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Barry G.
Barry G., Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 6822
Experience:  27 years in home appliance repair. EPA refrigerant transition and recovery certification type I & II.
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My (GE) Hotpoint refrigerator, model no. HTS20GBNCWW, is leaking

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My (GE) Hotpoint refrigerator, model no. HTS20GBNCWW, is leaking water. It collects on the floor of the refrigerator under the produce bins and each morning it drips onto the kitchen floor when the door is opened. I figure it must be a clogged condensation drain but I can't locate one. Thanks.
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX you for choosing our service.

Your defrost drain is clogged. Unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet.

In the freezer remove the screws in the panels in the diagram below.

Behind those parts is the evaporator coil that defrosts about every 10 hours. The drain for the defrost is in the floor directly under those coils, its just about the size of a dime. Dig out all the ice and clear that hole.

Once you get that done pour a little warm water down it to be sure its clear. If its not clear find something flexible and push down through it a couple of inches.

Go around behind your refrigerator and remove the lower panel then find the tube that comes out just over the drain pan. If there is a small amount of water in that pan you will be done. The water that drains into that pan evaporates.


That will take care of it, if you have further questions please ask.

Barry
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hey Barry. Thanks for your instructions. I got the panel open in the freezer and I found that there is a solid sheet of ice just under the evaporator coils. I assume that the defrost drain is under that sheet of ice. I've never defrosted the refrigerator in the 8 years that I've owned it. Is that the problem?

 

 

Hey there! You are very welcome. Thank you for the opportunity.

Over time what happens is there will be a build up in the drain tubing that slows the water until it stops. The clog is not much usually and takes very little to get it out. Most always a cup of warm water will take care of it because the water that comes off from those coils comes at a slow drip. There just is no quick flow. You have found it for sure thats where its at.

Barry
How is it going, are you having any luck?

Barry
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yeah. The drain hole is iced over. Once that melts I'll run warm water into it and hopefully it'll drain. There was a sheet of ice a quarter inch thick running the length of that drainage trough. I loosened it with a hair dryer and got it out but there's still ice in the hole itself. Do you think I should regularly defrost the refrigerator to prevent this in the future?
Give me just a minute to take a look at something. I will not be long.

Barry
The part thats arrowed in the picture that goes across the bottom and to the other side is that calrod material like an oven element or is that made of glass? I cannot see a picture of it.

Barry
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It's calrod.
Be careful to not poke a hole in the aluminum coils and what you can do is hang a piece of solid copper wire from that calrod element into the drain hole about an inch. That will carry some heat with the water into the hole. If you can get something into the hole which will blow air into it some that will help, some techs suggest a turkey baster. It looks to me like that might be difficult to do on your model. And yes if you can once a year shut the refrigerator down and open it up for a day, that will also help. Most often what I have typed above though is all you need to do for a few years. Its been rare that I get a recall on a defrost drain problem.

Barry
Barry G. and 4 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
At this point, I've got all of the ice out, but it's still not draining, unless there'a still some ice way down deep inside. But I can't feel ice when I stick my finger in it. I just feel water. There is another concern too. I see there is paint that has chipped off in that area and I'm afraid that paint chips may have gotten into that hole. If so, is it going to be difficult to clear it?
Go around behind your refrigerator and remove the lower panel then find the tube that comes out just over the drain pan. See if its clogged back there.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well, I pullel off the back panel and found a six or seven inch length of plasic tubing with flexible joints. I assume that's the drain tube. I removed that and took a fairly heavy piece of wire and pushed it up through the drainage hole. It went up a foot or so and then stopped. There was no release of water or debris. Still clogged top and bottom.
Yes thats the drain tube. I do not see anything else that you can remove. It may still be frozen inside somewhere. All of the rest of it the best I can tell is in the wall, diagrams never show everything but thats all thats shown.

Barry
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
That's what I hope is the case. I'll let it defrost for another hour or two and get back to you. Thanks.
You are welcome.

Barry
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

A new development. The clog finally released but it's draining into the refrigerator. The water is dripping out of, what looks like, drain holes in a piece that juts down from the ceiling of the fridge, right behind the light. Can I somehow remove that assembly and get to the clog?

Did any make it to the drain pan in the back?

Barry
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Nope. Dry as a bone.
I am not familiar with that piece that you are describing. I can see what you describing and I have that in the diagram below. One thing is sure if you start to take that part down make sure the power cord is unplugged from the wall outlet. Electricity will be present in that panel. There should be screws holding it but I cannot see them. The last time I counted there are over 6000 GE model refrigerators and I am sorry I just do not remember how to take that one down.

Barry
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. Yes it is unplugged. I'll try and get that panel off and see what I can see. I'll check in later.
Great. I will be here, sometimes there is a tray that sticks in the back wall and catches the water from the freezer. If there is a small tray that appears to be sticking in the back wall after you remove that panel it should pull out of the wall.

Barry
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your help, Barry. I guess this is over my head. I don't want to keep taking it more and more apart. I called the appliance store where I bought it and they think something is detached inside somewhere. So I made an appointment to have it looked at. But at least I know pretty much what's happening thanks to your guidance. have a good one!