Question about Refrigerators

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Whirlpool ET18PKXGW refrigerator. Freezer compartment leaks into refrigerator section when it goes into defrost cycle.

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  • jonkeith Jul 13, 2010

    the water problem has been occurring for a very long time. I keep an aluminum pan in the refrig section to collect the water. The problem is not due to the humid air this time of year.

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2 Answers

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  • Refrigerators Master
  • 2,605 Answers

Hello,

welcome to FixYa. Based on your description you likely have a blocked/frozen over defrost drain. This is actually quite common with this style of fridge you have.

You`ll have to pull up the bottom tray in the freezer and remove the back evap. cover as well to clear the drain...best done with a steamer or hot water, it will take some time. Careful not to damage the evap coils...or your hands, the evap. louvers are sharp.

There is also a repair kit for this issue, some proclaim it works others not. My experience is it always works...if installed correctly. It should be done by a qualified technician though.

The kit is # 819043 and available through "searspartsdirect.com". It will look like this...

Whirlpool ET18PKXGW refrigerator. Freezer compartm - 06e6730.jpg
Let me know if you require any further assistance. Hope that helps.

Thanks for choosing FixYa. Please take a moment to rate the solution I provided for you today.

Good luck.

macmarkus :)

Posted on Jul 13, 2010

  • jonkeith Jul 13, 2010

    I have emptied the freezer, taken off the bottom tray and noticed quite a lot of frozen water. I have cleared that (several times now) and for a few days the freezer works fine. then it starts to leak again. It sounds like you are saying that I have to take something off of the back of the freezer compartment. Is that correct?

  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Jul 13, 2010

    Yes that is correct. You must also remove the back panel ( evaporator cover ) in the freezer section once the bottom is removed.



    Once that is removed you can actually reach the drain tube, this is the "cause" ( clogged with ice ) the water draining into the fridge is just the effect or if you like result.



    The drain kit I alluded to previously is what will be installed into the drain and the other part is simply a "heat sink" to prevent it from freezing over in the future.



    You must first insure the drain is completely clear until water can actually pass through right to the bottom where the condenser tray is located, otherwise it`s an exercise in futility.



    macmarkus :)

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  • Refrigerators Master
  • 6,826 Answers

There should be a drainage passage behind the back wall of the refrigerator that should drain any freezer's defrost cycle water to the drain pan at the bottom.

But, in your case there is either a blockage that makes it back up, or the routing of the water is going through a crack in your plastic in the back.

It can either be misassembled or actually cracked and damaged.

I would try to take the food out, put into another refrigerator, and defrost your refrigerator manually to try to see if doing this solves the problem when it goes back online.

Defrost for 24 hours manually can get rid of any build of ice that the defroster doesn't melt.

Unfortunately, this is a humid and hot time of the year when ice build up can occur in even the best of refrigerators, wreaking havoc.

Good luck on this repair.


The divider between the two compartments is warm
Check if ...
The condenser coils or base grille are dirty or clogged.
The motor has quit working.
Then ...
Clean according to the “Cleaning your refrigerator” section.
See “Your refrigerator will not operate” earlier in this section.
NOTE: The refrigerator temperature may turn from warm
to hot.
If not due to any of above, the warmth is probably due to
normal operation of the automatic exterior moisture control.
If still concerned, call the Consumer Assistance Center or
an authorized Whirlpool Service company.
Temperature is too warm
Check if ...
The air vents are blocked in either compartment.
This prevents the movement of cold air from the
freezer to the refrigerator.
The door(s) are opened often.
A large amount of food has just been added to
the refrigerator or freezer.
The controls are not set correctly for the surrounding
conditions.
Then ...
Remove any objects from in front of the air vents. Refer to
“Ensuring proper air circulation” for the location of air vents.
Be aware that the refrigerator will warm when this occurs.
In order to keep the refrigerator cool, try to get everything
you need out of the refrigerator at once, keep food
organized so it is easy to find, and close the door as soon
as the food is removed.
Adding a large amount of food warms the refrigerator.
It can take several hours for the refrigerator to return to the
normal temperature.
Refer to the “How the controls work” section.
There is interior moisture build-up
Check if ...
The air vents are blocked in the refrigerator.
The door is opened often.
The room is humid.
Then ...
Remove any objects from in front of the air vents. Refer to
“Ensuring proper air circulation” for the location of air vents.
To avoid humidity build-up, try to get everything you need
out of the refrigerator at once, keep food organized so it is
easy to find, and close the door as soon as the food is
removed. (When the door is opened, humidity from the room
air enters the refrigerator. The more often the door is opened,
the faster humidity builds up, especially when the room itself
is very humid.)
It is normal for moisture to build up inside the refrigerator
when the room air is humid.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010

  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Jul 13, 2010

    So, you're saying that it occurs even in the winter time.

    That indicates to me a serious gap in the drainage system,

    which requires disassembly of the back wall to find the problem.



    Wish you luck.

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