Question about GE Monogram ZISS420NRSS 42" Built-In Side-By-Side Refrigerator (ZIS-S420NRSS, ZIS S420NRSS)

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GE built in Fridge does not defrost and freezer ices up

Defroster may not be working in freezer. drain tube is clear, but drain pan is empty. the pan is on top and almost looks like water flows uphill
could the defrost heater or thermostat be bad?

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  • Anonymous Mar 21, 2014

    Freezer works but has built up extra ice on everything

  • Anonymous Mar 31, 2014

    Fridge does not defrost. PCB has been changed twice. Defrost termination thermostat and defrost heater are good. What else could it be?



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Defrosters are commonly controlled by a primitive timer and this may have a 'dry' and a 'wet' (humid) climate setting that will cause the defroster to cycle generally every 12 or 24 hours.
If set wrong (by accident or on purpose), it can allow too much frost to accumulate before attempting to defrost.
This can cause a gradual buildup of ice.

Also the heating element for the freezer may have failed open so it never heats at all. The connections that need to be checked are often buried between the in- and outside walls.

The timer is probably still OK since you apparently aren't having a problem on the refrigerator side.

Posted on Jun 10, 2008


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How do I defrost the water line to ice maker on a Kenmore Coldspot model 5151200

Most all fridges have a drain. Look inside your fridge for a "V" shaped channel with a small hole. This hole leads to a tube and a small pan which sits on top of your refrigerator's compressor. The defrost cycle causes water to run into the channel, down the tube, and then it generally evaporates with the heat of the hot condenser/compressor.
However, if that tube is clogged with food crumbs, particles , debris etc, you will have to clear it to get back to a normal mode of operation. A toothpick, pipecleaner, straw or a cotton bud can often do the trick.
Even a frost free freezer will still ice up at times in the areas away from the heated defrost area and the drain line can freeze. This icing causes the pipe work to the compressor to ice over or sweat and cause a puddle. Or if the drainage has frozen over, it will need to be de-iced. ( usually the line is under the freezer bottom plate covering. Towards the back of the unit) And there is another inside the fridge area also.
Give the freezer a good overnight defrost until it's totally clear of ice in addition to making sure the drain is clear to the pan at the back and then restart the freezer.

Feb 24, 2015 | Kenmore Refrigerators

2 Answers

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


Your defrost is working - but the drain tube is clogged. It may be debris causing the clog - but more than likely it is ice.

Access the drain tube and defroster behind the back wall of the freezer. Remove built up ice on the floor of the freezer and the drip tray under the freezer coil and defroster coil. Don't use any sharp tools! Locate the drain tube at the low point of the drip tray. Attempt to clear it of ice by using a turkey baster (or the like) filled with hot water. Direct a stream of hot water from it into the drain tube. Ice may be an inch or two thick in the tube. Once the ice is clear, water should flow easily and quickly down the tube to the drip pan under the fridge - where it will be evaporated away.

To prevent the ice from forming in the drain tube in the future, hang some metal wires (preferably copper) from the the defrost coil down into the drain tube. Make the sure the wire is long enough so that it extends at least as far into the drain tube as the ice had clogged. The metal wire conducts the heat from the defroster down into the drain tube - thus preventing ice from forming - and clogging the drain. Use copper or aluminum wire if you can - steel coat hanger wire can be used if you can't find any copper or aluminum, but it will rust. Copper electrical wire # 14, # 12 or even # 10 is ideal, but the thicker the wire is the harder it is to work - it may be easier to use 3, 4 or more pieces of the smaller # 14 gauge wire instead of 1 or two pieces of # 10.

This worked for me and will probably work for you, too. If this was helpful, please rate my answer "4 thumbs up" - thanks!

Jun 09, 2011 | Roper RT21AKXKQ Top Freezer Refrigerator

1 Answer

Ice forms on the bottom shelf of the frost free freezer. We have no ice maker. What could be wrong? It's seven years old. It's a Whirlpool

I expect that when you check - the drain tube behind the inside back wall of the freezer compartment is clogged with debris and / or ice.

First, disconnect the the fridge from power at the plug.

Inspect the evaporator pan under the fridge. It is probably dry. If not, empty it and replace it.

Gather some towels & rags, a wet vac if you have one and a blow dryer to defrost and soak up / pick up melting ice. Also get a flexible piece of wire (coat hanger will do), turkey baster and a pail or container. A small amount of bleach will be needed, too.

You'll have to empty the freezer compartment of food and remove the back panel to gain access to the pan and drain. Some freezers have a plastic shelf pan that covers and is screwed to the freezer floor - if yours does, you should remove it, too. Keep clear of the coil, heater and controls that are protected by the panel. Plan on two - three hours to do the work, and an additional 2+ hours for the freezer to get cold again if all goes well. It will take much longer if you do not accelerate the defrost process (chipping, use of a blow dryer, etc.). If you can store food in a neighbor's freezer - that will be ideal.

Next, defrost the freezer. CAREFULLY chip away ice on the floor of the freezer. Do no chip in the area that was behind the back panel. Direct the hot air from the blow dryer at the ice in this area instead. Use towels and wet vac to pick up the water. Fill the container with hot water, and fill the turkey baster with the hot water and discharge the hot water at the ice / drain opening to speed the defrost process. Try to keep splashing to a minimum. Remove the blow dryer from this area when using hot water to melt the ice. Once the ice ice clear, check the evaporator pan again. Carefully remove it. If no water is present, the tube is still blocked. Replace the pan and continue to melt ice in the drain and check again. Repeat as needed. it is possible that a spider has taken up residence in the drain pipe - or there is some mold growing inside it. Use the coat hanger to gently "snake" down the tube to clear any obstruction. Once water begins appearing in the evaporator pan, empty it again and replace.

Mix up 4 ounces or so of water and 1 once of bleach and draw into the turkey baster. Place the opening as close to the drain opening as possible and gently squeeze the mixture into the drain. The mixture will kill any mold, spider, etc. that has been growing in the tube.

Almost done, CAREFULLY remove the evaporator pan again after allowing enough time for the tube to drain and empty in sink. This is a bleach mixture so be extra careful not to spill anywhere that bleach will cause damage.

Lastly, clean up with disposable rags (don't ruin towels picking up the bleach mixture) and reassemble back panel and floor pan. Restock freezer and plug the fridge back into outlet.

I hope this helps & good luck. Please rate my replay. Thank you.

Jun 01, 2011 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

GE Top freezer #TBX14SPGRAD i have replaced thermostat, defroster tube ohm check is ok and fan in freezer works. Water flows out the bottom of freezer into frige? any ideas?

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 inside of the freezer at the bottom of the rear cover.

Part 622 is the drain trough in this DIAGRAM

Mar 07, 2011 | GE Refrigerators

1 Answer

I have an Electrolux Refrigerator FRT18B4AWA and it is leaking all over the floor. Temp holds good but the leaking won't stop. How to I fix it.

The most common cause is ice built up and plugged the drainhole as not defrosting Auto in time. Unplug the power de-ice. Locate the drain hole. Insert soft wire or cordto clear drain Open back of fridge. Locate drain tube and pan. And checkinserted wire or cord is coming out. Gently shake wires and pull out. That'sall. Now Drain tube is cleared. And also empty the drain pan, if water is huge to condensate.

Jan 28, 2011 | Frigidaire FRT18B4A Top Freezer...

1 Answer


If the water only forms during the defrost cycle, chances are that the defrost circuit is working as designed. That leaves the pan under the freezer coil in the freezer compartment and the drain tube from it to the pan at the bottom of the fridge. Check for and clear any obstruction in the drain tube. You'll probably have to empty the freezer and remove any ice making equipment in order to get to this area - which is behind the back panel.

You should unplug the fridge before attempting this. Be careful not to damage or pinch off any wire's insulation or refrigerant lines and coil during the dis-assembly and subsequent reassembly.

It may be that some growths have begun in the drain tube. After clearing the tube, could add about a 1/2 ounce of bleach into 3 or 4 ounces of water, and pour the mixture directly down the tube to kill anything that might be growing in it. If you decide to remove and empty the pan under the fridge - just remember there bleach in it. Spilling it will ruin clothes, etc.

I hope this helps! Good luck.

May 24, 2010 | Kenmore 64802 Top Freezer Refrigerator

1 Answer

Ice is forming on the bottom of the freezer (Kenmore).

Self-defrosting refrigerators dispose of the water generated during the defrost cycle, usually via a tube or channel that directs the water to a pan at the bottom of the refrigerator. From the pan, the water normally evaporates. (See a more detailed explanation of this in the How Things Work section of our website).

If the tube or channel is clogged or obstructed, the water backs up and leaks into the inside of the refrigerator/freezer compartment. Then the water builds up at the bottom, inside of the refrigerator/freezer. When the water has built up for a time it may spill out of the front of the door opening. To fix this problem, clear the drain tube or channel and allow the defrost water to flow down to the drain pan.

Jul 24, 2009 | Kenmore 73502 / 73504 / 73509 Bottom...

1 Answer

Freezer drain plug

Self defrosting refrigerators as well as freezers all have a defrost drain system. This drain system can become plugged or frozen causing defrost drain water to back up into the refrigerator or freezer compartment. The water may gather under the crisper drawers on top freezer models. On side by side, bottom or stand alone freezers ice will build up in the freezer at the bottom and eventually leak out the door.

Plugged Defrost Drain - Freezer on Top (Water under the crisper drawers)

At the top of the refrigerator next to the temperature controls there usually is a cup-like part that carries the defrost drain water into a tube and out the back of the refrigerator to a defrost drain pan behind the unit. Pull the cup out of the tube and clean the cup with hot water and soap. If there is no cup, pull the refrigerator out away from the wall, go behind it and disconnect the drain tube to clear it. If the drain tube is not accessible from the back or the drain can not be cleared from there the main back panel in the freezer can be removed to access, thaw and flush out the drain under the cooling coil.

Use a turkey baster to flush HOT water into the tube to clear any obstruction. The water squirted into the tube should end up in the defrost drain pan.

If the tube will not clear with hot water try blowing it out with compressed air.

Put the cup back on and make sure it is all the way on or in the tube.

Plugged Defrost Drain - Side By Side, Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator or Stand Alone Freezer

The defrost drain pan is located at the bottom of the freezer compartment behind the back wall of the freezer. On some models, the pan is accessible without removing the back panel and others are not. After you get to the defrost drain pan use a hair dryer to melt the ice from the pan.

Once the ice is removed use a turkey baster to squirt HOT water into the drain hole to clear the drain.

When the drain is clear you should hear or see the water you are squirting into the hole enter the pan under or behind the refrigerator.

TheRepairGuru ----

Jan 26, 2009 | Whirlpool ET9FTKXK Top Freezer...

7 Answers


drain line is clogged. when the frig defrosts the water drains through a tube down to the bottom of the frig near the compressor where it evaporates away. look on the back of the unit to see if the tube runs down the back. follow it to the end. you need to blow backwards through that tube. let me know if this helps.

Nov 01, 2007 | Roper RT18DKXKQ / RT18DKXKT Top Freezer...

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