How To Fix a Frost – Free Refrigerator That Is Leaking Water

A common problem with some frost free refrigerators is water leakage out of the refrigerator. This mystery problem leads to puddles in the bottom of the refrigerator and on the floor in front of it. Seems like a pretty strange thing for a frost free refrigerator to experience. What could be causing it, and what to do about it?

That kind of fridge periodically goes through a defrost cycle. The blower goes off, the compressor goes off, and a heater comes on in the freezer. This melts the frost off the evaporator coil and the resulting water runs down a drain that is located in the back of the freezer under the freezer covers.

Down the drain…

Except that if the freezer has not been kept scrupulously clean, stuff can get under the covers and block that drain. In this case, the water backs up and freezes. Then it builds up. Eventually, the ice in the freezer under the cover has reached the point where, when the defrost cycle comes on, the water runs out into the refrigerator portion.

Mid sized Kelvinators and White-Westinghouse refrigerators are particularly susceptible to this problem, although I have seen it in other brands.

To solve the problem you have to take the covers off inside the freezer. Chip out the ice, and clean out the drain.

Some people have had success with wrapping a copper wire around the heater in the freezer and directing the end of that wire down the drain. The idea is that the copper wire will divert extra heat to the drain opening during the defrost cycle, and this will help prevent the formation of the ice plug which ultimately causes the backup. Also, the wire sticking down into the drain acts to keep objects that have migrated through the vents (thing like onion skins, or small pieces of paper or plastic) from the freezer from completely covering the drain and blocking it.