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Should I be concerned about this gunk behind my fridge?

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Hello everybody! This is my first post here. So... The refrigerator in the apartment I rent has been having some

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Old 04-17-2013, 06:43 PM
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Default Should I be concerned about this gunk behind my fridge?
Model Number: TBX12SNSARAD   Brand: GE   Age: More than 10 years   

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Hello everybody! This is my first post here. So... The refrigerator in the apartment I rent has been having some problems - bad gasket, and a few days ago the defrost pipe evidently became clogged as water started overflowing into the fridge - and in the process of inspecting this as a layman who knows very little about refrigerators, I noticed some gunk around what I believe is the compressor. It looks pretty nasty, and I am relatively certain it should not be there. I have attached a picture.

What is this stuff? What does it mean? Is this a safety concern aside from my refrigerator being likely to die sooner rather than later? (I will be speaking to my landlord about all this, but I'd like to know what it is ahead of time if possible.) Thanks.


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File Type: jpg gunk.jpg (168.3 KB, 4 views)
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2013, 07:14 PM
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Here it is from another angle.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2013, 04:37 AM
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Here are your parts
Parts for GE TBX12SNSARAD - AppliancePartsPros.com

Looks like some of it is mineral deposits (brown/tan stuff).
The black stuff looks like it is some type of gunk growing in the pan.

The tan junk on the compressor looks like the drip/drain pan is leaking.
It is hard to see where the pan overfilled and leaked onto the compressor.
It could be that it filled past whatever holds the pan onto the compressor and leaked down the bolt.

It is of concern because you do not want water getting onto the start/electrical connections of the compressor. This is especially important if it is an older place with 2 wire wiring re: no separate earth ground wire to the receptacles.

I would get the water out on the pan and then remove it so you can try to figure out where the leak is.
It could be that there is so much gunk in the pan that it's volume has been reduced to the point that it cannot hold a normal amount of defrost water.
Also a bad gasket will let more moist damp air into the unit and that will result in more defrost water coming off the evaporator/freezer coils.

It looks like a fairly old unit so be gentle do not force anything.
Messing around down there could cause a freon leak.
I would get permission from the landlord before doing it so that you do not end up being liable for it.

After it is cleaned out I would clean it with a bleach or baking soda solution, just to try and kill whatever is growing in the pan.
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