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Chas
Chas, Home Appliance Technician
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Experience:  Maytag, Whirlpool, GE & Kenmore Factory Trained Service Tech
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I own a Kenmore Coldspot refrigerator, model(NNN) NNN-NNNN I repeatedly

Resolved Question:

I own a Kenmore Coldspot refrigerator, model(NNN) NNN-NNNN I repeatedly find ice accumulating in the refrigerator, as a result of the freezer drain line being iced-up and blocked. I have had to remove the back wall of the freezer, expose the rear catchment basin and tube, and melt the ice in the tube with hot water -- dour times, now. Then, several weeks or more later, it freezes and plugs-up again.

My questions are:
1. Why does it happens repeatedly?
2. Is there a modification or fix for it from Sears?
3. Where can I obtain a maual for it?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Chas replied 4 years ago.

Here's a little trick I've used for over 10 years now, and it's saved countless return trips on refrigerator jobs.

One of the most common problems I see with frost-free refrigerators is drain freeze up. This is usually caused by the defrost drain clogging, then freezing. On older units, it can also happen when the insulation around the drain gets 'waterlogged', as it usually does over the years, and no longer keeps the drain above freezing temperatures.

The first symptom, at least in top-mounts, is water under the crisper drawers, on the floor of the refrigerator section.

Before I found this little trick, this was a frustrating problem that was hard to keep from recurring.

Now I keep a handful of 'drain heat exchangers' in the truck, and use a dozen or two most summers, when humidity is highest and refrig. drains have to handle the most water.

These are easy to make. Just cut a piece of #12 copper wire (strip from regular 12-2WG 'Romex' household wiring ) about 6 inches long and bend it around a 1/4 inch round rod. A screwdriver shaft works well for this, but any 1/4 inch dia. piece of metal will do. They look like this.

 

 

 

 

Now when your refrig drain clogs and you find the trough under the evaporator full of ice, here's what you do. Clear the ice, open the drain

and hang this little piece of copper on the defrost heater, so it extends down the drain. On most units, this is a black rod under the evaporator coil.

This heater is responsible for melting all that frost that we don't have to deal with since the advent of Frost-free units, and it glows a dull red during the defrost cycle, so there's plenty of excess heat for our purpose.

Anyway, since copper's such a good conductor of heat, some of the defrost heater's energy will transfer down the copper wire, into the drain, and keep it open. What I like to call 'stupidly simple', this uses no extra electricity and works very well!

One precaution: hang this piece of copper *loosely* over the defrost heater. Don't squeeze or crimp it on, or you risk damaging the heater.

 

 

WARNING, if you use the OPT OUT button on the tool bar, this will bar me from answering back to you. once pressed I cannot answer anymore of your questions...Use this button with caution...

 

 

 

Bonuses are welcome if I have helped you a lot, however they are not mandatory

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Chas,

 

How long and how thick is the piece of copper?

Expert:  Chas replied 4 years ago.
Just use a scrap piece of 12 gage household wire it should be about 7 to 8 inches long
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I will get into the freezer compartment and execute the your solution. Having gotten into it a number of times, it will not take long for me to do. I cannot, however, begin that process until later today. I apologize for the delay, but don't want to pay for a solution that doesn't work. I have a perfect record of paying on this and similar sites, so you can safely assume I will not stiff you. I will keep this page open until I have had time to get the task done.
Expert:  Chas replied 4 years ago.

I do not want you to pay for something that does not work either, Whirlpool actually made a kit that costs $35.00 and is no more than what we are doing with your unit. I have had maybe 2 failures in 10 years with this method. however check and then pay, I do not mind.

Chas

 

 

 

 

Bonuses are welcome if I have helped you a lot, however they are not mandatory

Chas, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 15854
Experience: Maytag, Whirlpool, GE & Kenmore Factory Trained Service Tech
Chas and 4 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Chas,

 

Very sorry for the delay - multiple unexpected interruptions. There is, indeed, a black rod running horizontally between the bottom of the evap. coil and the trough.

 

I will click pn the Accept button as I complete this message. If this works as you claim, I would like to give you a bonus, even though I am unemployed. I assume the website will allow that - correct?

Just one follow up question: I have wire -- both #4 and #8 SOLID copper wire. The clerk at Ace showed me the #12, but it is nowhere near the 1/4" you mentioned. Will one of these work?

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the man!

 

Expert:  Chas replied 4 years ago.
the 1/4 inch is the loop you put on the end to clip onto the heating element, you can use #8 wire if you have it as it will work also.

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