Drip Pan in a Whirlpool Refrigerator Is Full and Leaking

The drip pan on your Whirlpool refrigerator is located at the bottom of the appliance, and is designed to prevent water from the defrost system from spilling on the floor below. The water contained in the drip pan should always evaporate on its own, but if it doesn't, you must clean the refrigerator, or replace the condenser fan.

Drain-Pan Purpose

Most Whirlpool refrigerators are frost-free models, which have a defrost heater placed on the evaporator. The purpose of the defrost heater is to melt ice and frost as it forms on the evaporator coils. As the ice and frost are melted, the resulting water falls to the bottom of the refrigerator and is collected in the drip pan.

Condenser Fan

The drip pan should never need to be emptied, as the water contained therein evaporates on its own. The evaporation process is expedited by the condenser fan, located near the compressor, in the lower-rear compartment of the refrigerator. The fan pulls air from the kitchen through the front grille of the refrigerator. As the air is pulled, it passes over the drip pan, which helps evaporate the water.

Accessing the Drip Pan

To remove the drip pan, you must first remove the bottom-front grille of the refrigerator. To remove the grille, remove the screws securing it in place. With the screws removed, tilt the grille toward you, then pull it away from the cabinet. The drip pan is located in the center or on the left of the compartment, depending on if your model is a side-by-side unit, and pulls straight out.

Replacing the Condenser Fan

If the condenser fan is not functioning it must be replaced. First, unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet, then remove the lower access panel. Remove the screws securing the fan motor to the refrigerator, then pull the fan blade off of the front of the condenser fan. Next, pull the fan motor out of the refrigerator and remove the fan motor wire connector. To install the new condenser fan motor, reverse these steps.