GE Refrigerator PFSS6PKXDSS: Water Leak Under Deli Drawer

How To:  Fix the issue that causes water to accumulate under the deli drawer

Symptom:  Water starts to accumulate on the bottom of the refrigerator, underneath the deli drawer;  it will begin to drip down into the freezer as well.  The fix is technically simple, but requires some prep work and a couple tools.

Tools required:  #2 Philips screwdriver, turkey baster, tubing

Why does this happen?  There is a drain tube that channels the water from the defrost cycle to a drain pan in the bottom of the refrigerator.  Next to the pan is a fan that evaporates the water.  If the tube becomes obstructed water will backup and spill over into the bottom the refrigerator.  Backup can occur if the water freezes or from other debris in the tube.

To begin the repair, remove all food items, shelving and drawers from the refrigerator.

GE_PFSS6PKXDSS_WaterLeak_4
With clear access to the panel in the back, remove the shelving bracket.  There are a couple screws that hold it in place.  The panel itself is held in place with tabs (refer to image below), removal takes some effort, and might be hindered if there is ice at the bottom.  It could be necessary to use a hair drier (on low heat) on the lower part of the panel.

Now that the panel is free, disconnect the two power connectors and set the panel aside.

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The coil can be seen with the drain hole shown below.  There will be water accumulating around the hole.  Remove all standing water with a towel, once completed, use the turkey baster filled with hot water and cover the area to melt the ice.

GE_PFSS6PKXDSS_WaterLeak_5 GE_PFSS6PKXDSS_WaterLeak_2
In this case, the drain tube was blocked with debris, so a small tube was inserted into the end of the turkey baster and put down the drain tube.  A couple cycles of hot water flushed it free.  An additional baster full of hot water was run through as a precaution.

Pull the refrigerator from the wall, remove the lower panel.  The drain tube is on the far right, and is easily removed for inspection.  Verify that it too is free of obstructions.  This is a good time to vacuum all the dust from the coils.

That’s all there is to the repair, quite simple once the process is known.

46 comments for “GE Refrigerator PFSS6PKXDSS: Water Leak Under Deli Drawer

  1. John
    October 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Kinda sucks that you have to perform this every 4-5 months and it usually requires a complete defrost to make sure panel can be removed without shattering to smithereens.
    I saw somewhere that a guy wrapped some element wire around the defroster and ran it down the drain, but I can’t seem to find the post anywhere.
    In any case, thanks for the pics and knowledge. Wish I had seen this earlier since the arrows for the clips makes the process simpler if you’ve never taken that panel off before.

    • Dave
      October 6, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Hi john,

      Thanks for the comment, and I agree. You would think that the design would not allow for the tube to be blocked… they should have designed it with a larger tube.

    • October 17, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      This is a very poorly designed set up. I spoke to the parts dept. where I purchased my unit. He told me they have this issue all the time & the manufacturer has not changed it. It would not clear after several attempts with hot water. It took cleaning out the fridge & letting it sit in warm temps. To finally melt the lodged ice. This is so inconvenient. Why not design larger tubing or have it run out the back? This will be my last GE appliance.
      Thanks so much Dave for the illustrations. They were very helpful!

      • Dave
        October 17, 2016 at 7:34 pm

        Hi Joyce,

        It is frustrating for sure… but don’t just boycott GE, these are actually made by Samsung.

        • October 17, 2016 at 10:18 pm

          Dave, is this something that will continue to happen over time? Seems like a lot of unnecessary hassle to go through to melt this ice. It is much easier to wipe up the water with paper towels every couple of days. Any suggestions?

          • Dave
            October 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm

            I had to perform this 3-4 times. After that it has not happened again. I’m not sure that it’s all about the ice, i think it’s calcium buildup also.

            If you run hot water through it until you hear it coming out the bottom, you should be ok for a while.

  2. Joe leone
    May 23, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Dave, thanks for the info. I was unable to remove the panel despite it being free at bottom.. Is it possible that the cover is glue to the styrofoam insulation? I didn’t want to destroy the insulation while attempting to remove it.. Am I missing something?

    • Dave
      May 23, 2015 at 10:12 am

      It does remove with some resistance, but if all the hardware has been removed, it will come free with effort. Work it around the edges.

  3. george o
    June 14, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Still have difficulty like Joe getting the top part free ( where the vent slots are) its narrow,, any suggestions for a tool to help pry that section off? i assume nothing is up there holding it.
    thanks,

    • Dave
      June 14, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      I know it feels like it would break… It could be frozen on. You might have to let it warm up.

  4. Colleen
    October 24, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    This has been extremely helpful . Where does the water s drain
    to?

    • Dave
      October 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      Hi Colleen,

      Thanks for the feedback! The water drains into a pan under the fridge, there is a fan that blows across it to evaporate the water.

      -Dave

  5. Paul
    January 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Got everything apart, but 4 hours later hot water is still not going down the drain. Any other suggestions?

    • Dave
      January 12, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Do you have a small tube attached to the turkey baster? Push it deeper down the drain pipe.

  6. Carolee Jacobsen
    February 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    We had this problem before and followed your instructions. This morning it was making a horrible whirring/catching sound. I knew it was the fan on the back of the panel. What I didn’t know is that the coil and all were frozen with a SOLID piece of ice that went so far up, it had formed an ice ledge that the fan was hitting on!!! I had to defrost the entire fridge and then still had to use the hair dryer (VERY CAREFULLY) to melt the ice enough that we slowly got the cover off.

    This was time consuming and frustrating to say the least, but it worked!!!!!

    • Dave
      February 15, 2016 at 6:18 am

      Clearly there are some serious design issues with this GE (Samsung) refrigerator. Glad this was some help, and that you worked your way through the other issue!

  7. Shawna
    February 14, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    My fridge is having the same issue but did anyone experience lack of ice making?
    It sounds crazy but we had an issue with the ice making very little to basically zero. The first time I noticed the ice it was probably an 1″ thick . I chipped & melted it all out, after that ice started making again. I am also noticing an orange stain color on back panel. Do you think the orange color & lack of ice are related to the tube?

    • Dave
      February 15, 2016 at 6:20 am

      Did not experience that particular issue… the orange is from minerals int he water (maybe iron). I have a bit of discoloration also, which can be seen in a couple of the pictures.

      Thanks for posting!

  8. May 21, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I have to “defrost” mine every month. I’ve had 3 repair calls on this and the repair person finally said, GE/Samsung refrigerators are poorly designed but at least with GE’s you can get parts. So we are at about one month since the last defrost, the fan is starting to make a racket, so we’ll unplug it for another day, let it defrost and start over. This stinks. next time I’ll buy a better brand.

    • Dave
      May 23, 2016 at 7:19 am

      Hi Dennis,

      The problem is, at this price point, what is a better brand? This fridge worked great, at first, and it took a couple years before this problem started happening… how would you know a good one from a not good one?

  9. Stephanie
    July 6, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I can’t wait to try this! I bought a new house in April and it had a GE Profile in it already. I noticed immediately that the water and ice dispenser didn’t work, which I can live with, but then the produce drawer started sticking and I discovered a layer of ice on the bottom of the fridge. Hopefully this will fix that problem, any idea about the ice and water not working?? Great article, thanks for sharing!

  10. Rachel Knieriem
    July 17, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you, this worked for us! Getting the panel off was the hardest part, ours had a screw in the top middle that was covered with ice, once we discovered that things went smooth.

    • Dave
      July 18, 2016 at 7:20 am

      Glad to hear it! It’s a frustrating problem and I’m happy that this helped. Thanks for posting your comment!

      -Dave

  11. Jayne
    July 20, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    I have struggled with this problem for years, and finally have found the answer to never having to do it again! it is a simple drain drip clip, and is available on Amazon. I think it was about $6.
    Here is a website that shows you the problem. My Fridge is a GE Profile, which is made by Samsung. I love this thing, except this drain issue and the ice cube tray that make 7 cubes at a time ha ha.

    http://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/frozen-defrost-drain-line-samsung-rf197-148842.html

    • ESTHER MOON CARRILLO
      August 9, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      what is it exactly called the drain drip clip? I couldn’t find it on amazon.

      • Dave
        August 10, 2016 at 10:09 am

        Unfortunately, that link does not lead to anything useful…. I too wondered about the clip.

  12. Rich
    August 12, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Dave:
    I have this problem myself. I just found a conversation on a YouTube video referring to the clip.
    You can find it at Amazon here:
    https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-DRAIN-EVAPORATOR-REFOEM-Original/dp/B008KFG9NO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471036570&sr=8-1&keywords=DA61-06796A

    I just ordered one. For the money, I haven’t got much to lose.

    • Dave
      August 20, 2016 at 6:16 am

      Thanks for the link Rich, I might actually try making that clip… not much to it really.

      • Cari
        February 1, 2017 at 11:07 am

        Dave, did you try the clip? Did it work?

        • Dave
          February 5, 2017 at 7:42 am

          Hey Cari,

          Nope… for whatever reason, this problem has not occurred for a couple years. No idea why, but I’m not complaining!

  13. Tim
    August 14, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Great article and clear pictures. Thank you! A couple of notes.
    1) Some GE profile fridges have two additional screws holding the panel in place – I wonder if that was the issue with some people pulling the panel off (although they are pretty obvious).

    2) Some seem to have a recurrent problem faster after they fix it. I wonder if it’s not getting cleaned out all the way. Even after all the water drains, there is still likely a lot of ice in the drain tube (a small hole was made that can clog easily again. A couple additional hot water passes are good insurance and not much trouble. (I blew some compressed air through the tube too but that’s probably overkill)
    Thanks again!!

    • Dave
      August 20, 2016 at 6:18 am

      Thanks for the comment, I appreciate that. Good point about the screws, hopefully people are reading through the comments to pick up these additional tips.

      Mine has not clogged up for about a year now.

  14. Brad
    August 20, 2016 at 10:51 am

    I seem to be having this same problem except the numerous times I’ve tried to ‘fix’ it doesn’t seem to work. From what I can tell the drain itself isn’t freezing up and clogging. It’s the hole in the back wall of the fridge just below the drain. You can see the hole I’m referring to in the attached image.

    Is this the same root cause? Any ideas how to fix this?

    Thanks!

    • Dave
      August 24, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      I’ve not had that issue… it’s fair to say that this fridge is a poorly designed piece of junk.

      • Brad
        August 26, 2016 at 4:41 pm

        Thanks Dave. Your assessment of this fridge is spot on. I couldn’t agree more.

  15. Bruce
    September 2, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Good instructions. A couple of clarifications based on my experience might be useful for others. The panel being removed is an outer layer of plastic with an inner thicker layer of Styrofoam taped to it. The tabs are in the plastic, but it was the styrofoam that was frozen to the coils in my case. When pulling on the edges of the panel, for me the plastic started to pull away from the styrofoam, especially at the bottom, leaving the styrofoam still frozen in place. I had to be careful to not damage the styrofoam (around the edges there are some thin sections), mostly I just waited for another hour or two for things to melt more. At the top the styrofoam and plastic stayed together, and I kept gently working the top until finally the styrofoam worked loose (chunks of ice fell out). Patience! Also, I was surprised (but shouldn’t have been) that once the panel was free, the wires to the two power connectors were short, so I had to support the panel with one hand while trying to squeeze the clips and remove the connectors so that I could then completely remove the panel. A helper might have been “handy” for this!

  16. September 6, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    After a couple of years of no problems water started dripping down under the deli drawer and freezing. Three repairmen later I was informed that there was a defect in the freezer auto-defrost, they gave me a full refund but I didn’t see the need to buy another one and throw mine away. Now it’s dripping water on all the shelves and all the drawers. I have preformed the diy fix-it several times. What I want to know is can I just drill a hole in the bottom of the frig and install an alter drain tube to the drip pan

  17. Malia & David
    November 4, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Hello! Woke up this morning with the water, etc……searched online for a fix…..and here it was. Great description and helpful pictures. Many thanks!

    • Dave
      November 5, 2016 at 5:33 am

      Hi! Glad it was useful to you! Too bad you have to deal with the issue at all… good luck, you will be successful.

      -Dave

  18. Mark
    January 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I tried your technique. It seems to have worked. However, there appears to be two drain lines. The one on my right(looking at the back), is now flowing freely. The one on the left I can fell cold air coming out but no water. Why is that? Oh yes, I agree with everyone else. This frig is a POC! Thanks of the information

    • Dave
      January 5, 2017 at 6:46 am

      Hey Mark,

      No idea on the dual tubes…. but perhaps mine is different? It’s 7 years old at this point.

  19. Maria
    January 3, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Thank you very much for providing these tips. We having the same problem as everyone else. We were able to remove the panel, but noticed there was only frost at the top of the coils. Should there be frost on the entire coil system?

    • Dave
      January 5, 2017 at 6:47 am

      Maria,

      You’re very welcome. I think that ideally there would not be any frost… that’s why there is the drain tube there, for the defrost cycle.

  20. Larry Elletson
    January 8, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I am so glad that I found this page… We have a skating rink below our produce trays and the G.E. mantra is “Call a technician.” Currently defrosting and will attack the issue tomorrow. Sure glad that it happened when it’s in the low ‘teens at night so the freezer items can go outside and the refrigerator items can be in the garage.

    I’ll let you know how things work out from here. BTW, this refrigerator is now nine years old and this is the first major problem with it.

  21. Chris
    January 9, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Dave-great post. But I may have something different going on with my ge fridge. Inside looks exactly like yours. Do you have any experience with the water line connections on the refrigerator? This problem poses same mo inside the fridge, but even after a 24 hr complete defrost, and fridge still unplugged, water still drips slowly from the same area in center of inside of fridge. I’ve turned off the water supply to the fridge and drip has stopped. There has never been any water dripping or leaking outside of the fridge, so not sure how to fix inside. Any suggestions?

Comments please!