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fritzycat1 06-22-2008 02:14 AM

Refrigerator leak Impending Doom?
I just opened up the back of my refrigerator to clean out all the dust and debris. I noticed a white residue where a copper tube connects to the coil assembly. I also noticed a white spot on the insulation just below this connection. The connection is dry, and the white residue on the insulation is dry and crusty. See attached photo.

Does anyone know what this residue is?

Was this a leak that temporarily sealed-itself and it is only a matter of time before I am doomed to suffer a catastrophic failure of some kind?

Any suggestion on what to do about this are greatly appreciated.

The fridge is a Whirlpool side-by-side and is about 5 years old.

jeff1 06-22-2008 07:41 AM


The refrigerator still working/getting cold?

The solder/weld joint looks good, the white is normally the flux used to keep the joint clean during the soldering/welding process at the factory. Some often drips off, esp if a little too much was applied.



fritzycat1 06-22-2008 10:35 AM


Yes the refrigerator is still working just fine.

I hadn't considered that it might just be residue from the flux during final assembly.

so, do we all agree that this is just flux and nothing to be concerned about? I don't want to come home to a refrigerator full of melted ice-cream and rotting fish-sticks. :eek:

jeff1 06-22-2008 01:06 PM


so, do we all agree that this is just flux and nothing to be concerned about?

Yes the refrigerator is still working just fine
Then so far....yes.


Nestor_Kelebay 06-22-2008 02:43 PM


What about putting the food in the freezer in a cooler temporarily and leaving the fridge door closed to keep that food cool as long as possible, and just turning the fridge off to let the evaporator coils warm up.

Then, paint the joint with a 50/50 solution of liquid dish washing soap and water. If bubbles are formed, even if it takes a long time for a bubble to form, then that's proof of a leak.

Whaddaya think about testing the joint that way?

Fritzycat: The freon in your system will evaporate completely without leaving a residue. So, if there were a leak, I can't imagine what would leak out of the fridge to leave a white residue behind. If anything, there may be some oil mist from the compressor, but that would leave a dark, oily spot and oil on the suspect joint.

jeff1 06-22-2008 10:53 PM


Whaddaya think about testing the joint that way?
When needed that will work great.....just not needed here :)


fritzycat1 06-23-2008 01:12 AM

Good idea on the soap solution to check for a leak Nestor. But as you said, the freon would just evaporate and not drip or leave a residue, so I'm inclined to think that Jeff is right-on with his diagnosis of a little over-zealousness with the soldering flux back at the factory.

Now that I have a few photos of it I have a basis for comparison - I'll check it again in a few weeks to be sure nothing has changed.

thank you both for your help with this!

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