I have a nice refrigerator I like, but it has one problem.

Like all modern refrigerators it has a "automatic defrosting" and a drain tube which carries the condensate away to... somewhere. I think it comes out somewhere in the back, but I haven't been able to find the place. Not that I've looked much. The back of the refrigerator is inaccessible, unless I empty it and move the whole big thing, and I don't want to do that.

Some years ago due to my own mistake some gunk got into the tube. Now every few months it gets clogged up and the water doesn't flow through it, meaning I get a puddle.

Currently I'm using a piece of a wire to poke it and eventually it comes open just enough to last for a few more months. I suspect there's some mold growing in there or something, but with my measly piece of a wire there's no way I can do anything more than poke a little hole. So I'm wondering - there's a better tool for the job?

The pipe is made of silicone (I think) and is pretty narrow. Something on the order of 0.5cm, I think, although I cannot measure it. The clog is about 20-30cm deep. It's not straight, although I don't think it has a 90-degree bend. It takes a bit of wriggling, but I can push my wire through.

I was thinking - perhaps something like this, but I cannot find one narrow and long enough. I don't know if that exists.

  • "carries the condensate away to... somewhere", usually to a shallow pan where the water sits until evaporated. Commonly located so heat from refrigeration equipment and a fan facilitates quick evaporation... Aug 18, 2019 at 18:36
  • @JimmyFix-it - That's what I imagined too. Just that the last time I looked at the fridge from behind I couldn't see any such structure. But it could be hidden somewhere deeper inside.
    – Vilx-
    Aug 18, 2019 at 19:03
  • Had a similar problem. Turned out it was a small piece of insulation from the fridge that was clogging it. The drain pan is probably hidden behind a removable cover on the back. Aug 20, 2019 at 14:13

2 Answers 2


A good alternative to the wire would be an aquarium pipe cleaner. It is designed to fit in small diameter pipes and clean out algae that may be growing just the pipe. It should do the same for any mold that may be growing in your pipe.

  • Aquariums! Good idea, I hadn't thought of checking the pet shops! :) I'll see if they have anything like this next time I swing by one.
    – Vilx-
    Aug 18, 2019 at 13:45

Try a pipe cleaner tied to a piece of string and pulled through your tube. Aquarium brushes might be too large.

Adding picture of pipe cleaner as requested. enter image description here

  • I don't have access to the other end of the pipe, unfortunately. Well, not without a lot of effort anyway. Also, could you please give a link to a picture of what you mean by "pipe cleaner"?
    – Vilx-
    Aug 18, 2019 at 14:43
  • Interesting. I haven't noticed this around, but then I haven't paid much attention to the various things in the cleaning isle either. Is this found in common supermarkets, or should I try home improvement stores?
    – Vilx-
    Aug 18, 2019 at 19:01
  • These started out just being sold at pipe and cigarette stores for cleaning pipes but they became more popular in arts and crafts stores. Here is a link for a store that sells a 52' piece that you can cut to your needs. pipesandcigars.com
    – JACK
    Aug 18, 2019 at 19:11
  • Ahh, that kind of "pipes"! :D English language strikes again.
    – Vilx-
    Aug 18, 2019 at 19:13
  • We're good at that... Were are you at???
    – JACK
    Aug 18, 2019 at 19:18

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