Monday, 25 July 2011

My Whirlpool Fridge freezer leaks from the freezer section...

Well, it used to!

I've got one of those American style side by side Fridge freezers, and for the last couple of years(!) something has been leaking in to the bottom of the freezer, and leaving a big block of ice. Eventually, the ice block is so large the water starts leaking out of the bottom of the door.

It's all caused by the drain hole becoming blocked with ice. This drain hole normally allows the water produced by the frost free mechanism to drain out of the bottom of the freezer in to a pan in the bottom of the unit, where it then evaporates.

In a particularly hopeless bit of design, this hole easily becomes blocked with ice formed from the draining water.

It can be fixed however, by the use of a bit of copper wire. Remove the contents of the freezer, undo the screws holding the back panel and remove it (you may need to remove some shelf supports so the panel can come out). At the bottom you will see the blocked drain hole, and this needs unblocking. I used a hair dryer and hot water. Eventually all the ice will have melted, and you can now insert the copper wire. I used a bit from some household wiring (2.5mm T&E). You then need to poke one end down the drain hole for a few centimeters, and then let the other end hang or lightly wrap it around the defrost element, which is a black heater bar running across the bottom of the cooling element. This is what defrosts the fridge, as every 8 hrs or so it warms up and gets rid of the frost on the cooler - and this where all the water comes from. The copper wire transfers some of this heat down in to the hole, keeping it defrosted, allowing the water to escape!

Ta Da. All done. Reassembly is the reverse of dismantling.