This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fixed my freezer!

Posted By Paul

I wanted to follow up on my earlier article:

Fix it yourself or call a repairman.

And share another small victory in my never ending war of home-repair.

Recently I noticed a small puddle of water in front of the freezer side of my fridge (we have one of those side-by-side fridge/freezers). At first I thought it was just an old spill so I wiped it up and didn't think much of it, and then I saw it again a couple days later.

A little more investigation and I saw that on the bottom of the freezer section was a nice sheet of ice that had accumulated. My thought was that this sheet of ice was growing, gradually creeping up to the door seam, melting and that this was what was causing the puddle. I removed the sheet of ice, and started watching it closely. Sure enough the ice sheet slowly returned, growing gradually until the puddle of water had returned within about 5 days.

So then it became a question of where was the ice sheet coming from? My first thought was that maybe there was a water leak in the ice maker and this was dripping water that eventually accumulated at the bottom of the freezer and froze. I checked over the ice maker but it all looked fine. Then I thought that maybe during the defrost cycle of the freezer that the ice in the ice maker was melting and providing the water. To test this I emptied out the ice drawer and shut off the ice maker (ice isn't really in demand much in Portland in February anyway). The ice sheet continued to grow so I knew that wasn't it.

I talked to my father-in-law and he said that he was pretty sure what it was. In the freezer there is a drain that is designed to catch the water that drips off during a defrost cycle. The water drains to a pan where it evaporates. He said that if that drain gets clogged then the water can't drain and it will start to accumulate at the lowest point in the freezer.

So I emptied the freezer and removed the access panel, and sure enough there was a drain that was covered with ice. I quick zap with my wife's hair dryer got rid of the ice, but the drain still wasn't draining properly. I tried threading a small piece of wire down there in case there was a clog, but didn't have much luck. I then got a pitcher, filled it with hot water from my tap, and started slowly pouring it into the drain. Since the drain was clogged most of the water overflowed onto the bottom surface of the freezer and onto the floor (luckily I had many towels ready), but by slowly pouring little by little the drain started to drain more quickly. Eventually it drained at a pace that seemed normal. Maybe there was just a little gunk or some residue ice that needed to be washed away.

After flushing out the drain I put the access panel back in place and I have been watching the freezer closely. So far no return of the ice sheet or the freezer puddle.

Another call to the repairman avoided!


Matt said...

Nice work Paul! I ran into something similar with a previous fridge of ours. The ice bin had overfilled and dislodged the water trough that carried water to the ice-making trays, resulting in water being poured all over the cooling elements. The entire back of the freezer was a sheet of ice! I also used a hair dryer to melt the ice and caught it with towels, then replaced the trough and things were back to normal.

Anonymous said...

And they say the glaciers are receding!