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John, restaurant equipment technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 2136
Experience:  25+ years experience. I'm now employed by a commercial cooking equipment service company
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New refrigerator **LEAKS**!!!

Resolved Question:

We have a fairly new Whirlpool refrigerator. It is a Model #ET1CHEXVQ04, 21 cubic foot, freezer on top model - very standard, utilitarian, nothing fancy. The interior temperature controls are the old-fashioned dials - so, there are **NO** digital buttons and/or displays.

It's only been approximately 6 or 7 months since we purchased it from Lowe's.

During the past month or two, it's started to **LEAK**. Every few days to a week or so, we will see a **PUDDLE of WATER** on the floor, next to it. I've pulled it out and gotten in the back and looked inside it with a flashlight, but do not see anything to indicate what's wrong or what's causing the leak.

Looking at it from the back, there is a discharge tube and a plastic pan on the left side of the refrigerator, but there is no water in that pan. The water seems to come from the center to right side of the refrigerator - opposite the side where the drip pan is located.

I'm wondering if perhaps there is some sort of "BLOCKAGE" in the drip tube which is causing the water to somehow "OVERFLOW" to the other side? On the side where it seems the water originates, when I look at it - the mechanical components, refrigeration coils, etc, etc - are all **JAMMMED** in so **TIGHTLY** that I can't see or make out anything at all.

For the moment, the refrigerator & freezer "SEEMS" to be working fine in terms of keeping cool / cold enough. However, the fact that the leaking / puddling of water seems to happen on a fairly regular basis is obviously cause for concern.

I did not get the "optional extended coverage / warranty" for the extra 2 or 3 years at the time of purchase. Our last refrigerator was also a Whirlpool - almost identical to this new one. The major difference was that it was a "Whirlpool Gold" and had fancier interior trays, containers, etc.

That old Whirlpool lasted us over 15 or 16 years so I didn't feel that there was a need to get the extended warranty coverage. Now, I'm starting to think that maybe I made a **BIG MISTAKE** in not buying the optional extended warranty.

I have not yet checked with Whirlpool directly to see if the standard warranty covers anything worthwhile.... Any thoughts and/or suggestions as to the best way to handle this?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  John replied 5 years ago.

Does it leak constantly, or just once a day?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It's not constantly, or even daily. I haven't kept an exact count up to now (and maybe I should), but at this point, it seems to be every 3, 4 or 5 days that I see a water puddle on the floor.

However, on thinking about it - that could just be that it **IS** constantly having a small drip **INSIDE**, and it takes the 3 or 4 or 5 days for the water to accumulate to the point where it **OVERFLOWS** and the water comes out onto the floor.

It's hard to tell because on the bottom of the refrigerator, there is a STEEL PAN. On the portion of the steel pan closest to the open back portion, where it's accessible and I can put my hand / fingers, feel around, I never feel any water or even any dampness - and you would think if it's leaking in that area, there would be definite damp or wet spots.

Expert:  John replied 5 years ago.

At the bottom of the fridge there's a catch pan to capture the water that's produced during the automatic defrost cycle. Check to make sure the drain hose is inside the catch pan, and not outside it. If everything seems OK there, you'll probably need to have the icemaker assembly inspected for leaks. That's usually not a DIY job, as it requires dis-assembling the ice maker to inspect the water lines and valve, and the re-assembly after.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Good point about the icemaker assembly! Yes, this Whirlpool model does have an icemaker, but something I neglected to mention is that it's not hooked up.

We have a fairly old house (built in 1924), and where the the refrigerator is located in the breakfast nook, with a wall separating it from the actual kitchen space (which is very small), there is no water line / hook-up outlet to supply water to the icemaker. Having a the built-in icemaker working is not high enough of a priority for us that we've ever wanted to pay for a plumber to come out and re-plumb / add in the necessary water outlet connection for the icemaker.

So, the icemaker has **NEVER** actually been used. I've actually considered dis-assembling the machine from inside the freezer because all it does is take up freezer space. I've looked at it, and it seems there's only like 5 or 6 panhead screws that are bolting it in to the interior wall of the freezer and it should be fairly simple to unscrew those and take it off.

Any other suggestions?

Expert:  John replied 5 years ago.
None, until the ice maker is eliminated as a suspect.
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