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Ge monogram model ZISS48DCASS - Defrost drain pan/tube freezing up


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Tone Blair

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 06:18 PM

I guess a couple years ago another company came out and fed a braided defrost heater through the drain tube, from the exit end. Not only is the drain tube completely hardened, obviously the drain heater is destroyed and useless. I got the drain cleared, but it will freeze up again.
I see there's a icing kit? Part #Part number: WR49X10021

Part number: WR49X10021

. It's pretty pricey, so I'm wondering if there is another solution as i am replacing the ice maker too, so I'm trying to keep the cost down.
Also, what the hell do you tell the people when they ask why it lasted 14 years and all of a sudden in the last couple years they're having issues???

Thanks guys!



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#2 BryanS

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 06:52 PM

I don't believe there is another fix for this issue. What I tell a lot of people is as refrigerators age the insulation in the refrigerators can break down, air leaks can form, you can get cold spots in areas you never had before, rubber on the hoses loses rigidity, etc. Last but notleast let them know every model with the evaporator/ drain pan on top developes this issue at some point, which is what this kit was made to fix. Mainly Jenn-air and GE.

Does this kit come with a new drain tube? Just a word to the wise, watch how you put the pan up, and don't kink the drain hose. You may have to pull the drain hose through the hole as you lift the new evap tray into place. The reason I'm telling you this because when I first started with this company I ran across one a tech put this kit in, kinked the hose. A second tech went and thought he fixed the kinked drain hose, but kinked it right back up. What I did was completely removed the drain hose and flipped the end around. This way the nice firm end went through the hole instead of the worn end that was kinking up easily, and worked it through as I lifted the evap drain pan into place.

I'm sure you may have installed this kit before, but I thought I'd share in case you or anyone else runs into the issue we had.

#3 Tone Blair

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 08:57 PM

So I assuming that long black tube is the drain hose? Or do I need to order it separately?
I haven't installed one yet, any other tips, or things to look out for?

#4 BryanS

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 09:11 PM

I believe it is the drain tube. I think our first tech out didn't replace everything that came in the kit. Yes, the tube is a little bit of a pain to fish through the hole, but it can be done. Push and twist is how I got it through. I haven't put one on either to be honest, but I've ran numerous recalls on them. I did order a few back when I worked at Sears, but someone else always got the callback. Follow the directions that comes with it. I recall a thermistor they tell you to unplug once the kit is on. That may have been on the Jenn-air we put 50,000 kits on trying to fix. Pretty much follow the directions and replace every part that is included.

Edited by BryanS, 08 October 2014 - 09:13 PM.


#5 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 09:51 PM

This is a nightmare repair that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. You did not post pictures of the entire kit, which includes the drain pan and insulation. If you elect to do it, you must install all parts which also requires drying the top walls of the freezer. I wouldn't do this job again for no less than $500-$600 labor... probably more. You also will need about a 4 hour block... or more. Make sure to take a chamois and paper towels, also a large towel to cover the evap so it won't slice up your arms while working around it. At least your model isn't the narrow 36inch model I worked on last.

Also study the instructions prior to going to the repair.

Edited by DurhamAppliance, 08 October 2014 - 09:53 PM.

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#6 Tone Blair

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 09:57 PM

Durham, thanks for the warning! I was kind of thinking it was going to be a nightmare. I'm not even sure if i want to take it on now! My customers are gonna be plenty surprised!

#7 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 03:43 PM

This was the only repair that I still felt, physically, even after several days. Working above your head for hours on end can be quite exhausting.... or.. Im just too old. Young whippersnappers, like yourself, may find it fun and relaxing. I needed a hot bath, Epsom salt and some bengay.

When I scheduled the appointment, I had no idea how long it would take but I knew it would be hours. The customer said he wanted it done ASAP. I told him we should reschedule it for an earlier time instead of the 4 pm Friday slot. He said... nope..
let's do it. Okay... he asked for it.... didn't finish until about 10pm...he kept asking if I wanted to stop... nope... he asked for it, so I gave it to him, nonstop for about 5 hours.

I finished but wasn't comfortable with the drainpan's level, so I returned for readjustment the following Tuesday. Finally got it right. However, I didn't notice that a screw had popped out, fell into the ice maker. Several days later, the screw jammed and ruined the icemaker. I replaced the icemaker... but it was bad out the box and failed in less than one week. I replaced it and all is well, finally... I hope. lol

The customer recently visited the parts house who had recommended me. He told them it took forever and I kept. coming back. The clerk told him that I would not stop until I got it right and explained the difficulty of the job thus the recommendation . Customer told him that was probably the reason he couldn't find anyone else to do it and thats why he had asked for the recommendation.

He also told the clerk he offered to pay me more money due to the time and my persistence but I refused it . I certainly undercharged him but since it was my first time, didn't know how much work it took but I always honor my pricing. At least I have a customer for life but also scars on my arms that will probably last just as long.

But never fear, the next customer with this repair is gonna make up for my previous shortcomings.

Edited by DurhamAppliance, 09 October 2014 - 04:05 PM.

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#8 Tone Blair

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 09:03 PM

happy to report that the repair is complete and as far as I can tell it's working properly.
I must of got lucky because it ended up going smooth as possible, it took about 3 hours, and good ole Ge even give you a squirt bottle to make sure the pan drains fine. Thanks for telling about the drain tube kinking up so I paid extra attention to that.
Fingers crossed no call backs!

#9 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 10:18 PM

Great job, I wished the one I worked on was that easy. Nothing line up, maybe because it was an ancient model. Took all my strength just to push up the evap against the new insulation just to level the drain pan.

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#10 DanInKansas

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 10:29 PM

Now I am kind of wanting to get one to see if I can do it, and kind of hoping I never have to do one of these. 



#11 Tone Blair

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 11:25 PM

Yea, hopefully no call backs on it, it was a pain, but definitely went smoother than I expected, and although I would do it again, I don't mind if I don't see one for awhile!

Thanks for all the help and insight!



#12 Tone Blair

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Posted Yesterday, 12:28 AM

So yep, got the call back!
Customer complaining about the fan making noises, so I figured the fan blade was rubbing on the housing or something.
Got there, the fan blade rubbing on a chunk of ice, so I was thinking the drain pan wasn't positioned properly and water was spilling back.
Got the top panel off, put it into defrost, waited a bit, water draining good, but there definitely water right at the front left corner of the pan.
Got my head in there and noticed the defrost thermostat and stat was protruding past the drain pan about an 8th of inch and obviously water was dripping from it and completely missing the pan.
From what I can tell the evap is firmly and correctly sitting in the pan, it seems like if the pan were just a little wider, it would prevent this.
Here's a shitty pic of it.
image_zps6adc78ce.jpg

Not sure if the pic is gonna show, or if I posted it right, if not I repost.
Has anyone else seen this?
Did I just not install it correctly? Or is it just a shitty design?
Did they redesign the pan and I got an old version?
I tried to make a little shitty deflector with some foil tape, not sure if that's really gonna last, was thinking I might need to make some type of flashing to direct the water in the pan?
You can kinda make out that water droplets barely just miss the pan, I'm thinking of trying to mount some flashing and zip tie it to the evap? Sorta like a cover.
What y'all think?

#13 BryanS

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Posted Yesterday, 06:29 AM

You can give it a try. I just can't see much frost building up on those tstats to be enough of an issue to cause a chunk of ice. Maybe it is enough. I don't know. This why I don't like those kits. I know I've had numerous Jennaire units that we couldn't fix with that kit. We just had one recently that the kit was put on a year ago and it starting doing that crap again. I tried putting new permagun around the seal because the pan wasn't freezing. It was actually leaking at one corner. It didn't work. Fortunately, this guy is a builder and raised hell with Whirlpool. They gave him a discount on a new fridge.

#14 Tone Blair

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Posted Yesterday, 10:24 AM

It wasnt a big chunk of ice, but enough to where it was hitting the fan blade, i really thought i was gonna be done with this damn thing!

#15 BryanS

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Posted Yesterday, 12:20 PM

Oh. Gotcha. Yea, I've been there too. Hopefully the flashing works. I hate that design built-in, and most built-ins in general. I had a customer when I worked for Sears with a GE built-in. She renewed her contract every year because around the same time every year her main board would go out. Sometimes I just wish my boss where I'm at now would just refund some customers and move on. We got a guy right now with SxS frigidaire made Kenmore that I guarantee we have been out to 10 times since the summer started. One nightmare after another. Luckily, the guy owns a local automotive shop, and understands that this is how it goes sometimes.

#16 DurhamAppliance

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Posted Yesterday, 10:41 PM

Did you use the water bottle provided to test the drainage?

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