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FIXED KRFC704FPS Kitchenaid refrigerator accumulates ice/water on inside lower shelf

brooklin

Premium Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
17
Location
Brooklin, Ont
Model Number
KRFC704FPS
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
Less than 1 year
Kitchenaid refrigerator accumulates ice/water on inside lower shelf of main food storage zone.

First noticed this problem 2 days before the manufacturer's one year warranty expired. Serviceman diagnosed problem with water dispensing valve and ordered a replacement. Returned 3 days later and replaced same.

All good for 3 weeks, then same problem occurred again. Water & ice build up on lower shelf beneath vegetable drawers. Called once again for service which will happen this week. When the first problem occurred i immediately shut of the water supply to the refrigerator and the problem remained & yet they changed the valve.

I read the manual and as suggested i checked temp. behind the fridge and it was 77F. which i understand is good and suggests the clearance requirements are all good. I imagine that this particular problem with this model KitchenAid is not unique to my unit, it must have shown up elsewhere and for some reason or another the serviceman that came to my home was not interested in contacting the Whirlpool Tech. Center and asking what they have documented.

Thankfully i took out the 4 year extended warranty. If anyone can suggest what i can do next or what the serviceman should do (although i will be careful as to how i approach the subject) it would be much appreciated. Thank-you.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Messages
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Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
When the first problem occurred i immediately shut of the water supply to the refrigerator and the problem remained & yet they changed the valve.
When you say the problem remained, was it still leaking water with the water shut off?
 

brooklin

Premium Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
17
Location
Brooklin, Ont
To be honest i'm not really sure. As soon as i noticed a little water and a considerable amount of ice on the lower surface i shut the water valve and started to wipe the interior with paper towels. I then turned the freezer thermostat to +5F and the upper thermostat to 45F ( as high as they would go ) and continued to clean up. What surprised me was the amount of ice formed with an interior temp of 33F. The fact is that the quantity of water/ice would appear to me to be in excess of what you might see from condensation etc., unless it builds up over a period of 3-4 weeks. The only time you get to see it is when you notice water on the top of the freezer door as the ice is covered by the 2 lower drawers. I should also add that there is no leakage in or around the water filter compartment. I have again ( today ) turned the water off and once the ice allows will clean up and leave for the serviceman to check out
 

rickgburton

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Your machine has two evaporators, one in the fresh food section behind the crispers. You'll need to unplug the machine and remove the shelves and crispers to access the evaporator. Remove the cover over the evaporator coils. The evaporator has a defrost heater that turns on and melts the frost off the coils. The water drains out the drain hole in the drip tray directly under the evaporator. The drain hole is probably blocked and the water can't drain so it freezes and continues to build up until it has no place to go except on your shelves. It freezes because the evaporator temperature is much colder (-20°F) than the interior temperature. You will be able to tell if that is the problem as soon as you remove the cover. Use a hair dryer to defrost the ice in the drip pan under the evaporator. Run very hot water through the drain to clean it out. A turkey baster works well.
 

brooklin

Premium Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
17
Location
Brooklin, Ont
Many thanks, wish you were local!...What's best for the service tech due to be here next Tues: Should i switch of the fridge now and clean up the mess or should i leave it running with thermostats set at correct temps. and he will see where the ice build up is etc., Not sure how i will let him know what the problem is but i'll think of something. If it was outside of warranty i would have a crack at the fix myself but it's still under the extended warranty plan and being fully conversant with Murphy's law i think it best to leave it to him. Thanks again, will keep you posted.
 

brooklin

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Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
17
Location
Brooklin, Ont
I should add that the first service call was approx. 4 days after me noticing the problem and switching the fridge off. This was sufficient time for the unit to completely thaw out and begin to function correctly. This latest problem was approx. 3-4 weeks from the first 'Thaw Out'. Would this not suggest that if i thaw it out again it will happen again a month or so from now. Is it possible that there is a defective part that needs to be replaced?. Thank-you.
 

rickgburton

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Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Would this not suggest that if i thaw it out again it will happen again a month or so from now.
There's always method to my madness. If it is a blocked drain that is causing the water on your shelves, and we haven't determined that yet, it may not be ice that's blocking it. I've seen everything from a pea or a corn kernel to a bread tie. Gunk or dust can get in there and slow the drain so it freezes. Instead of guessing what could be blocking it, let's find out if it's blocked first. It shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes to pull the cover and look for ice over the drain.
 

brooklin

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Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
17
Location
Brooklin, Ont
It appears that in order to remove the drain cover i would need to remove one of the fridge doors. The housing that contains the drawers etc., is wider that the distance between the doors when wide open. If the service rep. finds the drain blocked purely with ice what component would you suggest would be at fault. I can understand some form of obstruction would be the issue as a partial obstruction causing ice to form over time but ice surely shouldn't happen if all is working as it should....
 

brooklin

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May 2, 2017
Messages
17
Location
Brooklin, Ont
I have decided to let the fridge do it's thing and remain as 'at fault' so the service rep. can see exactly why he was called in.
 

brooklin

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May 2, 2017
Messages
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Location
Brooklin, Ont
As you diagnosed the drain was completely blocked with ice. The service rep. used the hair dryer for a good 60 mins and poured boiling water down the drain until all the ice was gone and the water 'gushed' down the vent. I am surprised that there is not a device installed in or around the drain to safeguard against this happening again. There was no evidence of anything other that the ice blocking the vent. This has happened twice in the past 4 weeks and i fear it will happen again. If it occurs a total of 3 times they reimburse me the full cost of the fridge and i get to keep the one that doesn't work much beyond a 4 week period. I might add that one of the features that i liked about this fridge was that it was made in America and not China, Japan and/or Europe. Hope it's fixed.........Thanks for you help.
 

rickgburton

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I am surprised that there is not a device installed in or around the drain to safeguard against this happening again.
I assume you're thinking about something that can melt ice. That's because ice isn't usually the cause of a blocked drain, it's the end result. Blocked drain lines have been around since the first frost free refrigerator rolled off the assembly line. Until they start shipping service techs with a refrigerators there's always going to be a blocked drain in a refrigerator somewhere.


There was no evidence of anything other that the ice blocking the vent.
The most common cause for a blocked drain is food. A pea, corn kernel, piece of plastic or cardboard from a package, or anything that gets spilled in the compartment are all common. Dust /dirt can block a drain. If you ever cleaned the coils under a refrigerator, you know how much dust there is. Part of the drain line is behind the machine by the compressor where the water drains. If dust blowing around back there coats the inside of the drain tube it will slow the water that's draining and if one drop freezes to ice, more ice will build on that. I've had to use a evaporative cooler snake to clean the inside of the drain line before. Hard water deposits can cause the same problem.

Sometimes a blocked drain can be caused by the manufacturer. Here's a few examples:
View attachment Service Flash Drain Hole Blocked With Ice New Heater Sheath v Shape Stop Drain Icing Up.pdf
View attachment Service Flash ET14 RT14 Drain Freezing.pdf
View attachment Service Flash EV200 & EV150 Defrost Drain Iced Up.pdf

Another very common problem for a blocked drain on newer machines is the Whirlpool/Kitchenaid machines with the "duckbill" on the end of the drain tube. This was recently corrected with a "P" trap style. This is the one on your machine. Your model is so close to the change over it might be worth checking to see if yours has the duckbill. Your model is not listed in the service flash but check anyways. Look here:
View attachment Replaces the Duck Bill Check Valve.pdf
 

brooklin

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May 2, 2017
Messages
17
Location
Brooklin, Ont
Tomorrow we head out for Prince Edward Island for a 12 day vacation so i will check out what the drain line 'end' looks like when i get back and get back to you.
Thanks for your continued interest.....Al
 

brooklin

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Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
17
Location
Brooklin, Ont
Returned home yesterday and fridge is working good BUT consider that the fridge has been 'closed' since we left. Surprise!..Tech. phoned to see if all is good and when questioned stated a "p" trap on drain line. Hopefully the problem is fixed but how is beyond me. Basically nothing has been done to remedy the problem other than thaw out with a hair dryer..........Hope i'm wrong.
 

rickgburton

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Do you know if the duckbill was removed? If it was and he ran hot water through it, it may be fixed.
 

Jeff Beeler

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Joined
Oct 27, 2018
Messages
3
Location
NC
Your machine has two evaporators, one in the fresh food section behind the crispers. You'll need to unplug the machine and remove the shelves and crispers to access the evaporator. Remove the cover over the evaporator coils. The evaporator has a defrost heater that turns on and melts the frost off the coils. The water drains out the drain hole in the drip tray directly under the evaporator. The drain hole is probably blocked and the water can't drain so it freezes and continues to build up until it has no place to go except on your shelves. It freezes because the evaporator temperature is much colder (-20°F) than the interior temperature. You will be able to tell if that is the problem as soon as you remove the cover. Use a hair dryer to defrost the ice in the drip pan under the evaporator. Run very hot water through the drain to clean it out. A turkey baster works well.

How do you remove the container that holds the drawers? It doesn't slide out easily.
 
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