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Icing up in bottom of the freezer

Despite being a frost free freezer, it has now started to ice up in the bottom of the freezer compartment. Starting to need a de-frost every couple of months, and the bottom freezer draw is getting stuck in all the ice and becoming unusable. Also occasionally find some water on the floor under the freezer in the morning when I come down. seem to have the same problem, icing up a few weeks after dedrosting. Did replace the thermostat and set to warmest. The freezer also seems to be on most of the time, even in winter Electrolux FN360H-L

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I know how frustrating it is to get freezer ice build-up and unknown annoying noises but I have a solution that works great. I figured this out since I got tired of taking the freezer apart 10 times in 5 years and searching for a never ending noise:

  1. Pull out and unplug the refrigerator cord and take the lower back plate off (about a dozen screws) and you should see the plastic ½” drain tube hanging down and pointing at the plastic drain pan that is usually dry but stained. You will find out why it is that way as we go along. NO NEED TO TURN OFF THE WATER SUPPLY NOR DISCONNECT THE WATER LINE UNLESS YOU NEED THE EXTRA ROOM TO GET BACK THERE.
  2. Take the shelf, freezer floor, ice maker and light assembly out of the freezer (about a dozen more screws). Mark the wires if you have to disconnect them so you know where they go. Get as much ICE out as you can and mop up the water with some old towels. If you use a scraper you will hurt the plastic, unless you have a plastic scraper or just hitting it with the palm of your hand will break it up nicer. Get everything as dry as you can. Be careful to defrost the Styrofoam inserts slowly until they lift out of their square holes (a hair dryer works wonderful for this). This whole job gets lots easier after you do it a couple of times, BELIEVE ME.
  3. If you have a shopvac this part works better: Pull the end off of a shopvac hose (it will go back on later) and feed the plastic shopvac hose up over the plastic ½” drain tube in the back of the refrigerator. Don’t turn the shopvac on just yet.
  4. Plug in a hair dryer and prop it up on a small mountain dry towels inside the freezer pointing at the 1/2” drain hole in the back under the coils (the hole is metal lined and in the middle of the metal tray in back, you’ll see it).
  5. NOW, turn on the hair dryer and turn on the shopvac and wait about 10 minutes until the shopvac sucks the hot air down through the drain hole and melts the ice. Pour some water down there to clean it out a second time. You should feel the suction of the shopvac at the hole with your finger and it should be strong.
  6. The ice clog is about 6 inches down the tube below the opening so it takes a while to thaw out. NOW you know why the drain pan that sits in the bottom of the refrigerator is always empty and just stained.
  7. ANSWER: The heat from the freezer heater coil (during the defrost cycle) that is behind the cooling fins in the freezer can’t possibly heat up the drain tube so the water freezes solid. Then the heater coil melts the ice on the cooling coils and the water runs down through the openings in the square Styrofoam inserts (instead of down the drain) and right into the refrigerator where it puddles on the shelves.
  8. I usually run some extra water down there and let the shopvac **** it in to give a good rinse.
  9. Now put it all back together, BUT PUT THE STYROFOAM INSERTS BACK IN FIRST or you will be taking it back apart again to put them in. Pretty soon you will do the whole job of inside 1 hour on a weekend. The wires with the long piece of tape on them gets routed over the top of the cooling coils and tapes to the back wall above the fan, no biggy.

NOW FOR THE NOISE: Remember when you cleaned out the Condenser coils underneath years ago and thought you heard something? That was your vacuum extension wand hitting the fan. The blade is probably bent a little. With the power still off spin the blade with your finger and see if it wobbles and also check if there is anything on the blade or motor shaft that needs to be cleaned off, line string, pet hair or dust. You shouldn’t have to take anything apart to accomplish cleaning it, just unwind anything that got caught up in it. The blades can be bent back as long as you are careful.
THE OTHER THING I DID was screw in the front wheel levelers (behind the plastic vent cover under the refrigerator door) until the front was higher that the back. That way the water that accumulates in the freezer is sure to drain to the drain hole in the back and the 2 front doors close better on their own----AMAZING. Also the plastic drain pan sits up a little higher and doesn’t vibrate on the frame and make noise.

Posted on Nov 07, 2008

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