Water collecting in refrigerator

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Old 11-16-17, 10:13 AM
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Water collecting in refrigerator

I have a 20 year old GE top freezer refrigerator that a few weeks ago started collecting water inside the refrigerator part. The amount was perhaps 2-3 cups per day. I removed everything from the unit, turned it off, opened the doors, and let it sit for almost 24 hours. After about 12 hours, the refrigerator stopped dripping, after perhaps a gallon of water leaked into my catch basins. The freezer door, however, kept leaking until the next morning. I took it apart and found that the insulation in the door was soaked and partly solidified as ice. I removed the fiberglass, replaced it with new material, dried the door, put everything back together.

I restarted the refrigerator and enjoyed about 48 hours with no water dripping into the refrigerator. Then it started again. It seems intermittent now. It drips from the adjustment unit in the top, back center. Yesterday morning, there was no water. In the evening, no water. I put a catch basin under the spot that dripped at night, and this morning there was about 1 pint of water that had accumulated.

I'm flummoxed. Help!
 
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Old 11-16-17, 10:42 AM
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Post model # and refrig guy will be in later.. One thing to check is the drain tube from freezer to collection pan is not clogged.
 
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Old 11-16-17, 10:52 AM
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First, consider chucking the fridge. After 20 years service it owes you nothing and a new fridge will be more energy efficient.

If you want to resurrect it I would start by carefully checking both door seals. They should be magnetic and seal tightly. If they don't seal properly you will be allowing a continuous supply of warm moist air into the unit which when it hits the cold will condense into water inside the fridge. If the door seals aren't in good shape the fridge will make more water than can be evaporated in the catch pan and it will leak.

Generally fridges are filled with foam for insulation that cannot hold water. If your door is filling with water you have warm moist air entering the door somehow. When that moist warm air meets the cold from the fridge it condenses inside the door so you'll have to seal up the door to prevent it from filling again.

Then there is the internal drain. Remove the back panel from the freezer compartment and make sure the catch tray under the coils is clean and not clogged. Check to make sure the drain tube in the bottom of the catch tray is clear all the way down to the pan underneath the fridge.
 
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Old 11-16-17, 11:31 AM
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Fridge model is GE GTH18EBB2RWW.

The freezer gasket does not seal perfectly and the replacement was even worse, so I put the original one back on.

Is the drain accessible from inside or outside? There is an ice maker and it looked pretty involved to remove that.

It didn't leak for the first 7 years in the house despite the seal not being perfect at one corner.

It's not so easy to replace the fridge since the cutout in the cabinets is a tight fit and the form factor of large refrigerators has changed since this was installed. We could install only a much smaller unit, and are planning to remodel in a few years. I guess we could do a cheap temporary smaller unit.
 
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Old 11-16-17, 02:23 PM
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Slide your fridge out and look at the back. If you see the drain hose then it's outside. If you don't it's inside. Regardless the catch tray and upper portion of the drain system is internal and in most fridges requires you to remove the back of the freezer compartment.

Also, take a close look at your ice maker. Many are connected by a plug so you just unplug the electrical connection and remove the module. The water supply and valve are often located in the body of the freezer and don't come out with the ice maker so all you have to worry about is the electrical connection.
 
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Old 11-16-17, 06:22 PM
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The evaporator coil, drain tray, and collection pan are at the bottom of the fridge. You will need to pull out the bottom shelves of the fridge and remove the plastic cover that is over the coil. The drain pan is at the bottom of the coil.

This is an exploded view of your fridge. Look under the "unit pats" tab.
sears parts direct/gth18ebb2rww/0432/0166000.html

The plug is usually at the base of evaporator coil in part 622 (drain tray)
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Old 11-17-17, 10:14 AM
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Wow, thanks. Geographically, #726 and #622 are near the bottom of the unit - not up by the freezer compartment? And to confirm, they are accessible from inside the refrigerator portion of the unit? Or do I need to go through the freezer compartment?
 
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Old 11-17-17, 08:46 PM
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They are in that bumped out area at the bottom of the fridge.
 
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Old 12-01-17, 11:10 AM
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New fridge

Decided to replace the fridge. Took a few hours of cabinet work to modify the cabinet above but the modification will not be noticeable after I get new cabinet doors. New fridge should save us $150 per year on electricity and with a bottom freezer, there won't be so much hunting around while squatting looking for stuff.
 
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Old 12-01-17, 05:26 PM
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New fridge should save us $150 per year on electricity
Sounds high...... but possible.
Be sure to put some of that money aside for when that fridge needs to be fixed,
 
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Old 12-11-17, 02:08 PM
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Our electricity rates are $0.24 or $0.28 in the higher tier. So far, our "standby" use (fridge, internet, vampire loads, etc) went down from .22 kWh to .13 kWh. It adds up over 24 hours. I think we will reduce electricity use by 2 kWh per day.
 
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