Maytag-JennAir Side by Side Refrigerator with a Block of Ice in the Bottom of the Freezer Compartment

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on January 24, 2010

in Refrigerator Repair

… and may have water pooled at the bottom and running out the front, too.

This is a classic case of a plugged condensate drain hole in the freezer. “Condensate” is the fancy word that we professional appliantologists call the water that gets melted off the evaporator during the defrost cycle. “Evaporator” is another fancy word we use and refers to the coils in the freezer that get cold and do all the hard work of keeping your beer cold. In these (and most) household refrigerators, you have just one evaporator and it lives in the freezer. So all your cold air is made in the freezer compartment and a portion of it is blown into the beer compartment by the evaporator fan.

Now, that evaporator coil is supposed to run at about -15°F. Well, it don’t take a brain surgeon, like yours so very freaking truly, to figger out that that dang coil gets frosted up more often than the Samurai drinks beer. And if we don’t get rid of that frost, you’ll end up with warm beer. Spew!

If everything’s working right and your refrigerator is doing the defrost cycle like it should, then you’re gonna git lotsa melted condensate that needs to go somewhere or it’ll make a frozen mess inside your freezer. Hence the raison d’etre for this post.

Well, them clever engineers done figgered out a way to deal with this so that you normally never see it. It’s called the condensate drain. Periodically, this drain gets plugged up by what we professionals call “gookus,” which is a fancy word that refers to anything that’s not supposed to be there. This gookus can slow down the flow enough so that the condensate water freezes at the drain opening. Then the trouble begins.

But, never fear for the Samurai is here! As complicated as all this sounds, it’s really an easy fix. First, you remove… oh, nevermind, let the picture tell the story:

 

Maytag Side by Side Refrigerator Freezer Compartment Breakdown
(click for larger image)

 

And these accompanying condensate drain clearing tips from Sublime Master That Guy:

Remove part 20, the rear wall of the freezer compartment. I use a shop vac, a towel, and hot water. Use the towel as a damn, pour the hot water on the drain hole at the bottom of part 14. Vacuum up water. Repeat until the drain tube is free or all the ice is gone. Then use the vac. to clean out the tube. Flush with hot water. be very carefull if you use a wire. You might poke a hole in the drain tube. I usually use a small diameter plastic tube and run it through the drain.

 

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