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Repair guides, troubleshooting information, and service help for refrigerators manufactured by General Electric (GE).

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NOT a GE Profile .. a standard top freezer GE GTH21

Why can't I add my model .. when it is not among the pre-existing choices ?

Anyhow, my std top freezer GE GTH21 is working fine .. at @ 12 years old except .. lately we get small water puddles on the floor at the front corners, a little more on left (facing unit). No water whatsoever in side, under middle or back. I saw it was dripping slowly into tray .. tray was about 25% full so we cleaned and reinstalled. I removed back service panel .. where I go to clean annually .. nothing looked wrong or out of place. Put back together and had a small puddle again next day. We emptied freezer and I was gonna try to gain access to freezer coil in search of drain “source" but plastic clips are tough and didn't want to be too forceful until I had some idea of what I was getting into. Any help would be appreciated.

I should have added that I don’t have any other water supply there .. no ice maker, etc. I also was thinking that there may be a way to electrically “force” an extra defrost “manually" to see if that makes a puddle OR helps thaw whatever may have frozen up.

Latest ... Apparently I was wrong about "nothing wrong inside". We did have another "spill" and I found a puddle in bottom of fridge under veggie drawer. Still see no evidence in freezer so I think the defrost drain water is somehow getting into fridge. I recognize that my next step may be to remove rear panel and have a look-see but, I am also still wondering if I can "force" a defrost to see if it'll misbehave while I watch, before dis-assembly. Appreciate thoughts on this. Thanks, Ron

OK, another update .. I finally emptied freezer, took off back panel .. pretty easy. I didn't see any ice build-up and with a mirror & light I could see bottom of drain about 2” down .. no sign of a continuation downward and couldn't fish my thin hose into any continuation. I defrosted with my heat gun, and poured hot water into catch basin, but water came into fridge. I kept doing this & nothing getting to collection tray .. not a drop. I pulled fridge out and removed back service panel to look again where water would drop into tray and it was now dripping fast. I was able to push hose up into the hole but .. dead stop 17” up. Tried another thinner hose, same thing. Location 17” up from water “spout" would be somewhere in ctr back of fridge about 17” up from floor. I'll see if she works now and if not I will empty fridge and remove back panel to look around. Will be tempted to shut it off and let it sit for 2 days as I cannot confirm I cleared blockage sufficiently. Also tempting will be to drill 1/4” drain holes under crisp drawers to let errant water into tray. Wish I had drain tube drawing. Interested in what others think … so please advise. Thanks, Ron

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@ron_co it would be impossible to have every single device ever made set up as a preexisting choice. Great job in adding your make and model to your question since that is the most important identifier.

par

I agree .. just thought there would be a way to add my own or leave blank rather than starting out with erroneous info. Glad my model is not among the most error-prone ?

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(my happy face turned into a question mark .. sorry for any confusion)

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Hi @ron_co

I don’t know about your particular model but usually the auto defrost cycle occurs once every 8-10 hours to melt the accumulated ice buildup from the evaporator unit

There is a tube leading from the drain guide under the evap. unit down to the drain pan under the compartments, where the water should evaporate.

If the tube is blocked for any reason then usually the water backs up and overflows into the freezer compartment. Where it goes after this, depending on how long before it refreezes again after the defrost cycle has ended would be hard to know.

Is there an ice coating on the bottom of the freezer compartment?

Worst case is if the drain tube has come adrift from the plug connector it is attached to on the bottom of the freezer compartment, but then you would think that there would be very little water in the pan.

Unfortunately the refrigerator’s mini manual (31 46109) doesn’t show the tube.

Note: There is a problem viewing the mini manual on Ifixit i.e. no images or text - when it opens click on History > Download and download it to your computer and view it there. It will display OK. I will inform the ifixit admin as there seems to be ongoing problems with their .pdf viewer.

FYI - your model is most probably not listed by ifixit as usually only devices that experience a lot of problems and people have posted information i.e. repair guide/manuals etc get shown.

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Thanks Jay .. nothing wrong inside, no ice or puddles. I would suspect the drain tube would begin where I could see it IF I could access the coil area in back of freezer. Any idea if snap-off plastic panel would expose that OR would I have to take off the entire back interior (phillips screws).

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@ron_co

Yes there is a hole in the drain guide where the tube is located.

To access it you have to remove the panel to expose the evap unit, fan, heater etc. Here's a link to show you what to expect - part #52 is the panel)

Unfortunately the drain tube itself is sometimes not easy to access as it is embedded in the insulation.

Even this parts diagram for the model only shows the drain guide (freezer diagrams) and the drain cap (unit parts - other end of tube) and not the tube itself.

Here's a link that has an image of what the drain guide and the "hole" for the tube will look like. (scroll down the page a bit)

perhaps empty the evap pan and then pour a measured amount of water (1 cupful?) down the drain tube and check that it all gets to the pan

I'm a bit concerned about the amount of water you said was in the evap pan.

With the defrost cycle occurring every 8-10 hours there shouldn't be that much ice build up so that the melt water shouldn't be that much, unless it just occurred that is. Maybe check when you remove the panel how much ice is on the evap unit.

If a lot, not just a frosting, then there is a problem with the defrost cycle.

Also check that the freezer door seals are OK as not sealing properly can cause more ice to build up especially if it is humid. Place a sheet of paper between the door and the door jamb and with the door closed try to pull it out.

It will come out with a bit of effort but not that easily and it definitely shouldn't fall out by itself. Try this at various places around the door, top, bottom and both sides.

par

This is great info .. I may not even need to go there since I now believe (fingers crossed) that we had too much in freezer pushed back against fan vent. I hear what you said about the amount of water in tray .. only puddled once more since then so I am hopeful and now have info should I need to dig deeper. Thank You Jay !

par

Latest ... Apparently I was wrong about "nothing wrong inside". We did have another "spill" and I found a puddle in bottom of fridge under veggie drawer. Still see no evidence in freezer so I think the defrost drain water is somehow getting into fridge. I recognize that my next step may be to remove rear panel and have a look-see but, I am also still wondering if I can "force" a defrost to see if it'll misbehave while I watch, before dis-assembly. Appreciate thoughts on this. Thanks, Ron

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@ron_co these older fridges are harder to force a defrost on. I don't know that you'll be able to. Take the back panel off and have a look. Try pouring a cup of hot water slowly down the drain. Might have formed an ice plug in the drain line. Also check your door gaskets. It sounds like you've got a moisture infiltration problem. Do you have the doors open an excessive amount? If not, examine your gaskets closely while doors are closed. Are there areas where it doesn't seal completely? Cracks? If so, replace the door gasket to prevent moisture from entering at such a high rate

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Ron C sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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