whirlpool fridg. defrost help with how-to clear line

arkansas_girlJuly 30, 2012

I have a three year old Whirlpool fridge model number ET1CHEXVT01 (top freezer model) and the water is not going into the drip pan but rather it is on the floor at the front left corner. Water is not inside the fridge at the bottom at all, just on the floor. We vacuumed the coils really good, that seemed to help for a few weeks but now water is right back to being on the floor again. For the life of me, I cannot find any information about MY MODEL as to where to clear out the line. Do I remove the back panel inside the freezer or do I have to go into it from behind/back of the fridge? Please direct me. I've youtube searched and google searched until I'm blue in the face! I cannot find my model. Whirlpool only shows parts but did not have any diagram of how to get to the defrost line inside this Model of fridge. I find videos but nothing that is the same as my fridge.

Thanks in advance!

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arkansas_girl

In the mean time since I posted this, we found the drain hole (took the back out of the freezer) and it was a solid mass of ICE in the hole only. We cleared that then snaked it all the way to the bottom and out the end of the drain hose. It dripped through the hose for a while and ended up freezing right back up again with a nice puddle in the same place as before? GAAH!!!! What the heck? Why would it do that...AGAIN?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 7:53AM
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dadoes

My grandmother's vertical, self-defrosting freezer had this problem. The defrost drain under the cooling coil repeatedly froze over, causing water to overflow the pan and collect on the floor inside the freezer (under the storage basket). I solved the problem by removing the interior back panel for access to the area, carefully wrapped loop of copper wire around the defrost heating element and ran the "tail" of it into the drain. The wire conducts enough heat during defrost cycles to prevent the drain from freezing-over.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:07AM
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jakvis

Whirlpool used to have a kit that did as dadoes explains.
This keeps just enough heat in the drain to keep the ice out of the drain

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:20PM
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dadoes

Recollection of Whirlpool's service kit is what led me to my solution.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:08PM
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jakvis

I ordered the kit once, realized what it was and just started using bare 12 GA copper wire after that.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:19PM
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arkansas_girl

Could any of you give me a link of some sort of a diagram or instructions(with pictures) to what I need to do for that copper wire fix? I'm no repair man but I have a handy neighbor that could do it.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 7:45AM
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jakvis

Basically all you need to do is remove the inner rear freezer wall (evaporator cover)and the repair will become self evident at that time.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 11:09AM
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arkansas_girl

I wouldn't know what to attach the copper wire to though. Yes, the frozen hole is self evident but I don't know what the defrost heating element looks like.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 2:59PM
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dadoes

It's a U-shaped heating element mounted under the cooling coil, with a wire coming off each end. Looks similar to a heating element in an electric oven.

Wrap a couple loops of bare copper wire around the element directly over the defrost drain and run the remaining length of the wire into the drain. Doesn't have to be a long length, just enough to extend into the drain. Wrap it securely enough to insure physical contact with the element for conducting heat.

Of course, UNPLUG the refrigerator when doing this.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 5:24PM
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arkansas_girl

Thanks dadoes, that's exactly what I needed to see.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:58PM
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eccentric

Not surprised. We have a 1 year and 7 month old Whirlpool Bottom Mount and are having what Whirlpool believes to be the same problem (they are wrong - I know it is the fan or control panel). When I called them they told me that a simple manual defrost was all that was necessary. Well that worked for 2 days then we were back with ice again - along with sounds like gun shots. Then we were going away for 2 weeks - not a chance I was about to risk that, so we unplugged it. On our return we plugged it back in and 2 days later we were back to ice and water everywhere. The same day the technician was coming. We are still working on the problem - yet they refuse to look at the control panel or the fan. The second tech did put a piece of copper wire in - although on Saturday the fridge stopped working entirely for a few hours - I am afraid to put anything in to the freezer - bread was totally defrosted. Kicked back on - waiting for the next tech - they are going to replace the side rails and the back panel since it is totally warped due to the ice - would it be so hard to check the fan or control panel (we had this same problem with out GE fridge and it seems to be a problem with current Whirlpool fridges). I saw your problem referenced on the Whirlpool Fridge Problems forum. Hope everything works out for you - but I wouldn't go away without unplugging that fridge and - as I did - leaving the doors ajar!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 3:36PM
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