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Hello, I bought this fridge about 9-10 years ago. About 4 times a year for the last 5 years I've

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Old 11-25-2011, 08:05 AM
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Smile drain line freezes up
Model Number: 106.72102107   Brand: Kenmore   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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Hello,
I bought this fridge about 9-10 years ago. About 4 times a year for the last 5 years I've had to remove the freezer floor and chisel out a layer of ice. I then clear the start of the problem (frozen drain line). I understand this to be a common problem in this model. I've been ill for most of this year and have put off clearing the ice build up. Well, yesterday the fridge was warm and I had frost covering the freezer. I read the other post referring to this type of problem but I was wondering if by all the air flow ducts and vents being blocked by ice built up from the frozen drain line if that might be my problem (No air circulation) I'm in the process of clearing the ice ( seems to take about 30 min to clear the drain line using hair dryer up top and shop vac at end of line). What do you think?
I've read online where lots of people have had this drain freeze problem. You would think the manufacture would create a solution and send out a fix to all customers. By the way, It is so great to be able to come to this site and find solutions to household repairs. Thank you very much.


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Last edited by tommylmeeks@aol.com : 11-25-2011 at 09:42 AM.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2011, 07:02 AM
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I had frost covering the freezer.
If by the above you mean the evaporator coils then I would say that you now have a defrost problem. You have probably already done a manual defrost so you will have to wait for it to freeze again.

Below is my standard blurb on how to troubleshoot this.
First remove the evaporator cover in the freezer so you can see the coils.
Do not let them de-ice.
If they are heavily iced/frosted over you have a defrost problem.

If yes.
Manually force a defrost cycle by turning the defrost timer cam till the fans and compressor turn off. It should be in the control module at the top of the fresh food section. There is usually a hole to let you do this without having ti take everything apart.
Now check the defrost heater to see if it is on.
Be careful you do not want to burn your fingers.
If the heater is on then the timer needs replacing, re: it is probably stalling during it's rotation so is never getting into a defrost cycle.

If not on.
Unplug the unit.
Remove the wire for one side of the heating element from the wiring and measure it for continuity, usually around 20 ohms or so.

If the heater is OK
Remove one wire to the defrost thermostat and measure it, should be 0 ohms when frozen. Note that it opens just above freezing so must be frozen to check it. Also inspect it, if it is bulged at all replace it even if it measures OK.

If both the above are OK then odds are the defrost timer contacts are toast.
Best way to test this is a live test to see if you have 120 volts across the heater/defrost thermostat combo.

Now for your freezing drain.
Make sure that the drain pan under the evaporator coils is clean.
Sometimes a shone up coating of wax on it helps the water run raster to the drain.
Have you tried flushing the drain tube with a 10% to 20% bleach solution. Sometimes stuff can grow in the tube and slow down the drain. Flush it let it sit for 15 minutes. Do this several times. Just be careful that you do not overflow the drip/drain tray under the unit. Also wear old clothes unless you are into the tie dye look.

If all OK you may want to try the following Jiggery Pokery fix
Take a length of solid bare copper wire (12 or 14 gauge should do).
Wrap it snugly two or three times around the heating element and then route the other end down the drain tube a couple inches.
Do not wrap it too tight around the element or you will crack the element.
Now when the freezer defrosts the drain will also defrost.

Let the unit freeze up again and force a defrost cycle and check to be sure that the wire does not get too hot. If it does just remove on wrap from the element and check it again.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:53 AM
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Thanks a lot for the helpful reply, There was no frost on the coils, just on the freezer walls and food. I did get the drain plug cleaned and all the ice chipped out. Everything seems to be fine at this time. fridge is at 40 degrees. I'm hoping this was just a case of poor or no air circulation. My wife had already picked out her new fridge. The next time I have to do this I will take your advise and use the 12-14 wire to transport heat to the drain. Thanks again for the help and advise. . From what I've been reading this problems seems to be common in this model. I think I will write a letter to the manufacture and suggest they make an effort to inform known owners about this.
Thanks again
Tommy
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:34 AM
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Frost on freezer walls may have other causes.

Check your door seals. They may be letting warm moist air into the freezer. Take a 2 inch wide piece of paper and insert it between the seal and the frame.
Then pull it out to see if you have a seal. Work your way around the door.

Another common problem is the seal on the hinge side grabbing the frame when you close the door and not sealing properly. A light coating of vaseline or white lithium grease usually fixes this.

Could also be that the defrost thermostat is not opening when it should after the frost is melted off the coils. This then can partially melt your food giving off moisture which can condense on the freezer walls.
This also applies if the main temperature control thermostat is sticking open once in a while so the freezer temperature rises.

To check for both the above put a bucket/bowl of ice cubes in the freezer. If they end up being frozen together then you have this type of problem.

I am fairly sure if a new fridge would be her Xmas present she would stop looking, at least my wife would.
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