replying to Lisa, fixitall wrote:
I have a similar Whirlpool refrigerator. I am having the same problem, but I
know where it is coming from. The evaporator pan under the refrigerator.
After getting the unit repaired, a very bad odor soon began coming from down by
the removable grill. After searching everything else like most folks here, I
finally got behind it and removed the panel at the bottom. I found that the rear
of the evaporator pan was coated with a dark, sticky residue that was definitely
the source of the smell. I think it might have been from a roast that we thawed
in the refrigerator, that ended up leaking a lot of blood before we caught it. I
cleaned it out and voila, the smell went away completely.
It has been about a week now, and the smell has returned. When checking the same
place I discovered these things:
1) There is about 1/4 inch of water in the back of the evaporator pan that is
the source of the smell. It is not the same sticky residue, but murky water.
2) The pan is molded so that the back part fills up about halfway before water
begins running into the front part. This may be because the fan is blowing right
on the back part, and that would be where the fastest evaporation should take
I'm guessing here, but I know refrigerators have automatic defrost cycles. I'm
wondering if somehow, before I had it repaired, the leaking food got down into
the system somewhere and froze. Maybe now some of that ice is melting during
each auto defrost and running down into the evaporator pan. Until it evaporates
it is essentially a bowl of warm water, which would be a great place for
bacteria to grow like crazy if food got down there.
I think I'll probably be cleaning that out regularly until only clean water
drips down there from the defrost cycle as intended. I don't know any way to
clean out the system up inside "where spills go." I guess I could try pouring
water into the refrigerator compartment to see if it goes all of the way through
and runs out in the evaporator pan - but that seems a little risky.
What I'd like to find is something to put into the evaporator pan to disinfect
dirty water when it drains there, so the water would evaporate before it started