Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
strawberry ice cream bottle inside container covered in ice
Photo by Dev / Unsplash

A unique story we have here, regarding myself and a refrigerator. It started when I unknowingly forget to completely close my freezer. Not sure how it happened, but somehow my bag of flour got caught on the door, thus couldn't close completely.

A few hours pass in the day and I realize this, and then completely close the freezer door. I wish my story would have ended here, but it did not.

Days pass and my freezer becomes louder and louder, a large fan noise and I notice ice building up around the walls. This is strange, because I've never noticed ice inside my freezer. I turn my freezer down to the lowest setting and this helps, the freezer is less quiet. However, this fix is only temporary - the noise comes back and even louder this time.

At this point, I know I've messed up so I file a maintenance request knowing that I am no handy man. However, this isn't an emergency and it will take a few days so I decide to unplug my fridge and pull it from the wall.

First off, previous tenants of this apartment must have dropped some glass bottle behind the fridge. There was glass everywhere and took me a good bit of time just to clean that up. So now my fridge is off and I begin cleaning my freezer, prying off the mess of ice. I was following some blurry YouTube video teaching me how to use a hairdryer / heat gun to melt the freezer.

This was a slow process of about 2 hours of work, meanwhile all my perishables living without cooling. I finally plug in my fridge and its silent, I finally succeeded.  

Or so I thought.

I get home from work and walk into my apartment and step into a puddle of water. It is a nightmare, standing water in my entire kitchen.

I begin googling things, learning about how a fridge has no moving parts. The real moving parts occur in the freezer and deep below, where an evaporation coil exists to evaporate extra water. As I slide my fridge out into the center of my kitchen, every slide is dropping more water into my kitchen.

I immediately unplug it and began cleaning up the water, but it keeps dripping. So I locate some screwdrivers and take the back panel off my fridge. Once there, I find a huge pan full of standing water. This water looks disgusting, probably the same water since the beginning of life for this appliance.

I use a shot glass to move water out of the pan into a bowl, then empty the bowl. This is a useless process. So I try again with paper towels which is another useless process. So this time I tip my fridge and this just dumps a stream of water on the floor. I have another large mess to clean up, but now the pan under my fridge is empty.

I clean up the mess, plug in my fridge and take a shower. I come back to the kitchen and its silent. The freezer has no trace of ice on the walls so I go to work and come home and my freezer is silent again. I successfully fixed my fridge from a bone-headed mistake I made on my own.

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