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Things You Should Know about Your Refrigerator Defrost Drain
06-12-2016

What a Drain! 4 Things You Should Know about Your Refrigerator Defrost Drain

If you've ever balked at handling refrigerator defrost drain repair, you'd do well to consider the days of pre-frostless fridges. Step back in time to the early 1950s, before self-defrosting fridges appeared in millions of American homes. At least twice a year, you would have had to plan a whole day devoted to defrosting your fridge. First, you would have had to find a safe temporary spot for the fridge's contents. You'd unplug the fridge and open its doors to let the interior accumulated frost to warm. This thawing took hours unless enterprising owners hastened the process by placing pans of hot water inside the fridge. It was often an all-day task and messy, to boot

The development of auto-defrosting fridges in the 1950s removed the need for this onerous task. When the frostless system fails, though, the need to act quickly is urgent. Knowing how your fridge's drain system works and what happens when it fails can help you spot impending doom.

Like most good things in life, appliances are easy to take for granted. Fortunately, there are many ways you can ease the pain of a failing appliance. From light troubleshooting to tips for choosing a repair company, you can ease your appliance woes. Here a few steps for achieving painless appliance repair:


The Life of a Defrost Drain Cycle

The mysterious workings of your fridge actually aren't really all that mysterious. The defrost system is ingenious, and it relies on a number of interconnected, sequential systems. It all starts with the cool evaporator coils that become frosty over time. Those coils need to be defrosted every so often to prevent them from freezing over.


  • -To do this, your fridge has a defrost timer that triggers the evaporator coil to heat up.

  • -As the coils warm, frost thaws and the resulting water drips into the drain hose.

  • -The drain hose carries the water down to a drain pan located at the bottom of the fridge.

  • - The water that rests in the drain pan evaporates over time, aided by the heat and air circulation of the compressor fan.

Many fridges also have a defrost thermometer to prevent the freezer compartment from getting too warm during the defrost process.


Where Does It All Go Wrong?

A system that relies on so many different parts and systems provides ample opportunity for malfunction. While most freezers and fridges are extremely reliables, occasional mishaps occur. An important defrost part breaks. A drain hose freezes or gets blocked with food debris. The drain pan cracks. The list of potential causes of a defrost failure is seemingly endless. Some refrigerator brands and models seem to have consistent problems with this issue though. An expert refrigerator defrost drain repair expert is familiar with each brand's foibles. With this knowledge, they can troubleshoot and fix the defrosting problem quickly and efficiently.


Warning Signs

Often, your fridge starts sending warning signs of defrost failure long before you see water pooled on the floor. If you know what to look for, you can catch the problem early and call in the refrigerator defrost drain repair professionals.


  • -The first sign is usually on the evaporator coil itself. It will have a uniform layer of frost covering the coil or the panel around the coil.

  • -Clear or dirty-looking water dripping down the back interior wall of the fridge can often mean your defrost drain has a problem.

  • -Water pooling under the vegetable drawers or inside the bottom of the fridge is also a clue.

  • -Visible frost or ice can accumulate in the drain hole when the defrost drain is failing.

  • -Occasionally, you may smell a foul or alcohol-like odor coming from the fridge when a drain tube issue has been ongoing.

  • -One of the most damaging symptoms of a blocked drain tube is the accumulation of water on the floor around the fridge. This occurs because the water can't properly empty into the tube itself. With the tube out of commission, the water simply falls to the bottom of the fridge and out onto the floor.

  • -Partially frosted coils or large balls of frost near the coil point to issues with the refrigeration system instead of the defrost system. Refrigeration systems use potentially toxic coolants, so you should always call in an expert for these repairs.


Fixing It Right The First Time

As noted above, a dozen different components can be to blame for a blocked refrigerator defrost drain. It can be tough to access all of these potential problem areas, and permanent fixes are often elusive for the DIY enthusiast. It's often best to call in the pros when it comes to refrigerator problems. Qualified refrigerator repair companies have years of experience handling various types of refrigerators and their failures. This knowledge allows companies like EU Appliance Repair to find the root of the problem quickly. They'll also arrive at your home equipped with all of the right replacement parts and tools to fix your specific fridge. As a result, repairs are usually faster and more efficient than if you try to handle it yourself.


Refrigerators are incredibly efficient and important to everyday life. Understanding your fridge and how it works can help you pinpoint potential problems early. This ensures that your kitchen has a functioning, reliable fridge without any interruptions to your daily routine.

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