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Whirlpool side by side leaking water / Defrosting

kdixon1029

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
14
Location
Murrells Inlet, SC
Model Number
ED5PHEXNQ00
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
6-10 years
I noticed water on garage floor this morning and panicked as I saw it coming from behind the wall! I followed the trail and it lead to the fridge inside. Wow a lot of water. It seems the catch pan under the fridge is full and it is going into defrost mode a lot. This morning I could hear the water dripping on the heating element as well as it falling into the drip pan. Now 5 hours later it looks as if the coils are freezing up again. I can only assume that here shortly it will go into defrost mode again and spill more water. So my question is am I having a freezing coil problem or a drainage problem with the drip pan. Is this something that needs to be emptied periodically? I've never had to do that before. Thanks in advance for the advice!
 
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rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,262
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Which one's yours:
Models.jpeg
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,262
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Your model refrigerator uses an adaptive defrost board. Depending on usage, the amount of time between defrost cycles can be 8 to 99 hours. When a refrigerator goes into a defrost cycle, the amount of water from the frost on the coils is less than 1/4 cup. When a defrost component fails, the evaporator coils will build up frost until it blocks the air flow to the evaporator fan motor. When this happens, the result is poor cooling. First noticeable in the fresh food section then eventually the freezer section. For that much water to collect in the defrost pan under the machine, the evaporator coils would have to be packed with frost and ice. I don't think this is problem you're having. First, it would be barely cooling and you didn't mention any cooling problems. Second, a failed defrost component (that caused the build up) would need to start working again. I'm not saying that couldn't happen, but I've never seen it. Third, the defrost cycle is a maximum 30 minutes, When I need to defrost the coils on a service call, I use a heat gun that can reach 900*F and it takes me an hour or longer to completely defrost all the coils.

You should check all the water lines under the machine, Most are routed across the defrost pan along with the water valve. If you don't find any leaks, then remove the back wall of the freezer and check the frost pattern on the evaporator coils. Also check the ice maker water line where it goes through the back of the machine.

To answer your questions, the defrost pan never needs to be emptied. The condensor fan motor blows the heat from the compressor and the condensor coils across it. It never fills up unless there is a defrost problem and the evaporator needs to be manually defrosted. Water drops hitting the defrost heater and sizzling is normal.
 

kdixon1029

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
14
Location
Murrells Inlet, SC
You are absolutely correct! I turned the water supply off over night and no more water on floor. I emptied the pan as best I could and created another big mess! I turned the water supply on again and I can't see any leaks as of yet. It appears that the water filter housing sits over the pan. This is the only fitting I can see that would drip directly in the pan. I removed the water filter ( hasn't been changed in forever anyway) and will keep an eye on it for leaks. Anything else I may be missing??

Thanks
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,262
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
.... will keep an eye on it for leaks. Anything else I may be missing?...

Well, if I was you I would run some water through the dispenser and try to find the leak. We both know that just turning the water off and then back on didn't fix anything. You're probably right about the water filter housing or one of the lines at the water filter housing. The reason you didn't see any leaks when you turned the water back on is because it won't go past the water valve unless the ice maker is calling for water or the dispenser lever is pressed. With the filter out there's no water or water pressure in the system yet. Every time you shut off the water or disconnect the water line you should run water through the dispenser to bleed the air out.
 
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