How to Unclog the Drain Plug on Maytag Refrigerators

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There are several easy trouble shooting things you can do to help unclog the drain plug on your refrigerator.
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A Maytag top freezer drain that is clogged can cause water to accumulate on the ceiling of your refrigerator or drip down its interior. Normally, excess condensation is directed to the drain pan, but if the Maytag fridge defrost drain line is plugged, the water has nowhere to go except into your refrigerator. If your Maytag freezer drain keeps freezing up and you don't troubleshoot this problem, water may eventually find itself on the floor underneath your refrigerator, which could cause a flooring and subflooring problem.

Maytag Top Freezer Drain Clogged

A freezer cycles through an automatic defrost mode, which is not meant to defrost the entire freezer but to remove any frost and ice that has built up on the walls of the freezer. When the defrost cycle kicks in, the frost melts and drips to the floor of the freezer where it flows through a valve that directs it to a drain. Eventually, this condensation collects in a drain pan that's outside the refrigerator. Because the condensation is slight, it evaporates without spilling outside the drain pan

If the valve or drain line becomes plugged with debris, such as crumbs or even something like a pea, the condensation cannot properly drain away from the appliance, and it begins to accumulate inside it. The water trapped in the drain line can refreeze and form an even firmer plug.

Faulty Drain Heater

Some refrigerator models have drain heaters, which prevent any trapped water from refreezing and plugging the defrost drain. If the drain heater is faulty or it's not properly positioned, this could also cause the defrost drain to freeze. Drain heaters come in a variety of shapes, depending on different refrigerator models. If the drain line is plugged by ice that cannot melt, installing a new drain heater may solve the problem.

Improperly Positioned Drain Strap

If the drain heater is working, another small part may be the reason the plug is clogged. In some drains, a drain strap is attached to the defrost heater, extending into the drain. When the heater cycles on, the drain strap conducts heat to the drain, melting any accumulated ice. But if the drain strap is improperly positioned, it cannot melt the ice and keep the drain line free of clogs.

Drain Unit Check Valve

Some Maytag refrigerator models have a duckbill check valve, which has a narrow opening. This type of valve may trap debris, food and ice more easily than other types of valves. Refrigerator owners who have tried to remedy this problem by cutting off the narrow part of the valve to make a wider opening find that this may create a secondary problem. The wider opening allows warmer air from outside the freezer to enter the cold interior, which makes the freezer work harder.

Compensation for Drain Tube Defects

If you think you may have a defective Maytag fridge defrost drain tube or associated drain parts because your Maytag freezer drain keeps freezing up, you may be entitled to a class-action settlement. Whirlpool, the company that owns Maytag, reached a multimillion dollar settlement in July 2019 to compensate customers for defective drain tubes, according to Top Class Actions.

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Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist and a professional writer who has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, horticultural articles, and magazine and newspaper columns. Her writing expertise covers diverse industries, including horticulture, home maintenance and DIY projects, banking, finance, law and tax. Blackstone has written more than 2,000 published works for newspapers, magazines, online publications and individual clients.

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