Question about KitchenAid Refrigerators

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Hissing noise in freezer

Kitchenaid side by side refrigerator with freezer making a hissing noise. Further investigation and I can see water dripping onto a horizontal metal component which can be seen thru a grate in the inside back of fridge. As water hits the metal it makes this hissing spitting noise.

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  • gcpg May 26, 2009

    Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback. Sometimes it is hard to tell what is normal and what isn't



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When you observe this is your compressor quiet? Then most likely your refrigerator is in defrost mode. The water is coming off the evaporator (think of a very cold radiator) as the defrost heater element warms. This element is similar to the electric heating element in the bottom of your electric oven. the water hits it and it will hiss. This is part of the normal operation of a refrigerator. The defrost cycle usually lasts from 20-30 mins and will occur 4-6 times a day. If you are having trouble with frozen food melting then re-freezing, or the temps are on the warm side, you might need to have your defrost timer or defrost termination switch looked at.

Posted on May 26, 2009


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There is a coil or something at the bottom of freezer that is red and the water is dripping of making a noise


Welcome to FixYa.

Not to worry, this is the automatic defrost cycle...specifically the heater element, the way the fridge keeps from frost/ice building up on the evaporator.

It defrost's by way of a heater which does heat to a point to melt the frost, subsequently you'll here the water dripping on the heater and "hissing" typically ( usually 10-20 min. depending on the frost accumulated and the bi-metal thermostat tolerance...the part which insures it shut's off ).

Anyway, I hope that re-assure's you this is normal and perfectly fine.

Hope this has addressed your concern or inquiry. Thanks for visiting "FixYa" for assistance today, please take a moment to rate the info provided to you.


Macmarkus :)

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It's defrosting. Depending on your make and model, it'll do that a couple of times a day. There is a heating element behind that panel that's on a timer. The element looks like a bake element in an electric range, sort of. It's doing what it should be doing. The hissing is the frost/ice being melted off of the evaporator and dripping onto the element. All normal.
The end.


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You said you' ve defrosted it for 24 hours, that is good and it is the first step, Now clean out the drain system on the freezer side. The ice melts and become water it should drain out onto the drain pan underneath . But because the drain is plugged and the water can't running down the drain so it running out the drip pan onto the bottom of your freezer compartment. You may need to take out the back pannel on the freezer side to get to the drip pan below the freezing coil.

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What you are describing is the normal sounds it makes when it goes into defrost. The frost melts, and the resulting water will fall onto the heater which then makes your hissing noise. You dont mention that there is a problem, such as not cold or water leaking on your floor, so it sounds like all is working as it should. But you also mention you taped IT ( what is it?) to the wall in a circle.

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