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Under the bottom of a frost-free freezer is a drain line and the freezer has a defrost cycle. The problem is the drain line freezes closed. You will have to warm up the drain line so that it can thaw. Look in the back of the freezer and see if there are any holed openings at the bottom of the freezer. Once you find the opening(s), take a turkey baster and fill it with hot water. Place it over the drain hole until a tight fit and slowly squeeze the turkey baster. With a few attempts,this might free up the frozen line.You can also take any bottom plastic out of the freezer and turn it off, and have it thaw using a hair dryer or by putting everything into a couple of ice chests and leaving it open and off for 4 or 5 hours. This way seems to work more effectively, but it is more work and time consuming. I would plan on doing this every couple of years....It just happens with this type of setup.
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They have separate controls, but I'm not sure, on your model, if it will completely shut down and still allow the fridge to stay cold....I believe they transfer air from one side to the other, as needed.
The plastic is just any drawers, covers, etc, that might be in the way. The drips you see are probably from the normal thaw cycle, but if the drain hose is clogged then that water cannot drain correctly and it puddles.
Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer. The refrigerator gets the cold air needed to cool it from the freezer section. There is no way to turn either section of the unit completely off. From what you have described so far, the refrigerator is having a problem with the self defrost section. Most likely the evaporator drain is blocked by ice forming in the freezer section. This is why the refrigerator worked for awhile after turning it off and then back on. Once the ice reformed the problem continued. Are you handy with tools and want to repair this problem yourself? If so I will need the model number of the refrigerator to provide you specific information.
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Yes, anything that would have been frozen would have had a chance to thaw. That is why everything was OK from 8 am to 5 pm after you unplugged the refrigerator and let everything thaw. Then at 7 pm you had water in the bottom again, most likely caused by ice in the evaporator drain when the refrigerator went into the defrost mode. Click here to view the area of the refrigerator where the evaporator is located. Click here for more views of the refrigerator. I would suggest that you remove the back panel in the freezer compartment. This will allow you to see what is going on. A volt/ohm meter can be used to check the heating coil, thermostats, etc, for opens. I have see other things get into the drain pan for the evaporator and they can keep the water from draining correctly. Make sure the opening in the drain pan is clear to insure the water runs down the drain tune instead of the bottom of the freezer.
All access to the evaporator is made from inside the freezer side of the refrigerator. There are panels that can be removed to see the area.
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