June 6th, 2007, 08:27 PM
[FIXED] Kenmore Bottom-Freezer Fridge Icing up in Drainpan
My husband is now a real pro at disassembling our Kenmore fridge model c978-66792-2 as it has become a weekly chore to tear it open and defrost the coils and drain system as we struggle to come up with a permanent fix. This is not a skill he ever hoped to acquire.
The pan and drain tube inside the "guts" of the fridge are no longer draining water. The water accumulates and freezes at such a depth that it then stops the blades of the fan from turning. The freezer continues to work, but without the airflow up into the fridge, the fridge stops cooling. (You remove the crisper drawers and unscrew the floorpan of the fridge - above the freezer - to gain access to this area).
Note: We can't find reference to this model number online. We are thinking that the "c" denotes Canadian models and wonder if the same fridge is sold under a different model number in the USA. Sorry I can't be more helpful in that respect.
1. We first noticed a problem when the odd morning there would be a little puddle of water on our kitchen floor, at the corner of the freezer door. We can see that water runs into the top back of the freezer (remember, freezer is on the BOTTOM on this fridge) and covers the floor of the freezer, sometimes escaping through the door seal, it would appea.r (Mostly though, it just freezes inside the freezer and doesn't leak out).
2. When you take the fridge apart, you see a metal pan underneath the coils. The metal pan ends just past the coils, but the trough for the water continues in the styrofoam, deepening and funneling. Near the back, a short (apx 4.5") metal tube connects to the rest of the drain system (plastic).
3. After 3 visits by a local (non-Sears) repair man yielded no results (new clock, new thermostat, extra ice in drain removed) we found out Sears has a technical service bulletin out for this fridge. For reasons they can't explain, somewhere around the 7-8 year mark (our fridge is 8 years old) the drain stops working properly. The fix they have found is to replace that 4.5" long metal tube with a similar metal tube that is much longer (apx 10"). Rather than water leaving the metal pan and traveling down the styrofoam to the get into the short metal rod, the longer rod joins right onto the metal pan, so water goes into it immediately - theoretically not ending up on the styrofoam. We put this longer tube in. There was absolutely no improvement.
4. The only other suggestion Sears has is that we replace the entire styrofoam bottom of the "guts" of the fridge. It's almost $100 for this piece of styrofoam and is a time-consuming process. Apparently we don't have to drain the coolant, but it's difficult to remove everything necessary to exchange the styrofoam.
5. We are starting to wonder if this is throwing good money after bad - especially given how certain they were that the longer metal tube would fix the problem. The suggestion to replace the styrofoam was given by a technician who said, "sometimes the styrofoam gets saturated and soggy". We don't really undestand this as styrofoam seems pretty impervious to water. Beyond that, the styrofoam in our fridge seems to be normal - not mushy or crumbly.
Has anyone encountered this problem (ie. including the suggested tube replacment not working)? Did the styrofoam replacement work? Is there something else we should try?
June 8th, 2007, 12:34 AM
I'm not sure if the Canadian models are different from the USA models, as we don't have access to Canadian model#'s.
Jeff lives and has a Appliance shop in Canada, you can contact him on his website:
Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
Star Appliance Tech. 2 yrs. 1988-1990
Wards Appliance Tech. 11 yrs. 1990-2001
Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present
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September 11th, 2007, 09:18 AM
kenmore bottom freezer icing up in drainpan
Our fridge/freezer has developed the same problem. The only thing I learned at Sears was that it was made by GE and distributed by Camco. A call to a local (Edmonton, Canada) repair and I learned that he was familiar with the problem and has a heater that he installs tied into the the defrost cycle that melts the ice thus preventing the build up. He can only speculate why this is happening. He reports approx 90% success. Replying to how long this will last he shrugs and guesstimates 4 yrs which seemed to imply that that might be the life of the fridge anyway. In his opinion this is a design flaw. The heater is approx. $30. plus service call and labour.
Your information helped me and hope this helps you.
September 18th, 2007, 07:46 PM
further to this, on ours with compressed air I blew out the drain hose at the back and into the metal tube that comes out the back of the fridge. so far this has worked.
Originally Posted by kt?/
May 6th, 2010, 08:04 AM
I thought I should come back and report on our success. . .
In the end, we needed to:
- replace the styrofoam liner/pan between the fridge compartment and freezer compartment. (apx $100 CAD).
- AND ALSO have a defrost/heater line installed. (ie. As the other poster mentioned). This is not a standard part on the fridge. That cost us about $40 CAD.
The fridge has worked fine for 3 years now since that. The only issue with it is that in the past year, we have started to hear a mild "clunking" noise when the compressor runs. A repairman who was here for our dishwasher heard it and said that as the fridge ages, the mounts wiggle loose and this sound is two pipes knocking together. He said it is easily fixed, but we haven't had time to attempt that yet.
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