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How To Clear a Sears Kenmore Refrigerator Drain Line

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Unwanted water leakage from your refrigerator can cause a lot of inconvenience. The root cause of such a problem is often a clogged drain line. If you own a Sears Kenmore refrigerator, you may be wondering how to clear the drain line yourself. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through a step-by-step process to clear the drain line in your Sears Kenmore refrigerator, ensuring it functions efficiently without any water leakage.


To clear a Sears Kenmore Refrigerator drain line, first, unplug the refrigerator for safety. Locate the defrost drain tube, typically at the back of the fridge or freezer. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove any ice or debris blocking the drain hole. Then, gently insert a soft, flexible tube or pipe cleaner into the drain hole to clear obstructions. Use a turkey baster to force hot water through the drain line to melt any remaining ice. Finally, sanitize the drain tube with a bleach solution and reassemble the refrigerator.

Understanding the Issue

A clogged drain line in a refrigerator can manifest in several ways. The primary signs are water leaking onto the floor, water accumulation under the crisper drawers, water leaking from the freezer into the refrigerator section, and ice buildup in the bottom of the fridge or freezer compartment. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before you begin the task of clearing the drain line, gather the necessary tools and materials. This includes:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Turkey baster
  • Quarter-inch nut driver
  • Glass of hot water

Preliminary Steps

The first step before starting any maintenance work is to ensure safety. Unplug the refrigerator or turn off the circuit breaker to avoid any electrical hazards. Next, locate the defrost drain tube, typically found at the back of the refrigerator or freezer compartment. Use the flathead screwdriver to remove any ice or debris blocking the drain hole.

Clearing the Drain Line

Now that you’ve taken the preliminary steps, you can start clearing the drain line. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove ice buildup: Carefully chip away at the ice buildup around the drain area using a plastic utensil or warm water. Avoid using sharp objects that could damage the components.
  2. Clear the drain hole: Use a soft, flexible tube or a pipe cleaner to gently insert into the drain hole and clear any obstructions.
  3. Melt any remaining ice: Fill a container with hot tap water and use a turkey baster to force the hot water through the drain line until you melt any ice obstructing the line.
  4. Clean the drain tube: Mix one teaspoon of bleach in a pint-sized container. Using a turkey baster or cooking syringe, dispense a squirt of the bleach solution into the drain tube to sanitize it.
  5. Reassemble the refrigerator: Once the drain line is clear, reassemble the refrigerator by replacing the back panel, shelves, and freezer contents.
  6. Plug the refrigerator back in: Reconnect the refrigerator to the power source and monitor it for any further issues.

Preventive Measures

Prevention is always better than cure. Here’s how you can prevent the Sears Kenmore Refrigerator drain line from clogging in the future:

  • Clean the refrigerator drain tube about once a year to prevent debris and mold buildup.
  • Occasionally, run hot water and a little bleach down the defrost drain hole to keep it clear and prevent mold growth.
  • If your freezer’s defrost drain keeps freezing over, consider installing a defrost heater drain strap, also known as a heat probe, to prevent the drain from freezing.

When to Seek Professional Help

If the problem persists after trying to clear the drain line yourself, it’s time to call a professional. Persistent clogs could be a sign of a more significant issue requiring professional help. Plumbers have the expertise to diagnose complex plumbing issues and can handle more extensive problems like main sewer line blockages.


Clearing a clogged drain line in a Sears Kenmore refrigerator may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and guidance, you can do it yourself. Remember, regular maintenance and inspection will help keep the drain line clear and prevent water leaks and other issues. However, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if the problem persists.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can cause a Sears Kenmore refrigerator drain line to clog?

The drain line can get clogged due to several reasons, including food particles, debris, ice buildup, or mold growth.

How often should I clean my refrigerator’s drain line?

It is recommended to clean your refrigerator’s drain line once a year for preventative maintenance. However, if you notice frequent clogs, you may need to clean it more often.

Can I use a wire coat hanger to clear the drain line?

It’s not advisable to use a wire coat hanger or any sharp object to clear the drain line, as it can damage the line. Instead, use a soft, flexible tube or a pipe cleaner.

What is a defrost heater drain strap or heat probe, and where can I get one?

A defrost heater drain strap, also known as a heat probe, is a device that you can install to prevent the drain line from freezing. You can purchase it from appliance parts stores or online.

What should I do if water is still leaking after I’ve cleared the drain line?

If water continues to leak even after you’ve cleared the drain line, it’s best to seek professional help. The issue could be more significant, such as a problem with the refrigerator’s water system or a main sewer line blockage.

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