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Sunday

sweet smell coming from under the refrigerator.

smell might be coming from the drain tube at the bottom of the freezer... that mildew might have grown inside that tube. So we removed the bottom basket, then mixed up a mild solution of water and Clorox, and "tossed" it through the grating in back into the drain hole. I thought he was nuts, but I was ready to try anything. I did this a couple of times until the drain pan had filled up. THEN I threaded my hand and tong with sponge through the front and sopped up the water.

Voila -- it worked.


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the drain hole for the freezer is at the bottom of the compartment, behind an immovable grate/grid. To see this, remove the bottom basket completely and look to the very back. I think when I saw that I wouldn't be able to pour my Clorox/water solution into the hole because of the grate, that I used a turkey baster to squirt the solution through or under the grating into the hole. This solution was room temp, so it would melt any ice crystals in the drain tube, and hopefully leave enough Clorox residue to kill any bacteria or spores that might be creating the odor. After I did that, I throughly cleaned the drainage tray under the fridge using a sponge and paper towels. May have had to use tongs because the access was so difficult.

As far as the term "tossing" is concerned, I think when I had just a little bit of the solution left, I sort of tossed it through the grate into the drain hole.

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First and foremost, the smell is not the refrigerant gas unless your refrigerator is REALLY OLD. Back then they used sulfur dioxide. Smells like rotten eggs. My guess is the defrost drain pan. When the unit goes through it’s defrost cycle, water runs down a tube on the back of the refrigerator to this pan where warm air blows over to evaporate it.

If something got spilled or just got in to that pan and went bad, it could cause a smell. It will come just after defrost when it gets wet and goes away when it dries out. Remove pan and clean.

If you refrigerator does not have a “Condenser” coil on the back, then you have one under the box near the compressor. These are fan cooled. These are called zero clearance units as you can build them in to your cabinets. Be sure the coil is clean and the fan is working. The ones with a coil on the back, you have to leave room for the hot air to rise to pull cool air over this coil.

When the fan motor bearings get dry, the fan will stall and the motor windings will get hot. This could be your smell.
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the sweet odor coming from under it. The odor gets worse when the fan is running.
No, the odor will not be refrigerant and won't be harmful either. There are a couple of parts under the unit that can cause an odor. The grommets # 218513300 that the compressor sits on will sometimes cause an odor. The grommets are available at Sears PartsDirect . The second part will be the drain pan. To eliminate an odor from the drain pan, you can clean it out with some warm water and bleach. You can also place some Clorox tablets in the drain pan. Make sure you disconnect the power from the unit before cleaning the drain pan or replacing the grommets.

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