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Repair a Leaking Refrigerator or Freezer

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Joseph in Florida’s got a leaky fridge. Tell us about the problem.

    JOSEPH: Well, what it is is that I’ve got a refrigerator that’s had some leaking in the corner by the freezer part and it’s been draining out. And the last time it happened was a couple of months ago and I sealed it up. I put some potting compound and stuff in the inside, the interior of it, where I was thinking ice was draining out through the – underneath from the freezer. Well, we did that and it lasted fine. Well, it happened about a week ago again; it started to leak again. So now we’re watching this build up more and more leak and it comes – it goes every once in a while; so I’m thinking it’s from the water freezing, expanding up the joints and it starts to get outside the refrigerator/freezer area and it starts to melt and cause the liquid to drain.

    TOM: What kind of freezer is this? Is this a top/bottom freezer?

    JOSEPH: You know, it’s a stand-up freezer; it’s a General Electric.

    TOM: Yeah, with the refrigerator on the bottom, freezer on top?

    JOSEPH: No, the refrigerator on the right side and the freezer on the left.

    TOM: OK. And only the left side, only the freezer side, is leaking?

    JOSEPH: Right, in the bottom corner.

    TOM: The bottom corner.

    JOSEPH: And I thought – yeah, and I checked for if it was …

    TOM: Do you have water in the door?

    JOSEPH: Yes, water [feeds it] (ph). Right.

    TOM: Hey, Joe, how old is this refrigerator?

    JOSEPH: It’s about eight years old.

    TOM: Yep. Well, it’s probably self-defrosting and the self-defrosting refrigerators usually get rid of the water that’s accumulated during the defrost cycle via a drain tube that dumps it into a pan that’s at the bottom of the refrigerator. Now if that tube gets clogged or gets obstructed, the water can back up and then it can leak and show up exactly as you’ve described it. So …

    JOSEPH: So you think I should check that tube.

    TOM: I would check that tube and make sure it’s not obstructed, because that’s why it seems to happen so erratically; because it waits for the cycle, the water builds up, then you find it, you go looking for it, it dries up, goes away and then it happens again because it probably only happens when it runs through the defrost cycle. So I would look for that tube and unclog it and that should solve the problem.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Pick up the phone and give us a call. We want to help you get your project done. We are available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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