Side-by-Side Refrigerator - Water on Floor, Repairing a Clogged Defrost Drain

Refrigerators with automatic defrost have a drain tube that carries water from the defrost cycle to a fixed drain pan under the refrigerator.

If water appears on the floor in front of the refrigerator or under the vegetable bins once or twice a day, it could be due to a clog in the defrost drain tube. The usual evidence of a clogged drain in a side-by-side refrigerator is ice under the bottom basket in the freezer compartment, in addition to a puddle of water on the floor.

Built-in products and some free-standing models require service to correct the issue; however, with some free-standing models this can be a do-it-yourself fix. Instructions will be in the Owner's Manual. Download a copy of the Owner's Manual. .

The following styles can usually be cleared without service:

  • Defrost drain hole located on the back wall of the freezer, just up from where the floor slopes up to the back, in the center.
  • Plastic panel held in place by a screw. Remove screw and panel, and the drain hole will be visible. If not visible, service is required.


Flush out the drain hole with a solution of 1 tsp. baking soda and 2 cups of hot tap water in a meat/turkey (bulb) baster. When clear, you will hear water running down into the drain pan below. To prevent this from recurring, pour the solution of 1 tsp baking soda and two cups hot (not boiling) water into the drain opening once or twice a year.  

If water continues to leak onto the floor or you have a model that requires service, you can schedule a service appointment by contacting GE Consumer Service at 1-800-432-2737 or schedule a service appointment on-line.