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Defrost drain channel icing up

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The drain channel that funnels the defrost water into the drain hose on my refrigerator keeps icing up. Whenever I

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Old 07-28-2010, 07:53 PM
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Default Defrost drain channel icing up
Model Number: TCS18PADBLBS   Brand: GE   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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The drain channel that funnels the defrost water into the drain hose on my refrigerator keeps icing up. Whenever I open up the evaporator chamber and melt everything with a hair dryer (or turn the refrigerator off for a few hours) all the water drains out quickly and easily--so I know the drain hose is not clogged. Two questions:

Has anyone seen this problem...any ideas for fixing it?

My idea is to build a heat strip consisting of a resistor ladder to place in the channel and wiring it in parallel with the defrost-heater. Since I don't want to open the thing up again until I have all the parts to finish the job once and for all, I'm wondering if there's anyplace I can find an electrical schematic for this refrigerator, of if anyone can just tell me what the volage across the defrost heater is and whether it's ac or dc.

Any suggestions regarding how many resistors to use and what resistance and power values they should have would be a real plus--though I know I'm asking for a lot already. Also not sure how to safely waterproof my makeshift circuit.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-29-2010, 04:26 AM
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Your idea will not work if you have a slow drain. With a turkey baster, force hot water down the drian to unfreez it. If water still is slow in drainig, you have something stuck in the drain elbow. Try to force more water down. If it still is slow, you will need to get in the back , remove the drain line and flush it out with a garden hose
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:19 AM
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Understood--and thanks for taking my question. My problem, though, is that I'm sure the drain hose is not constricted in any way. When the evaporator fan first stopped working, I applied a 1500-W hair dryer to the evaporator chamber to melt the ice that had locked up the fan fast as possible, and the water flowed out the drain with no backup at all.

It's very odd, I know, but it seems that the water melting off the coils is freezing up in the tray a few inches before it reaches the opening to the hose. The build-up eventually blocks the opening, but I don't think the hose is backing up.

Just to be sure, I will take your advice and open up the evaporator chamber today to see what's going on before the ice is thick enough to stop the fan. While I'm at it, I'll flush the drain hose as you suggest, taking it off the back and using a garden hose if necessary.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:03 AM
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They have had a lot of trouble with these bottom freezer models. They do sell a drain heater with instructions. If I have time today, I will look it up.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:33 AM
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Default i have the same issue...

for me it happens every 3 or 4 mo. first the freezer gets ice along the bottom then it seems to work its way up to the drain tube. i use to repair appliances for a living back in the day. and normally i would run a copper wire from the defrost heater down the drain tube...however i don't see a defrost heater.
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:30 AM
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re post with the correct model #
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:21 PM
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To close out my thread, just wanted to let folks know that it was, in fact, a clogged drain hose, and flushing it out as richappy suggested did the trick. Many thanks, "rich".
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:23 PM
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If you have the same model as I do, the defrost heater is a bar running horizontally across the evaporator chamber between the coolant coils.
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