured will allow freon gas to escape. You can suffer instant frostbite to exposed skin or blindness if it gets into your eyes. Once water is flowing, consider hanging a piece of copper or aluminum wire from the defrost heater down into the drain tube. Make sure the wire hangs down as far as the ice build up did (2 or 3 inches at most). This will help conduct the heat into the drain tube and prevent it from icing over in the future.

I hope this was helpful. If it was, please rate it "4 thumbs up". Thanks!

Aug 01, 2011 | Whirlpool Refrigerators

1 Answer

Ice build up under tray inside freezer. The water started leaking inside the fridge. I now clean the ice 1-2 times per week.


Drain tube The evaporator coils frost up in normal use and every eight hours or so the entire unit shuts down and the defrost heater comes on to melt the frost. This cycle last about 20 minutes. The melted frost drips into a drain pan and through a drain tube to the drain tray under the freezer/refrigerator where it's evaporated by the condenser fan.

Your drain tube may be stopped up with ice at the upper end because it drains too slow because it's stopped up at the lower end in the evaporator pan under the unit at the floor. It can get dust and mold in it. Once you get the ice out at the top a little pressure with a turkey baster will usually clear it out. Flushing it out with hot water and clorox may help. Make sure it drains quick enough to prevent refreezing. . The drain should be located below the evaporator coils on the back of the freezer.

Jul 09, 2010 | Whirlpool 21.0 cu. ft. Top Freezer...

2 Answers

Freezer side is leaking water & temp is 25


Your evaporator coils frost up in normal use and every eight hours or so the entire unit shuts down and the defrost heater comes on to melt the frost. This cycle last about 20 minutes. The melted frost drips into a drain pan and through a drain tube to the drain tray under the freezer/refrigerator where it's evaporated by the condenser fan.


Your drain tube may be stopped up with ice at the upper end because it drains too slow because it's stopped up at the lower end in the evaporator pan under the unit at the floor. It can get dust and mold in it. Once you get the ice out at the top a little pressure with a turkey baster will usually clear it out. Flushing it out with hot water and clorox may help.
Make sure it drains quick enough to prevent refreezing. . The drain should be located below the evaporator coils on the lower back of the freezer.

Oct 12, 2009 | Jenn-Air JCD2389G Side by Side...

1 Answer

Side by side leaking water from under freezer side


Hello, this sounds like you have a blockage in the drain tube, remove panel back/bottom of freezer..you may see ice build up...melt ice with hair dryer/heat gun...you will see a pan below evaporator...melt ice in pan...dry water up in pan with paper towel...now you should see a hole in pan that leads to drain tube...pour some hot water in pan..wait a couple minutes..mop up water and repeat this step 2-3 times....once you have done this find some flexible curatain wire or electrical wire..poke down the hole until you see the water drain..now it is clear..put back panel back and you are good to go. The reason you see water in the fridge is because the water has been leaking into the freezer and down the vent into the fridge instead of running into the drain hole...Please feel free to comment again if you need any further assistance. Mike

Sep 15, 2009 | Hotpoint HSS25GFP Side by Side...

2 Answers

Leaks water in the refrigerator down the back under


Hello, this sounds like you have a blockage in the drain tube, remove panel back/bottom of freezer..you may see ice build up...melt ice with hair dryer/heat gun...you will see a pan below evaporator...melt ice in pan...dry water up in pan with paper towel...now you should see a hole in pan that leads to drain tube...pour some hot water in pan..wait a couple minutes..mop up water and repeat this step 2-3 times....once you have done this find some flexible curtain wire or electrical wire..poke down the hole until you see the water drain..now it is clear..put back panel back and you are good to go. The reason you see water in the fridge is because the water has been leaking into the freezer and down the vent into the fridge instead of running into the drain hole...Please feel free to comment again if you need any further assistance. Mike

Sep 15, 2009 | Hotpoint 18.2 cu. ft. Top Freezer No-Frost...

1 Answer

The freezer has water and ice leaking in the


Your evaporator coils frost up in normal use and every eight hours or so the entire unit shuts down and the defrost heater comes on to melt the frost. This cycle last about 20 minutes. The melted frost drips into a drain pan and through a drain tube to the drain tray under the freezer/refrigerator where it's evaporated by the condenser fan.


Your drain tube may be stopped up with ice at the upper end because it drains too slow because it's stopped up at the lower end in the evaporator pan under the unit at the floor. It can get dust and mold in it. Once you get the ice out at the top a little pressure with a turkey baster will usually clear it out. Flushing it out with hot water and clorox may help.
Make sure it drains quick enough to prevent refreezing. . The drain should be located below the evaporator coils on the lower back of the freezer.

Sep 07, 2009 | Kenmore Elite 22.4 cu. ft. Bottom Freezer...

1 Answer

Frigidaire bottom freezer building up ice. Where


Your evaporator coils frost up in normal use and every eight hours or so the entire unit shuts down and the defrost heater comes on to melt the frost. This cycle last about 20 minutes. The melted frost drips into a drain pan and through a drain tube to the drain tray under the freezer/refrigerator where it's evaporated by the condenser fan.


Your drain tube may be stopped up with ice at the upper end because it drains too slow because it's stopped up at the lower end in the evaporator pan under the unit at the floor. It can get dust and mold in it. Once you get the ice out at the top a little pressure with a turkey baster will usually clear it out. Flushing it out with hot water and clorox may help.
Make sure it drains quick enough to prevent refreezing. . The drain should be located below the evaporator coils on the lower back of the freezer.

Aug 21, 2009 | Refrigerators

2 Answers

Water dripping on the inside back of the refrigerator and water then freezes at bottom, in and under crisper drawers. Refrigerator is approx 6-7 yrs old and was recently leveled again.


Hello, this sounds like you have a blockage in the drain tube, remove panel back of freezer..you may see ice build up...melt ice with hair dryer/heat gun...you will see a pan below evaporator...melt ice in pan...dry water up in pan with paper towel...now you should see a hole in pan that leads to drain tube...pour some hot water in pan..wait a couple minutes..mop up water and repeat this step 2-3 times....once you have done this find some flexible curatain wire or electrical wire..poke down the hole until you see the water drain..now it is clear..put back panel back and you are good to go. The reason you see water in the Freezer is because the water has been leaking into the freezer instead of running into the drain hole...If you need any further assistance please feel free to comment again. good luck! P.s Please don't forget to rate my solution thanks! Mike.

Jul 26, 2009 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Lots of water pooling on top shelf of refrigerator, toward the back. It is not condensation. Water is apparently dripping down the inside back, as I noticed it has pooled under the veggie bins as well. ...


Hello, this sounds like you have a blockage in the drain tube, remove panel back of freezer..you may see ice build up...melt ice with hair dryer/heat gun...you will see a pan below evaporator...melt ice in pan...dry water up in pan with paper towel...now you should see a hole in pan that leads to drain tube...pour some hot water in pan..wait a couple minutes..mop up water and repeat this step 2-3 times....once you have done this find some flexible curatain wire or electrical wire..poke down the hole until you see the water drain..now it is clear..put back panel back and you are good to go. The reason you see water in the fridge is because the water has been leaking down the vent instead of the drain hole...If you need any further assistance please feel free to comment again. good luck! P.s Please don't forget to rate my solution thanks! Mike

Jul 23, 2009 | Whirlpool Refrigerators

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