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Item TBH18DATWH FEFRIGERATOR (1994) A continuing collection…

Customer Question
Item TBH18DATWH FEFRIGERATOR...
Item TBH18DATWH FEFRIGERATOR (1994)
A continuing collection of apparent water on floor of refrig has developed over the past few months. Have ruled out spillage inside. In a week period sufficient collection of fluid to spill onto kitchen floor, perhaps 1/2-1 pint. Suspect clogged defrost drainage, but no visible sign of a drainage tube or outlet into frig compartment.
Please confirm or deny suspected problem. Suggest other cause as appropiate and is it repairable. Freezer and refrigerator working fine temperature wise.
Will appreciate your advice and recomendations.
paul
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Appliance
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Answered in 2 hours by:
2/20/2011
Appliance Technician: Chas, Home Appliance Technician replied 7 years ago
Chas
Chas, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 16,453
Experience: Maytag, Whirlpool, GE & Kenmore Factory Trained Service Tech
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Hi, my name is Chas, I am hoping that I will be able to help you with your problem today..


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.



graphic





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.



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Chas
Chas, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 16,453
Experience: Maytag, Whirlpool, GE & Kenmore Factory Trained Service Tech
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Chas and 87 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I might seem quite uninformed and regarding a refrig I am. So heres my question is all simplicity.
Where do I access the defrost heater unit, is it under the refrigerator, from the back side, from the inside, what do I remove to find it and any thing your experience would help me with. Also, once exposed would I not want to replace the drain tube or is the water log on the ooutside associated with insulation or other mass.
Appliance Technician: Chas, Home Appliance Technician replied 7 years ago
If you remove item 201, you will see the defrost drain in the bottom, the heater is located right above it.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

thanks Chas

The attachment of item 201 to cabinet is not directly apparent, no screws. Is it a clipped item to be removed with alittle prying. I will explore tomorrow, but don't want to break attach points. i appreciate the diagram.

Appliance Technician: Chas, Home Appliance Technician replied 7 years ago
No problem, have a nice day...

Chas
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Good mid day Chas

Drain tube thoroughly clogged with solid that appears like insulation. Cannot probe it far enough or blow it by compressor to clear. Will attack from the rear of machine assuming there is access. I guess plastic drain runs from frezzer to a evaporator pan along back. If you already know I am heading for trouble please let me know.

Appliance Technician: Chas, Home Appliance Technician replied 7 years ago
You are doing good,,, did you make sure that you thawed it sufficiently for blowing it out?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Chas, For your notes in the future.

Accessing the back side of this model and attacked to the panel there is a detachable plasitc fitting built like a trap that drains the frezzer defrost tray below the heater unit on the inside. As a trap it had collected debri over the years and as trap could not be probed with a wire or other lead from the inside. Detached from the back panel and drain tube projection, it was a simple task to clean and replace. A separte tube leads from the trap straight down the outside of the rear panel to (I guess) the evaporator pan below. This tube was not clogged, but cleaning would have been easy.

As built the drain does not penetrate any insulation which might have lead to the problem as you described it.

I spent half a morning working the problem from the inside. Fixing the actual problem took 15 min, mostly moving the refrig.

 

I do believe that I might have put off fixing this problem for some time yet without the notion that you would be there to advise me. Even as the advice was not exactly on target you provided me a comfort zone . thanks.

To conclude this activity do I press Accept again.

paul

 

 

 

 

 

Appliance Technician: Chas, Home Appliance Technician replied 7 years ago

Glad I was of comfort for you to try and fix it,,,, You can click accept again or you can just ignore it... Have a great day.

 

Chas

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