Troubleshoot a Leaky Freezer Unit

Have you ever seen frost buildup in an old freezer or dorm-style fridge? It forms when moisture in the air is trapped inside, freezes, and accumulates over time. To get rid of it, you have to take everything out of the appliance, unplug it, and leave the door open to let all that frost melt and drain out.

This is not a particularly fun or convenient process, to say the least!

Most modern freezers circumvent this issue via a self-defrosting feature. The moisture in the air still freezes and starts creating that layer of frost, but then a heating element within the freezer warms up that frozen layer just enough to melt it and let it drain away (but not enough to defrost your frozen goodies). Then, the cooling element takes over, your food stays cold, and the next layer of frost starts to form. 

This cycle of defrosting, draining, and cooling is regulated by a timer. When it's working well, you never even notice that it's happening!

Sadly, however, not everything works well all the time. One of the most common issues people run into with self-defrosting freezers is water leaking out the bottom. This can happen if the frost that gets melted and drained away doesn't all stay melted on its way out.

Ideally, the defrost water will flow out through a drain at the bottom of the appliance, where it's caught by a drain pan and evaporates. If the water gets too cold before it drains, though, it will reform into ice and block the drain. Then, the next round of defrost water won't be able to get out, and water will end up leaking from the bottom of the freezer.

While inconvenient, this type of leakage is not the end of the world! All you need to do is melt the ice that's formed in the drain and you'll be good to go. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a turkey baster filled with hot water to flush the drain line. This will melt the ice and let the defrost water flow out once again.

At Morris County Appliance Repair, we're committed to providing outstanding customer service, including sharing useful how-to tips for simple appliance fixes like this freezer drain advice. We're always here if you need more assistance with appliance troubleshooting or repairs in Rockaway or the surrounding area!