Water damage from residential refrigerators

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rider1520

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Mar 15, 2010
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Nazareth, Pa
More and more people are recommending residential refrigerators as a desirable alternative to the traditional electric/gas rv models. I read somewhere recently however that some people were experiencing water damage to the floor beneath the fridge. There is a water pan of sorts at the bottom of the fridge (for condensation?)and water either spills over while traveling or the pan over flows after they return home and shut the coach, and fridge, down. Is there any truth to this possibly being a concern?
 
I guess if you didn't have it installed correctly.  I never see water coming out of my home refrigerator, but then again, I suppose a RV could be subject to higher humidity and higher water shedding.
 
I think you are taking isolated reports as being typical and I don't think that is the case.  Plus I'm skeptical of the few reports I've seen - I think they leap to unfounded conclusions about the source & reason for whatever water was seen.

First, modern "Energy Star" fridges simply don't shed much condensation - it's an indication of wasted energy. Second, the only significant amount of water comes during the auto-defrost cycle (about once a day), and it still isn't much. Less than 1/4" in the small drain pan and usually more like 1/8". Pan walls are typically 1" high, so it takes a lot of slopping to escape at all. And even if it did, it's simply not very much water.

There is, however, a known problem with some of these fridges that can result in water on the floor.  Quite a few models use a duck bill type drain valve that is susceptible to sticking closed when food spills get washed away during the defrost cycle. All the many brands from Whirlpool Corp used that style until recently. I think Samsung did too. If the valve gets stuck, the defrost water does not drain into the pan and accumulates in the bottom compartment of the fridge, draining out onto the floor via the lower edge of the front door or drawer. If you see water on the floor or in the bottom of the fridge, you very likely have a sticky rain line that needs to be cleaned or replaced. It's not a result of use in an RV - the same thing is all-too-common in home kitchens as well.  Whirlpool has released a new style drain valve that uses a P-trap instead of the duckbill check valve and that supposedly solves the problem (I just installed one in my home fridge).
 
As Gary said, the 1/8" to 1/4" of condensate we see in the pan of our Haier fridge at times are well contained by the ~1-1/2" pan walls. Our pan sits in the back right over the compressor, where the heat makes pretty short work of evaporating it.
 
Thanks for all of your responses. It seems like the industry is slowly converting over to residential style fridges and since at home the fridge is plugged in all the time, I didn?t know if this was something that might occur because the fridge is unplugged once the trip is over and the cycle might be interrupted that gets rid of any ice accumulation/condensation.
 
Our res fridge has an icemaker, and there's a 3 way valve behind the fridge, so you can drain the icemaker water when winterizing. I recently discovered that my valve had a slight leak, so I replaced it. Fortunately, Winnie put an access door in the wall behind the frdge, so it was easy to get to.

Kev
 
rider1520 said:
More and more people are recommending residential refrigerators as a desirable alternative to the traditional electric/gas rv models. I read somewhere recently however that some people were experiencing water damage to the floor beneath the fridge. There is a water pan of sorts at the bottom of the fridge (for condensation?)and water either spills over while traveling or the pan over flows after they return home and shut the coach, and fridge, down. Is there any truth to this possibly being a concern?

newer and modern fridge don't have water issue, rest assured for this...
just make sure there is a room for your fridge door and the a bit of space at the back for ventilation
 

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