Ice forming in fridge

I was surprised to find this morning that a sheet of ice has formed on the bottom of the inside of my fridge, underneath where one of the salad trays sits. I don't know how long it's been there.
The fridge setting is at 3 (of a range of 1 to 5) and hasn't been changed all summer. Once in the past, the control was accidentally turned to the highest setting and this was only discovered when liquids stored in the fridge began to freeze, but that hasn't happened since that one occasion: despite the presence of the ice, milk, fruit juice and so on are still liquid.
The fridge is the top half of a Beko fridge-freezer and the freezer is working perfectly. Should I be concerned about this? Does it indicate that something's wrong somewhere? Many thanks.
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The cold panel (usually the rear panel) will have a condensate collection channel along the bottom of it, with a drain hole so the water can run out to the back (where it drains into a tray on top of the hot compressor and evaporates).
The problem is either that the drain hole has got blocked so the channel overflows into the bottom of the fridge, or that something stored in the fridge is leaning against the cold panel and redirecting the condensate away from the drain channel.
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Andrew Gabriel
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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

Thanks very much for that; I'll check. It does strike me as slightly odd, though, that water should freeze in the interior of a fridge which (presumably) is at above freezing point.
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I have a 2nd standalone fridge for drinks and other crap that has a "sweet spot" in the middle of the middle shelf, if I put any liquid there, it freezes overnight. I only noticed when I heard a dull thud one morning and opened it up to find a can of fizzy drink (from a wrapped 6-pack) had exploded and the contents had coated the whole interior. 4 of the other cans were fine, the 5th was a little bit frozen, this one can just happened to be exactly in the right spot overnight. Brown ice everywhere :(
Maybe with any fridge there is a spot that's colder than everywhere else, depending on how it cools, airflow, etc, and I do keep it quite cold in there because there's nothing worse than not-very-cold cold drinks. I just make sure to leave that spot empty. I've never seen any "loose" ice in there though.
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Being immediately above the freezer compartment might explain it.
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snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

My mother's fridge has the same problem, but it's not the condensate collector being blocked that's the issue. There's never any sign of any water in it.
I think it's a mix of the freezer underneath making the bottom of the larder fridge cold, and that naturally any air that does circulate in the larder fridge will, if colder than the rest, end up at the bottom, well below the condensate drain.
I think also that the way the salad drawers are designed - not really drawres, more like a pair of deep sealed boxes, means that air circulation under them (where the water collects) is poor, so once water collects there it stays there.
The salad 'drawers' themselves also have items freeze solid inside them, if they are left undisturbed for a long time.
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Thanks to everyone for the responses. The drain hole is not blocked (unless the obstruction is further down than the supplied blockage-clearer can reach) but there is a build-up of ice in the channels leading to it.
As far as I can tell, nothing in the fridge has been blocking the drain or obscuring the run-offs.
I plan to remove the ice, leave the thermostat setting as it is, and see what happens.
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...
That describes exactly what happens to my fridge every few years or so. I run a long piece of thin, flexible wire down through the drainage hole and associated pipe to clear the blockage. Something like a bicycle brake or gear cable is ideal. I use piece of old gear cable. Nerd that I am, I leave the cable in a polythene bag in the fridge so I can find it when I need it :-)
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Dennis Davis wrote:

Good idea, I'll try it. Thanks.
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It might be ice blocking it.
Ice forming in a fridge can be due to lack of air circulation, causing some parts to get too cold, whilst more worryingly, other parts are not cold enough. This is due to either putting too much in the fridge, or having loose wrappings, so there's no space for air circulation between the stored items.
It can also happen if the door isn't quite shut, causing the compressor to run continuously, and freezing things near/under the cooling panel.
When you think it's unblocked, try pouring *a little* water into the condensate channel and watch to make sure it drains away properly, and doesn't spill over into the bottom of the fridge.
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Andrew Gabriel
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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

I've always been careful about that.

The other day I did notice that the door was very slightly ajar. As far as I could work out, it had been that way for a couple of hours. Would that be long enough for ice to form?

I just tried it. The water drained away with no problems.
Thanks for your thoughts.
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On Mon, 2 Sep 2013 16:13:40 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Gabriel wrote:

Better still drag the thing out and check that the dish on top of the compressor isn't running extensive experiments in new and exotic forms baterial and fungal life. B-)
The unit in question is a fridge freezer with the fridge on top, so the drain pipe is probably 3' long...
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Andrew Gabriel put finger to keyboard:

When my fridge drain hole blocked, the bottom of the fridge got wet and ice formed on the inside back panel.
The drain hole contains a small plastic spatula/prodder, about 2 inches long, for the purpose of manually clearing the blockage. Worked a treat.
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"Scion" wrote:

My fridge-freezer has the same gizmo. But curiously, it actually lives in the drain hole - small prongs on the handle stop it from sealing the aperture. As far as I can see there's no way to make it go any deeper into the hole than it already is, which means that if there's a blockage further down, the plastic clearing device can't reach it.
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Bert Coules put finger to keyboard:

Presumably it's long enough to clear the bottom of the drain hole.
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"Scion" wrote:

That's difficult to say, since it's not easy to see exactly where the bottom is. But surely if it is that long, and if the drain were blocked above that point, then the blockage would have formed around the prodder? I felt no resistance when pulling it out.
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It's often just a 2" pipe, which then opens into the top of a larger vertical pipe which down to the trap on top of the compressor.
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Andrew Gabriel
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On Mon, 02 Sep 2013 14:50:31 +0000, Scion wrote:

Mine doesn't have a prodder so I use a furry pipe cleaner bought in bundles from craft shops. The water in my fridge tends to go slimy which is why it blocks the drain hole.
TOJ.
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On Mon, 2 Sep 2013 13:10:21 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

funny you should say that. anything that touches the back of my fridge freezes solid. its a hotpoint rl 175.
we get a lot of water in the bottow even if nothing is touching the back and have to remove it every couple of weeks.
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in message writes:

The temperature of the backplate can be -20C at times. You have a blocked drain hole. Curtain wire that is used for hanging net curtains will clear it.

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