Call it a compilation of all the crazy projects I've come up with over the years. Call it a how-to for things around the house. Call it whatever you like :) It's what I do everyday. My blog is really just a way for me to share what I've learned over the years about home improvement, interior design, organization, diy, crafting and home repair. And most importantly it comes from always working on a budget and forever wanting to fend for myself when it comes to anything. I hope you enjoy (and learn a few things along the way :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Did you know your fridge has a drain?

Well I just found out last night it does, and I had to share my true "Dixie of all Trades" moment to hopefully help others make this repair themselves in the future.

The other day I noticed water on the floor in front of my fridge.  A little troubling since I have wood floors, but assumed someone just spilled water (until I noticed it again a few hours later and realized we had a problem).

Since the fridge is 16 years old I immediately thought replace (who doesn't want a new french door fridge :)  But after spending 6 hours hunting for a fridge that will fit my opening, I was coming up empty-handed and began to panic at the thought of buckled wood floors in my near future.

As you can see I have about a 1/2" gap between my fridge and the trim molding all the way around.  There is literally one fridge on the market that will push into this opening easily and it isn't french door.

So I arrive home with no fridge on order (luckily, as you will soon see, but it is because no one had that one fridge in stock, they only had it available for order).  I will not buy a fridge sight unseen.

So as I sat stewing in my living room, since I did not have a new french door fridge being delivered the next day, I moved my attention to the random water puddle issue that had to be resolved or my floors would be ruined.

I googled "water dripping from front of fridge door" and the first thing that came up was the solution.  I had a clogged drain pipe or drain hole.  I'm sad to say I didn't know my fridge had a drain, but I now fully understand that your frost-free fridge defrosts about four times a day and the water it creates is supposed to drain into the drain pan in the freezer, through the drain hole, down the drain tube, and into the drain pan under the fridge.  Mine wasn't doing that, so I began the task of figuring out how to fix it. I took out the bottom drawer of my freezer and that confirmed the problem. 

There was a frozen puddle on the bottom of my freezer (can't see it very well in the picture, but its there).  Clearly water was not going where it was supposed to.  There was no drain hole to be found, I assumed it was behind the back panel (white upper part of the pic) as I could see a spot where it might be (top left of the picture).  The drain pan is the silver part.

I took off the first two screws I could find which made the back panel bendable enough for me to access the drain pan (its made of a very thin flexible plastic in my fridge).

There it was a solid block of ice filling the drain pan (no pic to show as at this point the pictures stopped due to frustration :).  I used a hair dryer for a few minutes to begin to melt it, then I was able to lift is out.  I poured water into the drain pan and looked under the fridge...nothing draining.  That meant there was a clog.  So I found some old speaker wire (needed something long and thin but sturdy enough to be pushed through the drain system).  After pushing it through enough to get it to show up at the other end of the tube, I pulled it all the way through to hopefully clean anything out that's stuck in there.  Another cup of water to test and it was draining right out.  I fixed my fridge for free!!!

Now of course nothing says it won't break tomorrow and then I'll be back to the drawing board trying to figure out how to get the new fridge I want to fit in a too small custom cabinet, but I'll deal with that problem when it arises.

Hope that helps someone else in the future : )

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