Question about Whirlpool ET1FHTXM Top Freezer Refrigerator

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I have a Whirlpool Refrigerator/top freezer Model ET 21 DK (or DM, whichever one does not have the automatic ice maker). Water is dripping from rear and middle of main-space ceiling onto shelves, and running down under crisper drawers. If I put a container under drip to catch the water, it freezes. I can feel what seems to be ice at the base of the opening. Do I have to move the unit away from the wall to reach anything to solve this problem, or can I do it from the front? I have turned it off to let it defrost. Would a hair dryer help? Thank you for your assistance.

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  • gavilan204 May 29, 2011

    Tony, thank you for your quick help. I'm going to try it now. I have ordered the part you suggested. When it comes in, I will probably have to find out where the defrost heater is, and how to reach it.

  • gavilan204 May 29, 2011

    Tony: Thank you. I defrosted, used the hair dryer, cleaned, put everything back. Until the part arrives, I'll see if this helped for the time being. I could see what you pictured when I had everything apart, so I should be able to install the part. I assume I just have to turn it off while I am working, and not have to defrost and warm everything up again. Thanks for your help.


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  • Whats happening is the drain lines are freezing and then the water that can't drain gets froze in between the floor of the freezer and the ceiling of the fridge. The a little defrosts from time to time and leaks in the fridge. Not to hard of a fix really.
  • You really just need to defrost the drain lines and then us the item I linked you to and the problem should never occur again :)
  • You will need to pull the fridge out a bit to defrost them lines from the lower end as well.
  • The floor of the freezer is the access to the drain and the evaporator panel.
  • Use a hair dryer and work the frozen drain/lines until defrosted. That's all this really is, a froze drain. When it clears up use the item linked below so it never happens again.
  • This clamps on the the defrost heater and prevents ice from forming on the drains and is a heck of a fine piece that works well.

Regards, Tony

Posted on May 28, 2011

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  • Iron
    Iron May 29, 2011

    • No need to find out, I will show you.

    • First here is a picture of where it will go.

    • The floor of the freezer lifts up.

    • Once the floor is removed then remove the back interior wall of the freezer AKA the evaporator cover.

    • Remove the evaporator cover.

    • What this unit does as act as a transfer of heat from the heater to the drain hole to bring the heat a little more closer and more efficient. the top two prongs (in the picture) will connect to the heater and the bottom "probe" (see picture) sits shotgun to the drain hole. This moves the heat closer to the drain hole and it will not freeze anymore.

    • Hope this helps.



  • Iron
    Iron May 29, 2011

    • You are welcome. You are correct Lise. And there will be some basic instructions when your part arrives, It will go in 1,2,3 and this problem will be a memory. Also yes, have the refrigerator unplugged when putting the part on. As for it being cooled down you can do this but if you want to avoid having it unplugged to long and the food warming just wear a pair of neoprene gloves or even a pair of dish washing gloves (which are far cheaper and multi use) and just unplug the refrigerate right before replacing the part. This will protect your hands enough for this purpose. It gets warm but it won't melt them gloves. Just don't grab the heater for an extended amount of time. Good luck to you. Come back any time.



  • Iron
    Iron May 29, 2011

    Also if it starts freezing again, before the part comes, then flush it with some warm water. When the water flows to the drain pan (behind the kick plate at the bottom of the fridge) freely, you know the line is good and defrosted.



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