Ice forms at the bottom of the Hotpoint FFA90 Freezer compartment, below the bottom drawer.
The drain hole at the back of the freezer compartment is blocked with ice and sludge.
This take about 20 minutes to complete.
1. Tools required:
- 7mm socket spinner.
- Phillips screwdriver.
- Clean damp cloth.
- Electric fan heater (optional, but it makes the job much quicker).
- A length of plastic tubing approx 3 ft (1 metre) long with 5mm bore (optional).
- A few inches of fairly stiff but flexible, insulated wire. I used a piece of yellow/green earth wire.
- A torch or inspection lamp.
2. Switch off the fridge and pull out the mains plug.
3. Remove all the freezer drawers. If there is food in them, wrap them in a duvet or something cosy to reduce thawing.
4. Place a shallow tray under the front of the freezer compartment to catch dripping water.
5. Switch the fan heater on to low heat, and let it blow into the freezer compartment from a distance. DO NOT get it too close - a gentle heat is all you need.
6. After a few minutes, use a blunt knife to prise the sheet of ice away from the bottom of the freezer compartment. I managed to lift mine out in one piece! - but it will probably crack into smaller pieces. Mop up as you go.
7. Using the 7mm spinner, remove the 8 self-tapping, hexagonal head screws that fix the back panel inside the freezer compartment. With all the screws removed, ease the panel out gently, pulling from the bottom first. It may stick a bit where ice has stuck to foam rubber inside, so don't pull to fast.
8. Put the panel on your draining board and allow it to thaw out. There will probably be lots of ice stuck to the foam rubber backing. Don't pull the ice off by hand - you may damage the foam.
9. At the back of the freezer compartment, below the chiller tubes, there is a drain hole about 15mm diameter, and this will probably be blocked with ice. Allow the fan heater to continue to thaw the ice in here, mopping up from time to time. Gently ease off any bits of ice with the blunt knife. As the ice thaws, the drain hole will gradually clear.
10. Insert one end of the plastic tube into the drain hole, and blow long and steady through the other. The warmth of your breath will help to thaw the ice in the drainage tube. Keep going until you have cleared about 5cm down.
11. Now use the piece of wire to poke down the hole and clear any further blockage. This should go down about 8-10 cm or so.
OK, that's cleared the drain hole and the drain pipe. Now you have to clear a messy brown sludge from the evaporation tray underneath, at the back.
12. Switch off the fan heater, and pull the fridge freezer away from the wall, so that you have clear access to the back.
13. Vacuum the dust and cobwebs out of the way - you need to see what you're doing!
14. Above the motor is the evaporation tray. Remove the two Phillips screws that fix it to the back of the fridge.
15. You'll need the torch for the next bit. Look between the top of the evaporation tray and the underneath of the freezer compartment. You will see a black, soft plastic tube about 18mm diameter that links the drainage hole with the tray. Use the screwdriver to prise the tube gently upwards and out of the tray. This could be messy with brown sludge.
16. Taking care not to damage or bend the metal pipes, gently remove the evaporation tray. This will probably have a messy brown sludge in parts.
17. Wash the tray clean; it will need a jet of water and a small washing up brush to get this clean.
18. Wipe the black plastic tube clean.
19. Replace the tray. The fiddly bit is getting the black tube back into the corresponding tubular hole in the tray. I had to remove the screw from the bottom left corner of the coolant pipework in order to get my hand in. Bend the black tube double so that the fold is towards you, and ease the end into the tubular hole in the tray; then push the tube down into place.
20. Re-fix the tray and fixing screw for the coolant pipes; then move the fridge freezer back into place.
21. The inner panel should have thawed somewhat. Gently remove any remaining ice and mop it dry. Press the aluminium foil and foam back into place. Wipe both sides clean.
22. Inside the freezer compartment, mop the coolant tubing gently. Mop the circular foam seal around the fan, and press it back into place.
23. Replace the inner panel. DO NOT over tighten the screws, as they are self-tapping into the plastic walls of the freezer compartment, and you might strip the thread.
24. Replace the freezer drawers, and switch on.
You should now be up and running.
I hope this is easy to understand! Good luck.