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

Side-by-Side refrigerators which automatically defrost have a defrost drain tube that carries water from the defrost cycle to a drain pan attached underneath the refrigerator.


If water appears on the floor in front of the refrigerator 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 models and some freestanding models require service to correct the issue. However, with some freestanding models this can be a do-it-yourself fix. For these models, instructions on how to clean or clear a clogged defrost drain will be in the Owner's Manual. Download a copy of the Owner's Manual.


The following styles can usually be cleared without a need for service:

  • Models with a 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.

  • Models with a plastic panel held in place by a screw. Remove the screw and panel and the drain hole will be visible. If a drain hole is not visible, service is required.


You can flush out the drain hole with a solution made of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2 cups of hot tap water. Use a meat/turkey (bulb) baster to squeeze the solution into the drain hole and flush out the drain tube. When clear, you will hear water running down into the drain pan below. To prevent this from recurring, pour a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2 cups of hot (not boiling) water into the drain opening once or twice a year.


If water continues to leak onto the floor after flushing out the defrost drain tube or if you have a model that requires service, please schedule an appointment with GE Appliances Factory Service.


See also Side-by-Side Refrigerator - Water or Ice Under Vegetable Pan/Bin.