Refrigerator is making noise and water below freezer

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Old 01-19-19, 04:48 PM
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Refrigerator is making noise and water below freezer

I have 1997 whirlpool refrigerator (top is freezer). In last few months it has been making some noise during running. Noise is very loud when it stop working or start to work.

Now I can see water in the top shelf of refrigerator and water drops on the roof of top shelf of refrigerator.

What could be issue? Is it end of life? or compressor might be gone or fan issue? How to check what is wrong?

My temp settings options are 1 till 5 for both refrigerator and freezer and I always keep at 3 for both refrigerator and freezer. So far I have not seen any change in food coldness or frozen in both refrigerator and freezer.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 08:39 AM
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22 years is pretty good on a fridge.

The water might be from a clogged drain from the defrost cycle. Others will be around for more ideas.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 09:16 AM
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Depends on what kind of noise a rattling sound usually a loose or bad fan blade or fan motor.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 02:45 PM
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Thanks Ironhand, You are right about drain clog. Clog can be at the top in the freezer next to air duct openings or at the bottom where drain line open near the drain pan. How do I know which opening is clogged? I suppose I have to clean both end.

pugsl: You are right about noise description. Noise is kind of rattling and I am quite sure it is the top end of refrigerator. Which fan blade? I think there are 2 fans in this model. One is in freezer back panel at the top and another one is next to compressor. How do I know which fan or fan motor is bad? How to tell if problem is fan blade or fan motor?
 
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Old 01-20-19, 03:07 PM
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Unplug or wait for the fridge to stop and then try spinning the fans by hand to see if you can recreate the noise.

The drain tube can be clogged at any point. I would start at the bottom since it is more accessible.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 04:16 PM
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Unfortunately..... the drain never plugs at the bottom. It clogs just below the evaporator coil. Then the ice builds up and hits the fan. You will need to remove the evaporator cover over the coil..... typically in the freezer.... to check for icing and a clogged drain.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 06:51 PM
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Ok, I did few things.

I pulled refrigerator (power off) and it was full of dust.

As you can see from pictures, drain tube is 2 to 3 inches above drain pan. It seems like in this way it make some splashes and that's why fan blade was full of dust (It was not just dust, it was like lint layer you get in dryer lint filters but kind of attached to fan and nearby.

I was able to remove 75% of dust and not sure how to remove rest of it as it is far back and on the refrigerant tubes behind compressor.

It seems like noise has decreased quite a bit as fan has to work little bit less.

In the current form drain tube is 2-3 inches higher than pan. I have seen u-tube videos and there it seems to be drain tube is right at the floor of drain pan.

Q. Is this safety risk or should I consider replacing it something like that.
https://www.amazon.com/Whirlpool-W10...tor+drain+tube


q.Why it has 2 drain openings. Smaller one is next to main tube.

Q. Should I replace fan or fan blade at the bottom and if yes, then from where to buy one. Is this one size fit all or they go by serial number?

Q. Do this fan needs oil, if yes what kind of Oil WD-40 or some other brand. Where to put oil, at the center where fan blade is attached?


Q. I was not able to remove 25% of dust, any suggestion how to remove that, My vaccum cleaner tube it not that small and nibble.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 08:18 PM
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There is nothing wrong with that drain tube. That is not your problem. That tube comes from the evaporator coil . There will be water coming out only during defrost. That small tube is probably a drain in the bottom of the fridge in case of a spill. That pan is dry. You will need to check at the coil above for your blockage.

Just clean the dust as best as you can. The reason it sticks so well is it's a mixture of dust and kitchen grease. It's much easier to clean if you do it annually. Vacuum the condenser fins carefully. You don't want to bend any of the fins. I use a long brush and pull it out towards the rear to be vacuumed. You can use spray coil cleaner to clean the coil and the fan but it makes a real mess. The fridge would need to be on plastic.

Cleaning underneath there will have no effect on your problem but the compressor will run a lot less saving you money on energy.
 
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Old 01-21-19, 01:23 PM
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Thanks PjMax and others.

I did all the things now.

My original problem of ref. noise during running esp. at start and end and I could hear that noise 2 rooms over. Water in the refrigerator.

I did clean in the back, bottom and condenser fan as much as I could do. I think I got rid of 80% dust. I used brush and vaccum.

Now noise levels are about half and no noise at start and end. I assume noise issue was with condenser fan.

Water.

I did open up back and floor panel in freezer. There was ice but ice was not only at floor and drain tube was blocked. Evaporator fan was fine and no ice or obstruction any where near it. I assume noise issue was at bottom in condenser fan.

I took me while to open drain tube. I was adding HOT water and water seem to disappear in drain tube but nothing was coming out in drain pan. I kept doing it and finally it did open with water start to appear in drain pan.

I did manage to insert 1/4 inch plastic tube all the way down so by my estimate there was no blockage left now.

Drainage blockage is due to ice or something else (like dust which causes water to stop and let it turn ice?

How important is ground cable? I did attach to back panel and made sure it was there before installing ice maker. It is not attached with screws so would there be any electric shock it get loose?

Thanks again guys. It took me 1 hour watching You-tube videos and 3 hours of labor cleaning and opening freezer drain. Not sure how much money did i save!


Does one need to clean drain tube as regular maintenance or just wait and see if there is any problem?
 

Last edited by asi; 01-21-19 at 02:43 PM.
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