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Fix Whirlpool/Maytag Fridge Ice Buildup

Whirlpool Fridge Ice BuildupLast year we bought a shiny new Whirlpool fridge, french-door style with the bottom freezer. Eight short months later, water started leaking out the bottom of the freezer & pooling onto the floor. Apparently it had been leaking for awhile because when I pulled the fridge out, I found the water had been draining toward the back wall, quietly warping our hardwood floor. We don’t have the icemaker hooked up so it was definitely a defrost problem, caused by a little drain grommet. Thanks for nothing, Whirlpool.

Fixing the drain is easy & takes about an hour, although that’s mostly time spent watching ice melt during which you should eat all your ice cream. It’s probably 20 minutes of actual work. Here’s how to fix it — you’ll need a 1/4″ nut driver & a flat-head screwdriver. All the screws on my fridge had the slot in the top, so you could do it all with just the screwdriver.

Step 1: Don’t kill yourself. Unplug the fridge. You can wait until later but don’t forget.

Freezer DoorStep 2: Freezer door. It’s 4 screws, one in each corner. Just loosen them a few turns — don’t take the screws out entirely — it’s much easier putting the door back on when the screws are already in place. The door slides up & off.

Step 3: Lower basket. It lifts out, no tools required. Now’s a good time to start eating all your ice cream.

Drawer ScrewsStep 4: Upper basket. Remove the 2 screws at the front of the rails, then lift up the rails slightly on each side, to slide the basket forward.

Drawer Gear On the plastic pieces at the back sides of the upper basket, push in two tabs with your screwdriver on each piece & pop them up. This will let the upper basket slide out off the rails.

IcemakerStep 5: Icemaker. Remove the lower screw, then loosen or remove the two screws above the icemaker. Unplug the wire harness where it passes through the rear panel — squeeze the sides of the plug & pull. Lift the icemaker up & out. The water tube will slide out of the guide.

Center GuardThermostat GuardStep 6: Plastic guards. The thermostat guard is the skinny piece to the upper right. Push in (to the right) the tab on the left side in the middle. The guard opens like a door pivoting on the right edge, & pulls out.

The center fan guard has two tabs at the top on each end that push in toward the center, & another tab in the middle at the bottom of the guard that pops up.

Rear PlateStep 7: Freezer panel. Remove the 4 screws in each corner. Push the thermostat back through the slot at the top, & also push the icemaker plug back through its slot.

FAST/HARD WAY: Pull carefully up & out from the top middle edge. Be careful because that sucker is SHARP! The back panel will bend vertically in the middle as you remove it, but it’s flexible & will pop back into shape.

SLOW/EASY WAY: If you don’t like bending the panel around the drawer slides, you can take off the slides. The metal rails have tabs that push in to release the whole slide assembly, which pulls out forward. You only need to take the rail housings off one side — when you go to remove the rear panel, just pull that side first. To release the upper section (that you already unscrewed in Step 4), left it up, bend in & pull out — the back end has a tab through the freezer wall. The lower plastic slide housing unscrews with 4 screws.

Whirlpool Ice Buildup

Step 8: Ice Dam. By now you should see the ice problem. Typically the entire evaporator tray is completely iced, along with some of the tubing. MELT IT ALL. Warm water applied with a turkey baster works well. Be careful not to puncture the coils because … that will ruin your fridge.

Do all the ice melting while the drain is still plugged so it runs out into the freezer floor where you can sponge it up. If the meltwater goes out through the drain hole, it can flood the pan under the fridge — no big deal, just dirtier water & more mess.

Drain HoleThe drain hole is near the front of the rear tray in the middle. It’s pretty wide (1/2″) & short, only ~2 inches long. It goes straight down into a rubber “duck bill” grommet that’s probably plugged up with gunk, that you access from the back of the fridge…

Rear PanelDrain GrommetStep 9: Drain grommet. Pull out the fridge so you can access the back side. Remove the screws (6?) around the lower access panel, pop the power cord up & tilt the panel out of the way. The plastic tray under the fan is the evaporator tray — that’s where the water SHOULD normally be dripping into & evaporating from.

Behind (technically in front of) the fan, there’s a black drain slide into the tray that leads up to your plugged drain. Push the slide aside to see the drain. There’s a rubber “duck bill” grommet on the end. Pull it off & clean it — it’s no doubt plugged with gunk. Better yet, trim the opening very slightly so the hole is larger — see this site for photos.

Step 10: Put it all back together. Some tips: if you lived hard/fast & didn’t remove the rails & rail housing, getting the freezer panel back in place can be a bitch. Make sure you slide the tray rails all the way out before you start trying to put the rear panel back. Bend the panel vertically along the middle so it springs back into place on each side. Again, wear gloves. Once it’s in place, don’t forget to run the thermostat wire & icemaker tube/plug out.

When you put the the top tray back, make sure it’s all the way to the front before you pop the plastic pieces on each side back down, so the gears on each side are aligned in matching grooves. Otherwise your drawer will be crooked & probably won’t slide.

Hope this helps. I have a Whirlpool GX2FGDXVY but these steps work on other models too including Maytag etc.

Here is an excellent video of this entire process.


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  1. Alan

    Thank you for the write up on this. Our Whirlpool Gold w/ bottom freezer (GB2FHDXWB01) suffers from the same frost buildup in the freezer. Additionally, the vents up to the fridge compartment get iced up, causing it to not be cool. Defrosting brings relief, but it’s needed more and more frequently. I opened the back panel to check the duck bill. We have the slide that leads down to the tray (dry), but unfortunately the rubber duck bill is not present where it should be. Other than a Sears repairman a couple years back (for a sheet of ice problem in the freezer), nobody’s ever been inside the back. Any suggestions? Is there a way to get a replacement part?

    • Wick

      Definitely sounds like a drain problem. I’d bite the bullet & remove the freezer drawers & evaporator cover, let all the ice melt & make sure you can dump water on the evaporator pan & watch it pour out the drain into the drip tray. I pulled up a parts schematic & I’m not positive but looks like your model might have a funnel drain. Either that or the repairman might have pulled off the duckbill drain entirely which isn’t good because every time you open the fridge door, it sucks warm air into the evaporator compartment (causes lots of condensation in the worst possible area). Another thing that can cause condensation problems are bad door seals. But regardless as long as the drain is clear, the condensation should be able to drain out. You can get parts from SearsPartsDirect.com although once you get the part number, I’d Google it because a lot of the time you can get parts cheaper from other places… Good luck.

      • Wick

        One more note – for months before I finally fixed my fridge, I tried defrosting without taking the time to remove the evaporator cover (the panel inside the freezer, way in back). I was letting the visible ice melt, but turned out behind the panel was MUCH more ice. So I wasn’t really fixing the whole problem & within a week or two, the ice problem would be back.

        In the end after I finally took the time to remove the panel, it took about an hour to melt all the ice that had built up behind the panel & that was with the hot water turkey baster trick, using a hair dryer etc.

        Without removing the panel the ice would probably have taken a full day or two to melt on its own, sitting in the insulated compartment without air circulation. And also without removing the panel there’s no good way to test if the drain is really unplugged.

        • Alan

          Thank you for the feedback and suggestions. I have ordered Whirlpool’s P-trap kit, which is supposed to remedy the issue with the (missing) duck bill drainage issue. I’ll be doing a full defrost of the fridge when I put it in, to hopefully start with a clean slate.

        • Tony

          Wick, I did this today. My unit was nearly identical to your pics. Thank you so much for this post!

  2. Dan in Brighton

    Thanks so much for this; the dis-assembly instructions were very helpful. And, wow, that duck bill is a lousy design! Whirlpool apparently agrees, because there’s now a FREE REPAIR, parts & labor, offered by Whirlpool, up to 2 years after purchase. After 2 years, you can get the part for free. It’s the “P Trap” drain tube kit that Alan mentions above.

    Here’s a copy of the tech bulletin:

    There’s a long list of models covered. My guess: anything with that duck bill. (Mine was a EB9SHKXVQ07) In fairness, how could we expect Whirlpool to guess that a soft black-rubber part, located next to the compressor, would deteriorate and get sticky?

    In case you can’t find that document via the above URL, here’s the highlights:

    Technical Service Pointer #: W10632338A
    Order and install kit part number W10619951.

    Note: Whirlpool will pay for repair parts and labor to perform this repair up to 2
    years from the Date of Purchase. Whirlpool will supply repair parts through the
    normal Parts distribution channel at no cost to the consumer for this repair on all
    units that are beyond 2 years from the date of purchase.

    • Wick

      Great info, thank you!! Seems like my model isn’t on that list so I went with the cut-a-notch-in-the-duckbill method. We’ll see if that does the trick.

    • Jacob

      Update. I was on the phone with Whirlpool this morning and it turns out this link is old and they will now only cover parts and labor for ONE year after purchase/install. Just FYI everyone. CHEERS!

  3. Hannah614

    You Rock!! I will remain eternally grateful, so long as my fridge doesn’t explode in the next few days (I did just take apart the entire freezer based on internet instructions!).

    One question though – my fridge fan is blowing again (yay!!), but not very hard. I guess I’ve never taken the time to feel the fan before – is it supposed to be blowing just a little bit? The freezer is at full force, so I guess I’m paranoid that it’s blowing so much softer.

    I can’t pull the fridge out by myself, so I can’t fix the duckbill in the back yet. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some help over here before it frosts over again 🙁

    • Wick

      Hmm good question. The evaporator fan (under the rear of the fridge, blows out the vents in back) should move a pretty good amount of air. But if you mean the fan that circulates air inside the fridge, that’s probably normal if it’s not blowing air that strongly… I think?

  4. G in WA

    Wick! Thank you! Your instructions came in very handy as I just completed this whole process this afternoon and now my Maytag fridge, or rather freezer, is no longer like my dog after he drinks too much (at least my fridge always went in one spot:) Anyway great instructions and pics and greatly appreciate the fact that you took the time to post this. For everyone, my duckbill was indeed nasty and sticky so here is how I ensured its continued use: 1. washed it with hand soap under a running faucet 2. Washed again the same way with dish detergent but this time utilized a paper towel to clean the gunk off on the inside and the outside. And 3. Sprayed the inside with a little Lithium grease then wiped it down with a paper towel (inside and out). My result was a duckbill that looked and felt like a brand new part. Hope this helps and once agagin Wick – THANKS!!!!!!!

    • Wick

      Cool, you’re welcome! I did all that except for the grease, but last month the ice started all over again, about ~9 months after I fixed & wrote this post about it… same thing as last time, the duckbill was full of gunk. This time I notched the duckbill… I’d mentioned that as a possible fix but I hadn’t actually done it, we’ll see if that does the trick, I’ll know by next summer 🙂 Hope you have better luck.

  5. Doug Hoskins

    Thanks so much for the video. It is awesome. One question though, when I put it all back together, the freezer drawer will come out unevenly. If I pull on the right side of the handle then the right side will come out first and the same for the left side. If I pull on the middle then it will come out evenly. What can I do to fix this?

    • Wick

      Hm, sounds like maybe the rails have frost on them & aren’t sliding easily? You could also see if maybe where the rails attach to the door needs to be shifted a bit. Here’s a site that explains how to do that.

      I’m not sure what else would cause that. Good luck!

      • Bob

        My draw pulls out the same and always did. Not sure why but I’ve never taken the door off so I believe it is intended to do this

  6. Katy

    Thanks for these directions, they are very helpful! I ended up fixing this problem myself (after the water leaked while I was on vacation and ruined my less than 6-months-old new cabinet siding) but was worried about it happening again. Thank you Dan in Brighton for including that Tech Bulletin — I just called Whirlpool and they are coming out next week to fix this free of charge! (My fridge is just over 1 year old, model MBR2258XES3). Definitely recommend calling the 1-800 number for your appliance to get this fix.

  7. Erica

    TY for posting the TSP. I called Whirlpool & they will NOT send the part until we pay someone to come to our home & diagnose our 2 1/2 year young fridge. That is CRAZY that we should pay for a tech visit for $100 + to get a $26.58 (plus shipping) part sent for “free”. What a sleazy way to get out of honoring the TSP & not having to do a full recall as they should for this well know, very widespread issue. I found the part for $14 on ebay so we will go that route.. and knowing how Whirlpool operates by not taking responsibility of fixing the problem outright w/out making people jump through hoops & pay MORE than what the part costs, we will buy another brand from now on.

    Someone commented that in Whirlpool’s defense how would they know a rubber part would get gummy/gunked up ahead of time & while that may be true, they are fully aware now but won’t do the honorable thing & stand by their product w/out telling people to spend more than the part itself for a repair person to come to their house for those fridges over 2 years old. I find that very deceptive!

    • Dawn V

      I just called whirlpool for the same problem and you are correct, they will not send me the part. I refuse to pay the service fee so am looking for the replacement online or will fix it myself. I also will NEVER buy another whirlpool product. BTW this was our second whirlpool product to fail this year. These refrigerators should have been recalled!

      • Erica

        We bought the part for $15 on ebay, which DH installed, BUT it is STILL getting the sheet of ice in the freezer & leaking onto the floor. I am trying to find out what to do next… no more Whirlpool for us either. I read something about having to defrost the freezer, but if we installed the new ptrap, why do we need to defrost it too?! Not to mention, WHERE am I supposed to put our frozen food in the meantime?! So ridiculous!

        We are probably moving soon and will need all new kitchen appliances (aside from this fridge we will take w/us, but only because we don’t want to have any issues w/the sale of our home by leaving buyers a crappy, leaking fridge). We will NOT even consider Whirlpool again!

        • Wick

          Hi Erica, until you fully defrost the freezer (specifically, the enclosed space directly behind the freezer), the ice buildup blocks the drain hole so it doesn’t matter that the P-trap is fixed… a layer of ice an inch or two thick is probably still blocking the drain. Because that area with the ice buildup behind the freezer compartment is enclosed AND insulated, it can take 6-8 hours to defrost & that’s with the freezer door open & the fridge unplugged the whole time.

          If you go through all the steps to remove the panel behind the freezer compartment, then you can pour warm water on the ice & melt it faster. Also that way you can easily tell when the drain hole opens up because the water in that area will start going through the drain/P-trap rather than pouring over the lip into the freezer area. It’s still about 90 minutes of work though.

          The second time mine froze, I did the 8-hour defrost thing rather than removing the panel behind the freezer. Just made sure not to open the fridge door & the fridge food stayed relatively cold. Hope that helps!

      • Marc

        Myself, I’m experiencing the same problems as you all. Bought my Whirlpool 3yrs ago and it’s a real problem. I had a Frigidaire before and it was 15 years when I gave it to my brother. It’s still working. Mine, I feel like taking it to a Monster Truck event so they can flatten it out and get some worthwhile excitement. I changed fridge before we had decided to go stainless. Oh well, Thumbs Down for Whirlpool. Also, my fridge tray tracks broke within the first year and they blamed us… too rough. Go figure.4

    • lee haskell

      Thank you very much for posting this. I almost slipped & fell on the pool of water in my kitchen. I finally realized it was coming from my french door Whirlpool model GX2FHDXVQ03. When I called Whirlpool, they acted like they’d never heard of this problem but offered to send out a repairman and they’d pay for the parts but I’d have to pay for the labor!

      I think this calls for a class action lawsuit.

      I wonder if one’s already started.

    • LizC

      Someone at Whirlpool told me the same thing about needing a repair person to come, but when I called back, the second person said they would send the part and I could contact the repair person on my own. I am the repair person, BTW. Just keep calling until you get the person who will send the part free of charge.

      • Erica

        Just saw this update & figured I’d LYK that we were just recently finally able to go w/out our fridge for a few days during a move, so we were able to thaw the whole fridge & freezer out. NO more water all over now… what a fabulous thing! No more slipping & wet towels on the floor around the freezer.

        If you change the part & have the same water leakage be sure to thaw everything out. We have a large family so not having a fridge for a day or so to thaw out & then another day or so to get it back to the right temp was not an option until we had another fridge to hold our food during the interim.

        TY everyone here for the info!!

  8. Josh Lee

    Hello, I ordered the p trap part through whirlpool myself and I performed the “fix” where I replaced that awful duckbill in the back of the unit – I have the GI6FARXXY06 model. However, water is still pooling at the bottom of my freezer so it appears the problem wasn’t solved with this new p trap. I had to pay for the p trap because whirlpool said they’d cover the parts ONLY if I allowed a service tech from their lineup come out and install it which could cost anywhere between $100 – $300, who knows……

    Any other idea’s here? All I did was replace the duckbill with the p trap part – that was it, I didn’t run the defrost or anything like that after I completed the replacement. Also, why would whirlpool only cover people for 2 years after the purchase on something they know is a problem? Am I the only person who thinks that is ridiculous? They know they sold consumers something that doesn’t work like it should – they acknowledge that – but they will only cover consumers for 2 years? I guess they are saying their products are only good for 2 years? That is pretty crappy.

    Thanks for any help,


    • Wick

      Hi Josh, you’d need to let all the ice melt before condensation can start flowing out the drain line through the new P-trap again. On my fridge there was several inches of solid ice built up behind the freezer wall, especially on the bottom where the drain hole is. I had to let all that ice melt before the drain hole opened up again – everything back there was frozen solid. I took all the food out of the freezer, unplugged the fridge & left the freezer open for ~6 hours.

      Even with the freezer door left open, it takes hours for the ice to melt because it’s an insulated space back behind the freezer wall & there isn’t much air circulation. To speed up the melting you can take out the panel in back of the freezer like I described in the blog post, but it takes 20-30 minutes more work. But that way you can use a turkey baster or something similar to pour warm water on the ice back there & melt all the ice in ~1 hour instead of 6 hours.

      Hope that helps. Once you get the ice melted, the new P-trap should do the trick.

    • CleoB

      I totally agree with you Josh. I have a Whirlpool bottom freezer that has ice build-up and after Googling it appears to be a bad design problem. As far as I’m concerned if one registered their fridge with Whirlpool it should be Whirlpool’s responsibility to notify people. 2 years coverage is B.S. I’ve also seen posts on youtube that the p trap doesn’t work either…..another bad design???

  9. BRed

    You guys rock! I followed your directions and managed to fix my leaking freezer myself! Thanks for posting these step-by-step directions in so much detail (along with the very helpful photos for people who don’t know jack about refrigerators or freezers)! Can’t thank you enough.

  10. Waldo J.

    Thanks for the great site!
    If I had found it earlier, it would have saved me a lot of experimentation.
    My problem, as it seems to be with many here, is the duckbill flapper clogged up with gunk. Unfortunately, I thought it was an ice dam down in the drain that was stopping it up even after the surface ice was melted. Went at it with a hair dryer and noticed too late that the direct heat caused the plastic wall to distort – luckily I can still fit the removable metal panel back into place.
    At that point, I realized there has to be a clog, not ice, and opened up the rear access panel and found the “water chute” and duckbill in the general vicinity, going to the condensate pan.
    Gunk cleared, problem gone, lessons learned.
    I agree with Erica above that it is shameful that this is a widespread problem that is not being addressed.
    Sadly, with the economy what it is, Whirlpool and other appliance manufacturers would rather take the cheap route and inconvenience customers than come up with an elegant solution.
    It is depressing to think of all the elderly and/or non-mechanically inclined people that are getting soaked for repair service bills caused by a $5.00 part that gets gummed up on many models, based on the customer comments here and on other sites.
    Best of luck all!

  11. Frank

    These instructions were amazing. I do not consider myself handy and was able to fix my leaking freezer in about 2 hours. Thank you so much!

  12. Marc

    Super helpful info. I’ve been having the same problem for the past 2 years. After seeing the info here on the technical bulletin I contacted Whirlpool, they claim they’d never heard of it and offered me the contact info for a service tech. Anyway I took the fridge apart today and found a small piece of broken plastic blocking the duckbill on the drain, cleaned all that out and defrosted and now everything seems to be flowing great! Thanks for the great write up. My comment to Whirlpool was that I now know what brand of appliances to never even consider buying again!

  13. David

    Having gone through the same frustrating experience of water leaking from the freezer moments after the initial warranty expired, I researched the issue on line and was flabbergasted so many other Whirlpool Gold refrigerator owners suffered the same. After months of mopping up , I finally called the Whirlpool Customer Service Experience center and politely explained the situation saying it was obviously a design flaw and the expectation was that they would repair it without charge regardless of the expired warranty issue. Their response certainly was the RIGHT response. They connected me with a local certified repair company who came out within 48 hours and the problem was permanently fixed in only one hour! No charge, no fuss. For you who have struggled without resolution let me suggest you call them and politely request they do for you with they’ve done for others (the repair guy said ours was the 80th one he had personally repaired). 800.253.1301 ext.3

    • JoJo

      Thanks, just bought a condo, 1st nite here the pool of water was in front of the bottom freezer door on the floor, almost broke my neck, unit is only 4 yrs old, called the owners, they said still under warranty (extended) and they called Sears 4 us, coming out tomorrow, let u know what happens, this should be recalled and given replacement fridge if warranted by Whirlpool, glad u got a great response..and thanks for the great instructions by O.P. 🙂

  14. Brad Mills

    I wish I’d seen this last night… I just had a repairman come out and charge me $200 for labor and $100 for a new drain hose. It ended up being that duckbill piece on the drain tube, he said there was a recall for them.

  15. Alan Grant

    This is a life-saver! I completed this just now: it all works!
    Thank you Sir!

  16. Koren

    It’s a shame whirlpool bought maytag. We thought we were getting a high quality item. We will be following your instruction today to fix the pooling problem, this will be the second time. First time was done by a “professional”. By the way…all of the items we bought of this maytag series have design flaws, especially the convection oven. When calling maytag, that’s what they pretty much told me. ” It isn’t broken, it’s a design flaw.”

  17. Chris

    I am experiencing the same problem with my Whirlpool refrigerator/freezer. I contacted the Whirlpool Customer Experience and referenced the above noted Technical Service Pointer. Unfortunately, I could not persuade the service representative to cover the cost of the repair. She did agree to cover the cost of the parts but would not budge on the service charge because the date of purchase is over 2 years ago.

    I’ve lost all respect for the Whirlpool brand and will no longer purchase anything from them. The two year warranty on this admitted design flaw is unacceptable especially considering the fact that Whirlpool did not announce the flaw until November 2013 – almost two years after I purchased it. It isn’t the money that is the problem here, it is the overall lack of customer service and ethical business sense to do what is RIGHT.

  18. Brian

    Muchos Gracias from the Valley el de centro!

    I love this fridge. We’d been gone for a good four months and when we returned all appeared well except I noticed the frozen wall of death behind the freezer drawer and assumed it had just been a causal effect of being gone so long. Then a few days later my wife said the milk and juice weren’t very cold. The freezer stuff was awesome cold but the fridge not so much.

    Shut the fridge down, opened up the freezer and started the thaw then got to thinking there may be more to this than just a little bit of ice. Googled your post and WOW!!

    Followed your extremely detailed, competent instructions to a tee Fast/Hard and had no problems! disassembling, thawing and reassembling. Didn’t even have any trouble getting the panel back in due to your excellent warning about the problem. Dropped right in. I bent (not permanently) the sides towards the rear bowing the center towards the front and this prevented any misalignment issues and allowed for easy re installation of the thermometer, ice maker plug etc.

    One problem. I never found a clog in the drain line. As a matter of fact when I began basting the fins the water immediately started overflowing the evaporator pan on to the floor. I opened the back up and I have a hard white plastic tube with no duck bill. A relatively clean pan.
    So my question is: what caused the problem?

    There was a lot of dust around the front grate, back in the lower coil and around the vent in the back. I vacuumed all that out.

    How does the fridge defrost itself?

    Humidity control off or on? Any difference.

    If gone for a long time should I set it warmer?

    Thanks again for all your efforts.

  19. Brian

    Follow up.
    About 4 days later the freezer was loaded with frost a and the back wall was icing up again. $&@#*%!!

    I’m not really sure why this happened. However, I didn’t have the p trap and up in further reading and visitation of other websites I discovered that I also don’t have the bottom rubber grommet with the “duck bill”.

    I kept hearing about the duck bill on the drain and I assumed all were discussing the bill like slot inside the freezer compartment that I assumed was clogged and needed to be cleaned. Another site actually showed the picture of the grommet and that’s when I discovered I don’t have one on my fridge. Just a hard plastic tube that angles down, wide open, into the evaporator pan.

    Prior to discovering I don’t have the grommet I called whirlpool and after some wrangling convinced them to send me the kit from the service bulletin. Had I known about the missing grommet I would have asked them if my fridge was supposed to have it. If it doesn’t then I don’t know how the moisture is kept out of the freezer unit.

    I jury rigged my own grommet in the mean time and so far so good. However, will report back in a few days.

    Thanks again to all who posted helpful information.

    • Wick

      Hmm when you say the freezer is loaded with frost, that sounds to me like it might be a freezer door seal problem. The only time I’ve ever seen that type of thing is when our kids don’t close the freezer drawer all the way.

      I don’t think the drain hole without the grommet would let enough air exchange to cause that frost problem.

      I’m not a freezer tech though. Good luck! Hope you find out what the problem is.

  20. Yvonne Grant

    What are those slots near the front edge inside on the the freezer floor? When I wipe out the freezer, small pieces of crumbs fall into those slots which cannot be a good thing.

    • Wick

      Hi, I don’t know, my model doesn’t have those. Just a complete guess but the floor or vent cover might be removable, because otherwise you’re right, crumb buildup would definitely not be a good thing over time!

  21. K. Fitzpatrick

    Had the same problem with ice build up. Purchased new p-trap after researching. Followed step by step instructions. After one month, ice build up again. Any new suggestions for problem?

    • Nicky

      K. Fitzpatrick, my Whirlpool, bottom freezer, french door fridge starting to build up ice on the evaporator coils after 11 months of buying the fridge. The repairman said that it’s the Control Board that needs replacing because the fridge was not defrosting every 8 hours or so, like it’s supposed to. Control Board is the part (computer chip) that regulates when and how often the fridge should defrost.

  22. Craig

    Thanks for the instructions. I have an almost 3yr old Maytag that recently started having this problem. After some googling and finding this site and others, I’ve just called Whirlpool (I’m in Canada) and they offered to send me the part at no cost. (they also offered a tech but at a cost) …I’m handy, so I’ll take care of it myself.

    I’ll wait for a cold day, so I can put our food outside in plastic bins, (wont have to wait long in December) and then I’ll disassemble/de-ice and install the part.

  23. Brian

    unfortunately, I am about at the end of my rope on this issue and with Lowes, Whirlpool etc. I don’t know how to post pics but will try to be as descriptive as possible.

    1. Took the advice from the website on how to dismantle and thaw unit. Did so and then went to inspect the drain line. I didn’t have a duck bill grommet on the end of my drain line. Look all over the entire area to see if it somehow fell off. Had my wife look as well. No duck bill. And, my drain line was different but not the P-trap style. Put the fridge back together and hoped for the best.

    2. Freezer freezes up again, upper level (fridge) not getting any cold air from freezer. This time, however, it froze up a lot quicker and all the freezer items had a ton of frost on them. Determined that this was more than likely from “pulling” warm moist outside air in through the drain and realized that I must need some sort of restriction on the end of the drain line to prevent this from happening. Jury rigged a rubber grommet and tried again. Meanwhile, contacted Whirlpool and convinced them to send me the P-trap.

    3. Freezer re-froze, repeated step One, put the new p-trap drain from Whirlpool on. Assumed the problem would now be fixed.

    4. Freezer re-froze. Went to Lowes, they refused to offer any help other than a 30 second conversation with a friend of a friend appliance repairman who stated, “You need to have a tight seal around everything-pulling no air in from anywhere.” This made me suspect that the P-trap had to have some water in it at the outpost of the fix. Re performed step one, pulled the drain off and put some water in the p-trap.

    5. This lasted about as long as the temporary rubber grommet fix and of course, went out on Xmas Eve. So, here I am on Christmas day re-performing step one and looking for any advice on what my problem is.

    I assume there is a problem with the defrosting timer, mechanism or whatever.

    Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

  24. Andrew D

    I have the same issue I think now. I have WRX735SDBM. The top part of the refrigerator is fine just the bottom freezer door has frost built up. I followed the steps above somewhat to see if it fixes the issue except i didn’t take the back panel off I just took a spray bottle with very hot water and sprayed down through the vents and cleaned everything up and letting it sit for a few more hours, will see if it fixes the issue. Lowes said it will be a week until they can come out to repair.

  25. Jarrad

    I have a whirlpool fridge that has the water filter on the bottom front right below the double doors it is leaking where the filter connects at the back and filling up the drain pan very quickly any ideas on what maybe the problem?

  26. Marjorie Freedman

    I had a huge ice dam that I had defrosted following the instructions provided on this site.

    However, I couldn’t move my unit to deal with the drain so called Sears. The Sears repair man diagnosed my problem –he told me there was a leak in the sealed system–not worth replacing. This is the same diagnosis that is on this video.

  27. John

    Yep..had same problem. Puddle of water in front of fridge, and ice build up in bottom of freezer. Would remove everything from freezer, remove ice, and think all good, only to have it happen 4-5 days later again. After 3 or 5 times did some research, that dang duck-bill grommet, full of crumbs, hair etc. I tried to clean it, but was sticky, so I just took it off completely after thawing completely. Have been running 1+ years with now duck-bill, no p-trap, no ill effects yet (that I’m aware of anyway). I plan to order the p-trap, hence how I got here. Looks like i’ll be paying for part and installing myself.

    BTW, bought new whirlpool front loading washer shortly after this fridge. Yep, water on floor, could not figure out for life of me, would be sporadic. Determined water was collecting behind the plastic part in door and would slowly drip out. I think I’ll shy away from. Whirlpool must rely on customers to test their products.

  28. Christian

    I called about the problem and they say “the have been monitoring” and do not admit there is enough feedback to issue a proper recall. They will offer the part as a “courtesy” and don’t cover service. I told them they knew the problem with the part so this is why they are offering the re-designed part. They said they “reserve” the right to tell us if there was a design problem, so it goes on and on until I say: Too much baloney and hanged out. Now, all advice prior to call them was given to me by my technician who they also discredited saying he gave me incorrect information. All this bitching being said, and finding the big stream of past and recent information about the subject is this product is very poorly supported by a not very honest company Sorry I kept bitching!

  29. Marty

    I purchased one of the models in December 2011 affected by this design flaw. In attempting to get Whirlpool to cover labor as well as the part, I ran into a brick wall. The customer rep and supervisor I spoke to both acknowledged that numerous models and customers have been impacted, but since the issue is not one of safety, no recall is planned. I was told Whirlpool would cover labor for up to two years after purchase, but not beyond that time frame. I argued that had I been aware of the problem at the time the original Service Pointer W10632338 was issued in August 2013, I would have sought repair then and not been charged for installation labor. But since consumers were not informed of this widespread flaw, I had no way to know that. My argument fell on deaf ears.

    Watching the video embedded in this post, I decided installation would be dicey given my propensity for breaking small plastic parts. So I will have to absorb the cost of a service call.

    In shopping for appliances in the future, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Maytag and Amana won’t be considered if I can avoid those brands since it’s clear the manufacturer is unwilling to do the right thing when defective designs are discovered.

  30. Momma

    Hey Wick–you are a life-saver. Did the total defrost and my son put in the part. Whirlpool was less than helpful but FYI–if you lost food due to spoilage, they will send you a spoiled food claim and they pay up. You need photos of the food lost, the bad part (don’t send it–they accept a photo) and the receipt from the replacement part. I monitor the temp inside both compartments daily just to be sure everything is working. Hopefully after a while, I can stop doing that.

  31. Joe

    Thank you so much for posting the step by step procedure to repair the leaking freezer problem. Also the follow up comments reporting the technical service pointer. Makes you kind of wonder why it’s not a recall. I will make some phone calls and get this repaired so I won’t have to tear my freezer apart next year.

  32. Stephen Chapel

    I found the Tech bulletin for fixing the clogged defrost. Contacted whirlpool and they are going to fix it. Thanks for the great info.

    Link to Tech Bulletin:

    Thanks to Dan in Brighton.

  33. Ma Doi

    Have had my Whirlpool Gold for almost three years. Noticed water on floor about six months ago (of course right after the two year warranty expired!) but thought someone left the freezer door open. Since then I’ve been paying closer attention and discovered the ice build up on the bottom of the freezer. I now have an alarm on my phone that reminds me to scrape out the ice once a week to avoid water damage in new kitchen! Finally found your blog and some helpful videos! Will be ordering the part and doing the work and hoping for the best. Thank you for helping me and so many others out!

  34. Scott C

    I have been fighting this same issue for over 3 years. Even under the warranty they have replaced the fan, bi-metal, heating element, and added the little metal thawing attachment to the drain. This has helped, but the top right corner in the back of the freezer is still icing up badly and then it slowly spreads across the top area of the fridge. I have gotten to the point I no longer install the back cover and use a steam cleaner about once every couple months to thaw the ice. I am thinking about wrapping an old coat hanger around the little heating element and looping it in this area of the freezer to help thaw this corner out. Is there any reason not to do that?

  35. Marlys Degen

    My refrigerator was bought Jan. 2012. I had the defrost problem fixed(which should have been under warranty) beings it was a defect by the manufacturer…Wirlpool.
    Now I want to have the icemaker hooked up, had the plumber out to run the water line,
    which he did…no ice…he came back rechecked his work…no ice…NOW I have called the Whirpool man to come out and find what is wrong with it! I thought Whirlpool was a reliable brand but I must say, I am now rethinking it. Model GB2FHDXWQ02
    S/N K14408127

  36. Brandon

    I called customer service after finding this website and exploded on the poor rep. I apologized to her in advance and tried to keep cool, but there was no way it was possible once they told me that out of the hundreds of model numbers on that list, mine was not included. They told me they’d send me the P-trap for free though. (oh thanks) July of 2012 we had an entire houseful of new maytag appliances. So far the dishwasher has been repaired twice, the stove has massive chipping and discoloration, microwave is discolored on control panel and the washer sounds like a nuclear air raid siren going off as it ‘senses’ the load. This website has been so helpful but frustration to see so many people having these problems. it’s nice to know that the one phrase that sticks out is ‘never again will we buy maytag’ and it saddens me that companies can get away with treating people like this.

  37. Jack Barwick

    Sure wish I could have found this blog before I unfroze the visible ice. When I get back to the same problem (about 2 weeks) I will have some information to rely on. Thanks a bunch. I’m not going to tell the wife I found the info. We will let her think I’m a genius.

  38. Hilary

    It’s been two long months of whirlpool hell. First mopping up wet floors, and the second of warm refrigerator. My husband tried unsuccessfully to get our 2.5 year old Whirlpool (GB2FHDXWS07) fixed, but because our warranty had run out, they tried to convince us there was nothing they could do but give us 40% off a new Whirlpool (Thank you, NO!).
    Having read all of the above, I am convinced this is our problem. Have bought the part, and will completely defrost the freezer for however long it takes (I am not ambitious enough to take that bottom freezer compartment apart!).
    I hope to fix this problem with the guidance of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk24ISRzSRs
    Wish me luck.

    • Susie

      Thanks so much for all the instructions, pics, comments, links, and the link for the video on installing the replacement part is very clear and easy to follow. This is so encouraging.

    • Hilary

      It worked!

  39. Naja

    We have followed all the instructions and all worked fine except when putting back the drawer, plastic gears do not engage so drawer is very wobbly. We have taken it apart three times and still can’t figure out what happened. Thoughts?

    • Wick

      Hi Naja, maybe this part?:

      When you put the the top tray back, make sure it’s all the way to the front before you pop the plastic pieces on each side back down, so the gears on each side are aligned in matching grooves. Otherwise your drawer will be crooked & probably won’t slide.

  40. Mary Mravnik

    I’ve got a Kenmore Bottom Mount Refrigerator Model# 596.69280011. Every 3 weeks there seems to be a lot of ice on the bottom of the freezer itself which then melts onto my hardwood. I’ve tried changing the defrost levels on the fruit & veggie compartments but nothing. Any suggestions?

  41. Eric

    After I fully defrosted my freezer I found a piece of packing styrofoam and gunk blocking the drain. Make sure you can push a coat hanger from the bottom then run water through the top with a turkey blaster. This will make sure your drainage is fixed.

  42. Jack Barwick

    Ok, ordered the drip part/replaced part. The job itself not so bad, now my icemaker doesn’t work. I have checked everything. Have water, even cycled the thing using wire and it let water in but will not dump ice. Looks I am calling a service tech.

  43. Thanx…it took a few hours to do but your tutorial was spot on…only downside is wifes sad cause shes not getting a new fridge.Thanx again

  44. Joe marsh

    After I have have finish with the repairs and cut a small v in the middle of the duckbill, could the extra air coming into freezer through the dockbill cause frost buildup? It seems like there is a lot of frost now.

    • Wick

      The amount of air that comes in through the duckbill is pretty insignificant, versus the air that gets in each time you open the fridge or freezer door. It’s far more likely there’s a problem either with the door seal or the frost-free system components (heating element, sensors, fuse, control board etc).

  45. Mike Holland

    Thanks very much for the explanation of the procedure. It was very helpful. I have a Maytag. It took all day to do the job, but it solved the leaking water problem.

  46. Jane Sommerer

    Fixed the ice buildup . Now have a spurt of water coming out back. Seems periodic. None in drip pan and some drops on back floor as well. Any idea why and how to fix?

  47. Peter

    My Maytag French door-bottom freezer has some ice build up, and I put milk in the fridge and it goes bad in 2-3 days, also a bad odor…..I have the fridge set on 4(both top and bottom)…..never had problem before…..model #MBF 2258XEW1……seriel#K10475373……can you help

  48. Trish

    I bought stainless steel Whirlpool Gold range, dishwasher and fridge April 2013 – with an extended warranty (thank God).
    My range hasn’t worked properly since day 1. In the beginning the control panel would short out and restart within less than a second, once or twice a month. Then the duration of shorts grew longer and more frequent until it stopped working completely.
    A repair tech came out (under warranty) and said the problem was electrical and to call an electrician.
    I then hired another repair tech (out of pocket) to look at it and give a second opinion. Between scheduling and arrival of the second technician, my dishwasher stopped working. Technician was for range only so couldn’t look at dishwasher, but he did say the range problem was electrical.
    So I hired an electrician.
    He showed me where the connection from the range had evidence of multiple shorts at the panel. He not only fixed it, but also moved the connection to a different section of panel because initial cause of the problem was undetermined.
    I was so happy to have a working range again that I literally cried like a baby.
    So when he left I still had no dishwasher, but at least I could cook again.
    A couple of hours later I happily prepared to roast something in the oven, when my range shorted again!!
    It was for just a brief moment like it was when I first bought the appliances.
    The logic of cause and effect says the problem really is my range.
    Then later that same evening (it was last night, in fact), as I was looking online to see what my dishwasher issue might be, the freezer bin on my fridge became stuck in the open position. No ice buildup that I could see, nothing blocking it, just stuck slightly ajar on one side. So I covered the gap with tape to keep as much cold air in the freezer as I could, and went to bed – in a very foul mood.
    Today we gave all of our food to a neighbour and unplugged the fridge.
    I was so fed up after that, that I decided to scrap all 3 appliances and buy Maytag… because my washer and dryer are Maytag and have never caused a problem.
    However, today is Canadian Thanksgiving and being a holiday many places are not open.
    So I went online to find a temporary fix to get my kitchen functioning again, and read that Whirlpool bought Maytag.
    OMFG I am going to lose my mind!

    Thank you for a forum where if we can’t find a fix, we can at least vent our frustration.

  49. Joel

    Same problem with a Kitchen Aid bottom drawer refrigerator model KBS25EW… that I purchased at the end of 2013. Same story when I called Kitchen Aid was that they would pay for the part replacement but not the labor. Clearly a design flaw as that “duck bill” part has such a narrow opening it’s bound to get clogged with the slightest debris or other buildup over time. I really feel powerless in these types of situations and also don’t want to spend lots of extra time trying to recoup the $100+ dollars I had to pay to the technician. Apparently Kitchen Aid was paying for labor and the part for this repair up until recently but I guess I missed the boat.

  50. Roseta

    My 3 yr old stainless steel french door whirlpool gold has the problem that not cooling on the upper fridge and ice build up at the bottom and the defrost water does not drain. I called the technician for repair, he told me to change the control board and it costs about$ 500. He even suggested me to purchase a new one.
    After searching and searching, I found out is the duck bill check valve is plugged.
    Please visit http://docs.google.com/file/d/OBzliBNwRIV4NNWJNNmxOandROGs/edit
    for free P trap drain tube kit W10619951. The manufacturer will pay for repair parts & labour up to 2 yrs. You can call for free parts to repair by your own. It is easy, make sure you defrost all the ice build up by unplug the fridge, remember to put big towels on the bottom to soak the defrost water. Then follow the instructions provided with the P Trap drain tube kit. Good luck!!

  51. Scot

    I just went through and defrosted and made sure all ice gone, but it looks like my whirlpool gold came with the fix, no grommet just a solid tube coming down. removed it and made sure it wasn’t blocked, it wasn’t. I have been having this problem with my fridge for along time. whats the fix if it doesn’t have the grommet? from what I can see, its that the hole in the drip pan is WAY to small, or it released to much water onto it and it freezes up right away.

  52. Ken

    Had a similar problem with ice build up in bottom freezer in my Whirlpool. The unit worked fine prior to moving. It had set unused for about 3 weeks, so I wouldn’t think ice buildup would be the problem. The ice maker has been off for a week and the ice has continued to build up. The refrigerator has been leveled, which is what I thought the problem was to begin with but it continues with the ice maker in the off position. Any thoughts. Ken

  53. I had the same problem…isn’t there a class action law suite that could be started. I had an antique dinning table that was in the basement that the fridge leaked on and the table got a big mildew spot on it…we were on vacation and i didn’t see it until i came back….

    the parts store that i purchased my p-trap from was very much aware that the “duck bill” was a design flaw. With all the complaint and damage to wood floors, furniture, etc..you would think that a lot of money is at play here…

    I would love to be part of a class action suite.

  54. Sarai

    Hello I have a kenmore refrigerator with freezer on top. I have a lot of ice build up and cleared the drain once but ice is still building up in the back of the freezer. Should I remove all ice behind the panels (I believe it’s call the evaporator). There is a lot of ice when we reomoved the back panel.. And if I do remove build up ice how should I remove the ice and if it’s safe meaning I won’t break my refrigerator..thank you

  55. Maurice Bouchard

    I want to thank Troy for the expert instruction on how to replace the p-trap drain tube kit and removing the ice buildup from the whirlpool gold bottom freezer drawer compartment. I always enjoy being able to do these types of repair myself and the sense of accomplishment it brings. Thank you Troy that was fun.

  56. Jeff

    This was one of the most well-done step-by-step fix it instructions I have ever read. I am very mechanical and can work through just about anything but this was a great resource.

    For future readers, my issue wasn’t that the duck bill grommet was clogged. It was that the ends of the duck bill were somewhat sticky and fused together. It opened up no problem but that’s not sufficient as it would have only stuck back together the moment I put it back in place. As a temporary fix I pretty much cut most of the bill’s end off. However, this should not be considered a permanent fix as, without some type of air trap there, humid air will back its way into freezer and, though it will take a while, it will freeze and close the drain again.

    I called Whirlpool, gave them my model number and serial number. To their benefit, they are still considering this issue a warranty part replacement. After checking to make sure that my individual unit had not been covered before, they are sending me out a permanent fix replacement part free of charge to include shipping. This part completely replaces the duck bill grommet. Their part number is #W10619951. Again, they will need the serial number to prevent against double dippers. The serial number is on the right inside wall of the fridge.

  57. Maj

    Having problems contacting whirlpool here in the uk all their service call are passed on to a major insurance company who are more interested in selling you an extended policy than repairing the refrigerator and when they finally send someone out they are usually useless. Also the last guy who came out was not qualified to regas. In the end emailed Whirlpool who sent us the contact detail http://www.agsrefrigeration.co.uk/

  58. PA

    Thank you. I had the same problem and was able to easily fix it following your instructions. While there was no ice buildup on the coils, the grommet was completely blocked with what looked to be bits of plastic. I’m wondering if it was residue from when the fridge was assembled and it found its way into the drain. Anyway, thank you for this, you likely saved me a lot of money.

  59. Thank you so much for this writeup! Great instructions, was able to follow along and fix the same problem with my Whirlpool WRX735SDBM.

    Do you have a tip jar or something? Cheers,


  60. Gary Hatchard

    Yes indeed, Thankyou Thankyou for such an excellent how to do it yourself …..I was a reluctant to start thinking it was maybe beyond me but followed your instructions and it went well, took me about 2 1/2 hours to complete. I am in BC Canada and to get an appliance tech to do that, I’d estimate about $300 with tax, and service call.

  61. Douglas Fischer, Bozeman, Mont.

    I’ll just add my gratitude and amen to the many already before me. Thanks for this informative, clear explanation. Just put my Kitchenaid back together and have to confess to no small amount of exhilaration hearing everything come to life as I turned it back on. I did order and install the “P-trap” drain tube kit (Part # W10619951 direct from Kitchenaid. Paid $35 for the privilege. Based on other comments, I need to call them up and get myself a refund….

    But I’m quite thankful for the clear how-to. Let’s hope this is the last time I need to go poking around the inner guts of that freezer…. or mop up a pool of water at the base of the fridge.

  62. Bill

    We have the same problem with our Whirlpool. It collects ice in the freezer drawer and leaks all over the floors. It ruined our floors underneath the unit. I think there should be a class action lawsuit against them. On top of which we bought a new Whirlpool dishwasher. Just another piece of junk.

  63. NoBias

    Look into the Sheppards Hook technique. I have used this on a few fridges, bottom and top freeze. I have had similar problem with frost, seems intermittent so far. Currently have a Maytag French door/bottom freezer. Had big problems with ice build up. Sheppards hook was more difficult to fabricate on my current fridge but pays off. Also had to remove and clean the Duck Bill. Last fridge was top freeze with a solid tube, so just used CAT 5 internet wire to stab all the way into the base. It’s soft enough to maneuver while ensuring that it wouldn’t puncture. No more problems with ice build up, but now years later have this frost thing acting up. Probably the ice block build up behind the rear panel as I have seen before. Time for the good old hair dryer (heard of using a steamer, looks way faster). Good luck to all. Unfortunately it seems most brands are made by same companies, so there isn’t any real options out there for anything different 🙁

  64. Simon Bedard-Goulet

    Thank you! Had the same issue and solved it thanks to this well detailed explanation. I wouldn’t have figured it out on my own. I hope there will be no more issues!

  65. Dude…I cannot thank you enough for posting this. I have never worked on a fridge before and I did this whole process based on this post. I think people who are having trouble must realize you can remove LOTS of ice but the drain hole itself can still be frozen. I turkey-basted out about a glass full of water from the tray but could still dig my screwdriver into stubborn ice down in the hole itself. It’s hard to get to underneath the metal tray, but if you plug in and start back up with it in there, you will simply have this problem again in several weeks or so. Bought the p-trap part on ebay, $13 or so. Thanks again; no more leakage onto my wood floor.

  66. Melissa

    I really was glad to find this post! My Maytag had this exact problem. Hopefully it keeps the problem solved, but I imagine it will freeze up again. I hate when companies make garbage products!! Thanks for posting, it helped me immensely!

  67. L.B. Bowman

    A part to my freezer just fail out along with a spring , looks like a plastic triangle, it is plastic. I am having a problem with air getting into my freeze (side by side), I had to stuff a wad of paper towels in the hole where the ice would come out. Whirlpool ED5WHEXW003. Any ideas. Recall or flash? About 4 yrs. old.

  68. Mary Lou

    Nice tutorial! I paid a guy $90 to fix this 5 months ago. He never took the grommet out and cleaned it, so I was right back where I started, only $90 less in my wallet. It took me a good part of the day to accomplish this task, and hopefully I won’t have this problem again, because I took your advice and enlarged the opening in the grommet. Poor design on the part of the manufacturer, but most people would just get frustrated and go buy a new fridge. Since you were so kind to put the instructions on the internet I am a happy camper! Peace

  69. Glenn Stevenson

    My Gold Whirlpool GX2SHBXVY05 has similar issues: ice at bottom of freezer, ice around coils top right. Took off back but could not find any grommet that is mentioned in communication and in others. Just a plastic outlet that does not remove. Can find no grommet on the bottom of unit either. Suggestions for fixing the issue in this circumstance?

  70. Nicole

    I just wanted to shoot out a quick thank you for the time and effort you put into this post. My husband was able to use the info/directions to fix our fridge. This was the best info we found. Thanks again!

  71. Robert

    Very well written, I had the ice built up problem. I thought that it was the thermostat. Replaced it, but the defrosting system is still not working. The fridge was good for two months. The freezer still works, but the fridge is not. Unplugged it to defrost, it works again. Will check the drain. However, how do I know if it is the problem of the control? I guess that if I am certain that the drain works, the problem must be the control then. Am I on the right track?

    • Chris

      I’m in the same boat. Drain works fine. I think it’s the Control Board. How does one swap that out?

  72. Robert

    My drain was dry. I think that the defrost system is not working hence no water out of the drain.

    The control board cost around $ 300 and the fridge is only about a $1000. I will just manually defrost it every two months and until I am tired of doing and buy a new one.

    You can google for the procedure of replacing the board. It is not a difficult one.

  73. Jennifer

    Such a good explaination! I’ve had this issue for months and all I could find was videos of how to examine the ducksbill grommet. Never inside the fridge. Just did as the video said. The only difference was we had a ice maker that I also had to unhook. Thanks sooo much! Excellent directions. You are good business sir!

  74. John Bernhard

    I have a 4 year old Maytag built Feb 2013 and I also had the ice up due to grommet. I contacted Whirlpool at the time it leaked and they told me they would only pay for part. I am also on the third ice maker for this refrigerator. Now thermostat sensor or control board bad…..Piece of _ _ _ _. Bad product, Bad service response. Never again Whirlpool or Maytag. The thing is they knowingly knew they had a defective product in the defrost grommet and were jacking people around… The internet will always show these problems as people share. Ruined a portion of my hardwood floor also. There should be a class action suit.

  75. What now

    I have a brand new fridge with the P trap and was gone for 4 days – total ice/snow buildup inside the fridge. P trap doesn’t work apparently.

  76. Amy

    This was a incredibly helpful. Your instructions were easy to follow and well-written.

  77. Steve Jolly

    Your section was spot on! Corrected the ice problem, reassembled and should be good to go! Thanks!

  78. Augie Cordero

    I have a whirlpool two door fridge, top freezer, bottom cooler. My evaporator fan motor went out so I couldn’t find on just like it and have a question. Is the fan supposed to blow out into the freezer compartment or suck air in. I don’t know because when I replaced the motor it wasn’t working. Help it about 7 years old.

    • Wick

      Typically the evaporator fan sucks air in from the front of the fridge & blows it out the back. Hope that helps.

  79. Marilyn


    Our wood floors have been ruined. The repairman said that Whirlpool which also owns Maytag, and most of the well known companies will not help with the cost of repair since our fridge is about 2 1/2 yrs old. It didn’t start leaking until recently while we were gone for a month.

    If there is a class action suit, we want to be part of it. These machines should have been recalled!!!

  80. Spinks

    Is there anyone who has gone through the trouble of doing this repair, with the problem permanently corrected? It sounds like a lot of times the issue of the ice buildup returns.

    • Wick

      Hi Spinks, I’d trim the duck bill grommet as I suggest in the instructions, or get the replacement P-trap part. Where have you heard the problem returns? As far as I know, all the 100+ comments on here are people reporting these steps fixed the problem.

  81. Selma

    Thank you so much for these detailed instructions. Took us two hours this morning but cleaned the “duck bill” grommet and then ran a tube brush through the tube from the bottom to top to be sure it was free of gunk and ice. Without your photos and detailed instructions we could not have done this! No other website provided enough detail and the photos are iNVALUABLE! You ROCK!

    • Wick

      Hi Selma, thanks for the kind comments! I wrote this up in 2013, & we haven’t had any problems with our fridge since then. Frustrating how Whirlpool let a poorly designed 10-cent part render a bunch of their fridge models useless, but at least it’s a relatively easy DIY fix.

  82. Bojifrig

    We took all apart from inside and cleaned grommet but problem returned in about 12 months. Got the P trap drain tube kit. Hopefully it will do the trick.

  83. joe

    Hi , I have a Whirlpool GD5SHAXLB02 , I dont think it has a duckbill plug. It has a WP2304888 : Whirlpool Refrigerator Drain Fitting. How do you replace this fitting? Is it as simple as pulling out the old one, which is hard rubber after 15 years, and pushing the new plug up from the bottom? I have ice build up now and then in the freezer bottom. I have taken the freezer apart twice and cleared the line of ice. But think i need a better fix.

  84. Dan

    Enough people have had this problem that there is a Class Action being considered. Google “bottom mount freezer class action lawsuit” -“classaction.org” web site will pop up. Sign on! Let’s bring relief to others who don’t have the wherewithal to make the repairs described here (and thank you Wick very much for this site and these instructions and video). In the absence of a regulatory system that can bring pressure to bear on manufacturer malfeasance, the legal system (sadly)remains the avenue of redress (along with the internet).

  85. Roger

    I have a Whirlpool Model GX2FHDXVQ07, French door refrigerator with freezer below. My refrigerator was ordered WITHOUT a ice maker. It is four (4) years old. About 3 months ago I started finding water on the floor below the refrigerator. I found a layer of ice in the bottom of the freezer and once the bottom was full, the water leaks out and onto the floor. I have had to remove the ice buildup at least three times since the problem started.I am not sure where the water is coming from. But believe it comes from the frig rather than originating in the freezer. I have pulled the freezer basket out and didn’t see where the water was coming from.

    Any idea on how to solve the problem?

  86. Jaime

    This is my 2nd time in 6 months having to remove the South Pole and glaciers from the bottom-freezer Whirlpool. Both times, the drain was clear through the drop pan in the rear. My 2013 model came with a plastic p-trap, but for some reason, this keeps happening. I wonder if there is a way to manually have the fridge run a defrost cycle through the buttons on the front. Or I’ll just have to manually thaw out everything with the steamer. It was a good write and I appreciate everyone’s time. Thank you all.

    • Wick

      Hi Jaime, if the tray & the drain are clear then like you said the problem isn’t the drain grommet & I bet it’s a problem with the defrost cycle. I read somewhere the defrost cycle can run as often as a few times a day. There was lots of discussion online about how the Whirlpool/Maytag defrost thermostat fails frequently. From the videos I saw, the defrost thermostat looked really easy to replace. It’s just a little piece about the size of a quarter that snaps around one of the copper tubes above the coils.

      I had this same ice buildup problem (no plugged drain) just a few weeks ago & turned out my defrost thermostat had unplugged itself. In back of the freezer above the coils, the orange wires from the defrost thermostat end in a little white plug that connects to more wires, but the plug had disconnected. I plugged it back in & so far so good.

  87. Cail

    Hi guys I use a turkey basterling and spray it on the back panel down and the little spot in the center and the bottom of the panel and it will free up the drain with out taking anything apart

    • Wick

      Good suggestion but I worry that trick might not melt all the ice buildup. Hopefully the defrost cycle with a working drain does the trick, but I prefer to take the extra 10 minutes to remove the panel behind the freezer so I can see that all the ice has melted.

  88. John Crawford

    The P trap fix will permanently fix this issue. However not everyone who has a frozen up evaporator coil has this problem. A common problem with these refrigerators is the Jazz board fails and does not initiate the defrost cycle. It can also fail to shut down the compressor during defrost cycle. The limiter can also fail or the defrost element itself. Most common is the Jazz Board failure. So if you do this fix and you see it freezes up again you probably fixed the wrong thing 🙂
    If the drain is the problem your freezer will flood the floor and eventually drain out the doorway because the defrost is working fine but the water that drains of the evaporator has no where to drain so it fills the bottom of the freezer and makes a cute little ice rink at the bottom and eventually you will find your floor getting wet.
    If it is the Jazz Board your evaporator will ice up and stop the flow of cold air flowing to the refrigerator compartment and your refrigerator compartment will get too warm and food will begin to spoil.

    • Wick

      Good point. In the first paragraph I mentioned the water leaking out into the bottom of the freezer & onto the floor — that’s the giveaway that the problem is the drain grommet.

      If there’s just ice buildup with no water leak, then you’re right, the problem is most likely something else.

  89. Angie

    I am very annoyed that this is happening in a brand new refrigerator. I should have kept my 24 year old GE even though it wasn’t very energy efficient. I will never buy a Whirlpool again as they obviously can’t design their refrigerators to work properly.

  90. chris fauble

    Thank you for your post. It saved me. I trouble shot every possible issue on the internet and Youtube for my Whirlpool fridge not properly cooling with no success. When I saw that back panel had frost covering the vent holes I googled how to remove it and your post showed up. After removing it, there it was, all covered in ice. If this is a common issue, I wonder why no one suggested looking for this when I googled “Why is my Whirlpool fridge not cooling properly?” Thanks again!

  91. Ron B.

    7/11/2018 Our Whirlpool freezer had this issue. Several times recently we noticed water puddling around the base of our fridge not knowing where it was coming from or the cause. I found this troubleshooting/repair info on the world wide web (much to my surprise) This was exactly what was happening to us. I followed the instructions, viewed the video and VOILA !!!! Problem solved ! There was a lot of ice in the metal tray directly beneath the freezer coils and the ‘duck’ part of the drain was clogged. I let all the ice melt, cleaned out the ‘duck’ drain, inserted a small round tube in the duck drain to help keep it clear. Time will tell how that will work out but now I know what the issue is if it ever returns and how to fix it. This is a GREAT, ACCURATE and DETAILED explanation of this issue and repair. Thanks !

  92. Rich

    My Whirlpool French door refrigerator is getting ice behind the crisper drawers. The freezer works fine but the refrigerator will not go above 50 degrees. Thawed out the ice. Can’t figure out how to get at the evaporator cover. Any help out there. I would greatly appreciate it!

    • Wick

      Hi Rich. I assume you mean it won’t go *below* 50 degrees right?

      What sounds like the same thing happened to my Whirlpool french door fridge a few weeks ago — the freezer was working fine but the fridge was warm with no air blowing front the vent behind the top shelf. Turned out to be ice behind the freezer again. There’s a small fan above the coils behind the freezer that blows air up to the fridge & there was so much ice buildup, the fan was blocked. It looked like exactly the same as in my writeup for this blog post on how to defrost the evaporator coils (ice covering the coils behind the freezer panel) except for this time there was no ice below the coils on the evaporator tray & the tray drain wasn’t plugged. The fix for mine was I found the defrost thermostat had unplugged itself due to vibration or temperature changes. The defrost thermostat is clipped to one of the copper tubes behind the freezer (upper right corner for mine). Also apparently the Whirlpool defrost thermostat fails frequently enough that there’s plenty of videos on YouTube how to replace it.

      On my fridge there’s also a small flap door directly behind the fridge top shelf vent that controls the air flow to the fridge compartment. I guess another possibility is that that flap door could be stuck. The plastic vent cover snaps off easily & you’ll be able to see the flap door directly behind the vent cover. Good luck, hope that helps.

  93. Chris

    I have the ice build up in the crisper drawer as well on my Maytag WRX988S any way to remove that back cover to remove the ice there? Fan is running just freezing food in the crisper drawer with warm food in the upper French door area.

    • Wick

      Hi Chris, I don’t know the model you have specifically but usually it’s the same for all these Whirlpool/Maytag fridges, you remove the freezer drawers & possibly the rails too by unscrewing any screws you see. Most of the plastic covers snap in place & you just have to figure out where to push to get them to pop off. Eventually you get to the sheet metal plate in back of the freezer compartment & that pulls out which gives you access to the whole evaporator coil/fan/drain assembly.

  94. Katherine A Lingo

    SORRY, NOT SORRY I cannot deal with a refrigerator that malfunctions. I purchased a new refrigerator and am throwing this Whirlpool piece of trash in the garbage after only 7 years….

  95. MaggieHenry

    Thanks for this awesome post! Exactly my problem and I was clueless. Save us repair man fees! Thanks!

  96. Dave

    Thank you for the through write up and repair process. You definitely saved me and a lot of people money from having to hire a repair person.

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