Question about Gladiator Freezerator Top Freezer Refrigerator

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Ice buildup in the freezer. dripping from above refrigerator area

I have a Gladiator garage top refrig/ bottom freezer. Water is dripping from above in the freezer and freezing at the bottom. Is it a auto defrost issue? thank you tj

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  • wendy_music May 22, 2009

    I have exactly the same problem and have currently put a bowl in the freezer to catch the water. I am not looking forward to cleaning up this mess. The ice is very thick!

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I have had water/ice down the back of a Gladiator as well. I just emptied it, disassembled the back wall of the upper portion of the unit. Just a few screws, and one has to disconnect a wire harness, and then after removing styrofoam and yet another panel, I was able to locate the drain hole. It was frozen solid. As I have hot water in the garage, I sprayed some in the drain hole area and then in the lower portion to get rid of some of the ice. After alternating several times (and removing the lower panel on the back of the unit), I was able to see a free flow of hot water from the drain tube at the lower back of the fridge. I have towel dried everything and have a fan on it now so that it is very dry before starting back up. I am guessing that the drain tube starts to freeze in the winter months (I am in Wisconsin), and then just has no way to thaw as it is sandwiched in the back wall of the unit. This winter I may try some extra insulation. Good Luck!

Posted on Jul 21, 2009

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Had the same problem with my defrost drain hole as well. The problem is that the drip tray is situated too far down from the defrost elements, so it will ice up and clog. What I did was to disassemble the freezer, remove the insulation and expose the defrost elements and the drip tray. I gently pulled the lower defrost element down a bit, then I took a strip of basic household copper wiring, removed the sheath, then wrapped the copper around the lower defrost element about 10x in a tight spiral.


I then terminated the copper wire down into the drain hole itself. When the defrost kicks in, it heats the copper and transfers enough heat down the tube so ice will not form.


I did this trick over a year ago and no more problems for me.


One other thing I did when I reinstalled the foam core and back panel in the freezer, I sprayed some tough stuff around the panel cracks and sealed it up tight.


Pain but it now works well.

Posted on Dec 14, 2010

  • threerun Nov 17, 2013

    I thought I'd update this from 3 years ago. After doing this trick I have not experienced any additional ice buildups. Zero. I think the copper wire is doing it's thing- keeping that drain hole open to allow the automatic defrost feature to function properly.

  • threerun Jan 08, 2015

    Another update- My lower freezer started experiencing the same problem again, however it's the first time in 6 years. I'm going to disassemble the freezer and see what's going on. I'll try to take photo's of the trick/fix for reference.

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