Watched a lot of videos on refrigerators leaking, the culprit being a clogged drain tube. In my case, I have a freezer (Kenmore model 253.28093803) and it drips from the insulated line shown in the picture. And it drips enough to create a significant puddle on the floor. Sometimes when I touch that line, it seems frozen over and is thawing.

What is the likely cause of this and how to solve it?

enter image description here

  • 2
    Before jumping to "clog," I suppose that an ice dam could be the root cause. Have you at least defrosted the external line with a hair dryer or heat gun? Have you defrosted the whole freezer? And the ambient temperature isn't near or below freezing, is it?
    – popham
    Nov 13, 2023 at 6:51
  • Have not defrosted anything and the temperature is in the hight 40s low 50s F. Also, the freezer is in the garage that full of sawdust.
    – Wynne
    Nov 13, 2023 at 14:21
  • Do some research on why your suction line may be freezing.
    – Huesmann
    Nov 13, 2023 at 15:15

3 Answers 3


Ecnerwal does a great job explaining why that line is getting wet. More could be said about how to minimize the effect.

The suction line is cold because that's the tube carrying heat out of the freezer -- it has to get colder than the freezer interior or it wouldn't be able to do this job.

The suction tube is covered with that black foam insulation to help keep humid room air away from cool/cold surfaces. Clearly it could be doing a better job. Maybe the foam is degraded in some way (and doesn't keep water vapor out anymore), or has somehow become saturated with water or oil so that it doesn't insulate very well.

You could check the condition of that foam insulation and/or replace and/or supplement it. A replacement needs to have low vapor permeance to keep the humidity away. Use another closed cell foam, not fiberglass. An HVAC company might give you a scrap of foam from a mini split line set, or maybe pipe insulation or even spray foam in a can from a home center could help.

No matter how well you insulate this, it'll likely still get at least a small amount of condensation and dripping. You can place a baking pan to catch the drips. The water will evaporate out of the pan -- hopefully at a rate that keeps up with the condensation!

  • Should only a short section of the suction line be covered with the foam as you see in the picture?
    – Wynne
    Nov 13, 2023 at 22:39
  • wrap terry cloth around the new added insulation to absorb drips and give it a chance to naturally dry out between cycles. If well-insulated a small computer fan blasting the "hose" would likely curtail the need to collect drips by drying it before accumulation, but if poorly insulated, a fan would make things worse..
    – dandavis
    Nov 13, 2023 at 23:54
  • 1
    @Wynne Extra insulation (more of the line covered, and/or better-insulated) should only make things better, meaning less condensation.
    – Greg Hill
    Nov 14, 2023 at 0:35
  • From a "home center" choose (usually) the most expensive rubber foam insulation they sell, which is the same type normally used on refrigeration work (EDPM rubber closed cell.) You'll only need one piece.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 14, 2023 at 0:56

It's a freezer.

Unless you are defrosting (and the manual confirms it's manual defrost only, as most "only a freezer" units are) it or it's not working it's physically impossible for a freezer to leak water. Because water isn't frozen, and the inside of a freezer that's working is, very much so.

Therefore, it's condensation. Humidity from the air, collecting on a cool metal part. Run a dehumidifier in the space, or put the freezer over a floor drain.

  • 1
    Running a de-humidifier in a typical garage is going to be 'problematic'. On the other hand, closed-cell pipe insulation is VERY cheap.
    – MikeB
    Nov 14, 2023 at 9:53

I agree with Ecnerwal and Greg Hill's answers but don't have the reps to comment. Before improving the insulation on the pipe you should defrost and dry it thoroughly**. This could be done while defrosting the whole freezer, if it needs it, but just leaving the freezer off for a day and running a fan on the insulation should help to evaporate the moisture from the pipe's insulation. Keeping the freezer shut should prevent the inside defrosting. Once the insulation is dry you can add more but finish off with an impermeable layer (aluminium tape would be ideal) so humid air cannot penetrate to the pipe inside.

** I expect the old insulation is saturated with ice and water so not insulating effectively.

  • 1
    "but don't have the reps to comment." is not needed. This answer adds useful info on its own. Nov 14, 2023 at 11:58
  • Closed cell foam acts as a vapour barrier.
    – Questor
    Nov 15, 2023 at 0:55

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