How to fix ice buildup at bottom of your self defrosting freezer
Few weeks ago I noticed ice buildup at bottom of my self-defrosting freezer, my freezer. It was nothing dramatic at first, but there were more and more ice over time, and I ended up having to clean it every few days
As it happened during COVID-19 isolation, I couldn’t really call repair man, and given that it was out of warranty I decided to open it up and try to fix it myself.
WARNING: As always when you are dealing with electric appliances, you should make sure that they are un-plugged before opening them up. Always stay away from large capacitors which can retain electricity for very long time, and can have enough charge, to seriously injure or kill you. If unsure, or don’t know what you are doing, it’s better to be patient and called trained professional, rather than risk injury or permanently damaging appliance. In my case I didn’t really have much to lose as I was already out of warranty.
To begin with I started by opening up back panel.
Removing the panel revealed white evaporating tray on top of compressor. This is where water will go during the defrosting phase. Heat from the compressor will will warm up and evaporate the water.
This also might be a good opportunity to clean up some of the dust especially around the fan but you should stay away of small pipes and make sure that you don’t damage them. Best would be not to touch them at all!
At top of the evaporating container there is small drainage pipe trough which water comes in and fills the container.
I squeezed the rubber pipe but the only thing that came out was dust, so that meant that drainage line is most definitely blocked somewhere.
Next thing to do was to remove from panel from freezer unit.
I managed to crack plastics in few places, while removing it. I took a photo of connectors, just to remember where everything were, because I had to unplug them in order to remove the panel.
And finally managed to reveal freezers insides.
Back-panel revealed something like rust, which corresponded to the dust I saw in evaporator tray.
I try to clean it up, but it was not coming off, so I just wrapped it in aluminium foil, to prevent it from going to drainage in future.
Bottom middle part is connected to the heater, which should prevent ice from forming in drainage, however significant amount of ice was clearely visible indicating that either header is bad, or drainage was blocked.
I used hair blower to melt the ice and remove it, and inserted strong wire into drainage from back side. That did the trick and water started coming out into the tray. I started pouring some hot water inside the freezer at mid section, just to make sure that there is no more dirt inside drainage.
Soon enough tray started filling with clear water and drainage is fully unblocked.
In order to ensure that drainage stays free of ice, I used a bit of copper wire and wrap one part around heater and inserted the other part inside of drainage. Copper is good heat conductor, and should help ensure free path for water to go out back to evaporator tray.
With this, the only thing remaining is to put everything back together and make sure out freezer still works :)
On further inspection, I’m not 100% sure that what I was dealing it is rust, it looks like like spices particles on closer inspection. It is possible that something got spilled and accumulated in drainage over time, eventually blocking it completely, but I cannot be sure.
My freezer model is Samsung RL58GRGIH, however this should really be applicable to any self defrosting freezer as basic principles of work should be exactly the same.
And at the end please do drop me a line in case this helped you fix your problem, or you get to find this guide useful.