Kenmore Refrigerator Drain [Problems & Solutions]

A Kenmore refrigerator drain plays a vital role in discharging water from the unit. If there is any issue with the drain, the refrigerator will develop faults over time.

Kenmore Refrigerator Drain

How to Unclog a Kenmore Refrigerator Drain Line

To unclog a Kenmore refrigerator drain line, unplug the unit from the wall outlet or turn the circuit breaker for the unit off. Find the drain line inside the refrigerator or under its false floor. Your user manual will let you know the exact location of the drain line.

When you find it, put a stiff wire, about one foot long, into the line. Use the wire to probe the drain line to dislodge dirt and debris clogging it. Be careful when probing so as not to poke a hole in the line.

The debris clogging the drain line will drop into the drain pan. Therefore, it is important to find, empty, and clean the pan after unclogging the drain line.

Sometimes, ice covers the drain and prevents water from flowing out. Channel the heat of a dryer or steamer to the drain hole until the ice melts and water flows freely. Afterward, check the temperature setting in the freezer and adjust it if it is too low.

How to Clean a Kenmore Refrigerator Drain

To clean the drain in a Kenmore refrigerator, disconnect the refrigerator from electric power. If you cannot reach the power cord to unplug it, turn the circuit breaker that controls the refrigerator off.

Locate your specific model’s drain, either under a false floor or at the back wall of the freezer section. When you find it, poke around the drain hole with a stiff wire to dislodge gunk or dirt. It makes the cleaning process more manageable.

Mix a teaspoon of bleach in some water, and squirt the solution into the drain hole. Use a cooking syringe or baster to spray it. Keep pouring the solution into the hole until you see the water running free and clear into the drip pan. Ensure you empty the pan after cleaning the hole. Finally, reconnect the refrigerator to electric power.

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Note that cleaning your Kenmore refrigerator should be done twice every year or more often, depending on usage. And cleaning the unit means cleaning every part of it, including the coils and drain pan.

Kenmore Refrigerator Defrost Drain Location

The defrost drain in a Kenmore refrigerator is located along the back wall inside the freezer, at the bottom center. This location is common for many refrigerators because it is the freezer that has ice to defrost. So, the water flows down a slight slope to the drain.

However, some Kenmore refrigerator models have the drain under a false floor inside the refrigerator. Consult the user manual for the specific model to determine the location of the drain.

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Kenmore Refrigerator Defrost Drain Freezing – How to Fix

The following are steps to take to solve the problem of a frozen Kenmore refrigerator defrost drain:

1. Check the Temperature

If the freezer’s temperature setting is lower than 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it is vital to increase it. Adjust the setting to a point between 0 and 5 degrees for the best result. If your refrigerator uses a cold control, turn the dial to a point between 4 and 6, with 7 being the lowest.

You may have to replace the thermostat if adjusting the temperature does not fix the issue. Otherwise, hire a professional to troubleshoot the components to find out why the unit is freezing.

Setting the temperature too low causes the freezer to freeze too quickly, along with every part of it. Water from the defrost cycle tends to freeze rapidly if the temperature is low. The same applies to the ice maker.

Typically, the setting for the freezer temperature should be 0 degrees. But if you need quick freezing, you may set it as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this setting makes the defrost drain freeze.

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Another point to note here is that if the drain pan is full, the water from the defrost cycle won’t flow out anymore. As a result, the water remains in the freezer and freezes over time. Therefore, check the drain pan and empty it if it is overflowing.

2. Check the Drain Heater

Some Kenmore refrigerator models have drain heaters that prevent the water in the pan and drain from freezing. Check your defrost drain to determine whether or not it is equipped with the heater, or check the user manual.

If there is a heater, ensure it is in the proper position to prevent freezing. And if it is, it may be defective. Consider replacing it.

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3. Check the Drain Strap

Take a look at the defrost drain in your refrigerator. If you find a tiny aluminum or copper piece going from the defrost heater to the drain, your refrigerator has a drain strap. Instead of a drain heater, the strap conducts heat from the defrost heater and keeps the drain warm enough not to freeze. So, make sure it is in place in the drain; otherwise, the drain will freeze.

How to Replace a Kenmore Refrigerator Drain Tube

To replace the drain tube in a Kenmore refrigerator, do the following:

Step 1

Check the drain hole for any ice layer. If ice is covering the hole, melt it with a heat gun or dryer before attempting to replace the drain tube. For bottom freezer drawers, you need to remove the drawer first before accessing the drain hole and melting the ice.

Step 2

Go to the back of the refrigerator and lay a towel on the floor where the tube should be. Unthread the screws holding the access cover in place with a quarter-inch nut driver. Lift the drain tube out from under the refrigerator, next to the condenser fan.

Step 3

Insert the new tube in the place of the old one. Make sure the head touches the frame of the refrigerator and fully inserts into the tube sticking out from the unit. Now, insert the bottom of the tube into the drain pan.

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Replace the access cover and thread the screws back in place. Reconnect the refrigerator to electric power and allow it to run for some hours to cool. Then, you will be able to check the functionality of the new tube.

Watch this video showing how to replace the drain tube in a Whirlpool refrigerator. The steps also apply to Kenmore refrigerators…

Kenmore Refrigerator Not Draining – What to Do

If you find that your Kenmore refrigerator is not draining, it means the drain tube is clogged. It may be clogged with dirt, ice, or both. Inspecting it will tell you what you need to do.

Find the drain hole and if there is a layer of ice over it, use a heat gun to melt it. A dryer or steamer also works but be careful around the plastic parts. When the ice melts, check the drain line for debris. Clean it out using a stiff wire; push it out of the drain line and into the drain pan.

Afterward, remove, empty, wash, and sanitize the drain pan. Make sure the water runs clear and free from the drain before finishing up.

Kenmore Refrigerator Drain Pan Overflow – Quick Fix

When the drain pan in a Kenmore refrigerator begins to overflow, it means the refrigerator is defrosting more water than the pan can carry or the pan is cracked. The door seal may be weak, causing an inflow of warm air.

The moisture in the air condenses, freezes, and melts. And if the trend continues, the pan will have more than it can carry. The same applies if the doors do not align or there is a gap through which warm air enters and causes too much frost in the unit.

Replacing the door seal may help if it is broken. But if not, clean the drain pan and check it for cracks. If the pan has cracks, replace it.


Kenmore refrigerator drain problems are usually easy to fix. Locate the drain, remove debris, clean it, empty the drain pan, and clean it. Make sure the doors seal properly and the water supply channels are tight. The refrigerator will work optimally.

However, if there is any difficulty in fixing the drain problem, contact Kenmore to report the issue and request service. If you would rather go a different route, contact us using the chatbox to your right. We will connect you to an appliance technician for quick assistance; no appointment or waiting period is needed.

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