A few weeks ago, the defrost drain in your freezer may have become plugged and frozen over. As the freezer continues to cycle (freeze and defrost), the water begins to pool inside the freezer and refreeze. Over time, the defrost begins to flow downward and pools underneath the lower freezer drawer. As this glacier-like event occurs inside your freezer and continues to expand with every cycle, the ice eventually reaches the door, where it melts and leaks onto your floor.
STEP 1 | Remove Ice Buildup
Before attempting any repair, be sure to UNPLUG the refrigerator or turn off breaker. Be safe. Wear gloves. Wear eye protection. After gaining access to the floor of your freezer, you may find a small ice rink. If done carefully, you’ll make it out in one piece. (pun) 😉
- DO NOT use picks or hammers. That will puncture the lining of your freezer.
- It is NOT RECOMMENDED to use hairdryers or heat guns. If left too long on a certain spot, even a few seconds too close, the lining will burn, melt, or bubble.
- SAFEST option is a Steam Gun.
STEP 2 | Defrost the Defrost Drain
Although a Steam Gun (like this one, for example) is my preference to quickly remove ice buildup safely, not everyone has a steam gun. I used to pour microwaved water down the defrost drain, but after a few spills and burns, I realized this wasn’t the best method. Alternately, you could just unplug the refrigerator, remove all the food, open the doors, and wait for it to naturally defrost over a few days…BUT, what if it’s a restriction like the one shown below? The only easy way is the right way.
Please do not use anything pokey to try and snake the drain. This is a rubber tube. You could puncture it.
Does my refrigerator have a drain tube?
Most do. Defrost drain freeze-ups are fairly common.
Some refrigerator models have updated their freezer defrost drains from a “duck-billed” style drain (shown below) to a “p-trap” style drain (shown below-er) to prevent future backups or restrictions.