Thread Number: 75788  /  Tag: Refrigerators
Old Kenmore fridge leaking near
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Post# 996207   6/4/2018 at 20:19 by melissaannbrown (North Carolina)        

We just realized, much too late, that our 1989 Kenmore fridge (Model 106 8688484) is leaking. The moisture is coming from the copper tube going (or coming) from the compressor (see picture). It is frosting up. Then when it thaws, some of the water goes into the drip tray which eventually overflows. Some drips right onto the floor. I'm guessing this isn't supposed to be happening. What might be wrong and what might it take to fix it? I haven't heard good things about new fridges so I'd like to keep it. Also this one is probably the only one that will fit into the cabinet space fitted for a fridge. Thanks!

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Post# 996214 , Reply# 1   6/4/2018 at 21:43 by Jukeman (Arkansas)        
Low Freon...

A frosted over suction line sometimes indicates a low freon level. That happens when you've got a leak somewhere. If it clears up after it's ran for a while it might not be too bad yet.

One other possible cause is restricted airflow through the evaporator inside the freezer compartment. Is the fan running in there? Have you noticed the evaporator coil icing up?

Post# 996225 , Reply# 2   6/4/2018 at 23:58 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
A frosted Suction Line On A residential Ref

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Is NEVER caused by a low Freon charge.

Post# 996231 , Reply# 3   6/5/2018 at 00:59 by Jukeman (Arkansas)        
That is correct...

I was thinking HVAC/evaporator/superheat for a moment, my apologies.

Look for an obstruction of airflow in the evaporator. Is the defrost cycle occurring at proper intervals? If the evaporator is froze up you'll start to see a rise in fridge and freezer temps. If all seems good I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Post# 996254 , Reply# 4   6/5/2018 at 06:34 by melissaannbrown (North Carolina)        

I'm not worried about the fridge itself, but water dripping continuously on the floor is a serious issue. Unfortunately the fridge is in a cabinet and is quite difficult to get in and out. For right now we're leaving the fridge pulled out of the cabinet, almost in the middle of the kitchen so we can place that little tray/pan in the bottom right corner of the photo where it's dripping and dump that water out every day. Even if the fridge were easily accessible it would be nice not to have to the extra little chore of emptying out the tray pretty much every day.

Post# 996283 , Reply# 5   6/5/2018 at 13:24 by Jukeman (Arkansas)        
A thought...

You might try insulating the line with some of the foam HVAC line wrap you can get at home depot. It's frosting because it's open to the outside air, creating condensate from moisture then it's freezing on the auction line.

Just a thought.

Post# 996303 , Reply# 6   6/5/2018 at 17:39 by Jukeman (Arkansas)        

I meant SUCTION line, spell check got me on that.

Post# 996305 , Reply# 7   6/5/2018 at 17:54 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
The Reason The Suction Line Is Frosting

combo52's profile picture

Is that the capillary line has come loose from the suction line [ you can clearly see this in your picture ] that is frosting over. Originally the little 1/8" cap tube was soldered to the outside of the larger suction line, this part of the sealed system is called the Heat-Exchanger, the warm cap tube coming from the condenser is soldered to the suction line to complexly cool the liquid refrigerant heading into the evaporator and in the process the cap tube warns the suction line slightly which keeps it from sweating and or frosting.


Whirlpool had problems in the 80s with the cheap solder they used when attaching the cap tube to the suction line failing and allowing the cap tube to come loose.


The CURE is to shut down the ref and clean the suction line and allow to to completely dry, then use really good 3M electrical or good aluminum tape and tightly tape the loose cap tube to the suction line, this should stop the sweating and frost back problem. You may have to partly remove the rear mounted condenser to get at the lines all the way to where they go back into the ref. After you do this you can put some foam insulation over most of the tubing to replace what you have to remove.


Often times when the cap tube comes loose like the first sign of problems is the ref does not maintain proper temps and it ends running more than it should.


John L.

Post# 996310 , Reply# 8   6/5/2018 at 18:49 by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

I'm with combo52. It's been a long time, but I've saved a few refrigerators with a roll of good quality electrical tape, rolled nice and tight, on the heat exchanger.

The only other reason I can think of for a frozen suction line would be an overcharge.

Post# 996312 , Reply# 9   6/5/2018 at 19:27 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

Iíve seen a few like that before. Thereís only a few things that I can think of.

Overcharged system (not likely in your case)
Fridge has no load (running empty)
Fridge is running too much (likely your case)

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