The drip defrosting system is equipped with refrigerators of all sizes, with a different number of chambers. Usually these are economical, outwardly attractive models. However, automatic defrost is not a panacea. Such a refrigerator periodically, for example, once a year, must be turned off, washed and dried. But the point here is not the appearance of ice, namely, cleanliness. Let us consider in more detail the device and principle of operation of the drip defrost system.

Refrigerator with drip system

Refrigerators with drip defrosting element by element includes:

  • compressor;
  • a condenser (a zigzag tube on the back wall) filled with refrigerant – heat is removed through it to the outside;
  • capillary tube (in which the gaseous refrigerant condenses into a liquid);
  • the evaporator (tubes inside) absorbs heat from the internal chambers, cooling them;
  • a relay with which you can control the temperature.

refrigerator drip system diagram

For greater efficiency of cooling processes, the refrigerator body is laid inside heat-insulating materials. The internal volume of the refrigerator does not betray the presence of technical elements and meters of various tubes, the walls are smooth.

On a note! New models of refrigerators are equipped with displays that display information about the temperature inside. Here the accuracy of the set mode is +/- 0.5 degrees.

How the drip defrost system works

The moisture in the refrigerator compartment condenses on the back wall, the temperature of which is much lower than that of all other items inside. Water is drained into the container along inclined grooves and discharged outside. Technically, this process is implemented as follows.

  1. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant (as long as it is a gas) in the condenser.
  2. In the capillary tube, the refrigerant condenses into a liquid, slightly compacted.
  3. Then it goes through the evaporator. Heat from the surrounding space is absorbed by the substance, thus cooling occurs.
  4. Having taken a lot of heat, the substance begins to boil and goes into the final boil. Here, the refrigerant is completely converted back into a gas.
  5. There is always moisture in the air inside the refrigerator. When the engine starts the cycle, the evaporator becomes the coldest surface in the chamber. Moisture settles on it in the form of “snow”. When the engine cycle ends, the frost begins to melt and flows down.
water hole in drip defrost system

Water flows down the back wall of the refrigerator into a special hole

Below, in the center of the wall, there is a special hole where the water goes, getting into the container above the engine. The heat generated by the compressor during operation periodically boils this water out into the environment. This cycle is repeated many times during the day. In a sense, the refrigerator works and like a humidifier.

Caring for a refrigerator with a drip system

Some users are confused by the appearance of the back wall of the refrigerator, along which water flows from time to time. They try to wipe the water or urgently dial the service number. In fact, this is a planned, carefully calculated process, and nothing needs to be done about it.

You should not worry about the fact that such an apparatus requires manual defrosting, since the drip system is quite well developed. The only thing that needs to be remembered periodically is the cleaning of containers that accumulate water, as sometimes they tend to become clogged.

How to clean the refrigerator?

To do this procedure, you can read the instructions in more detail, which describes how to clean the containers. Usually, a syringe or a thin wire is used for cleaning. These auxiliary tools will help remove stuck particles of dirt from the holes.


There is another modern principle of operation – this is the “No frost” system, that is, without freezing. The principle of operation is slightly different, although in some ways it is similar to the previous one. Refrigerators equipped with such a system have a compressor and a rear cooling panel, however, low temperatures in such a unit are distributed through the cold chamber using built-in fans. Thanks to these fans, a uniform distribution of cold throughout the chamber is ensured. The rear panel is covered with condensation, but here it is much less.

Comparison of two defrost systems

To more clearly understand how these 2 systems differ from each other, you need to consider all the pros and cons of each. Advantages of the drip defrost system:

  • such models are classified as affordable;
  • a wide range of models, there is a choice for every taste;
  • units are equipped with sufficiently large chambers;
  • refrigerators with such a defrosting system consume less electricity;
  • ensures quiet operation.

Refrigerator drip defrost system

Cons of a drip defrost system:

  • freezers do not have such a system;
  • the back panel inside the camera is constantly covered with ice;
  • such a unit will require more frequent defrosting than the same “No frost”;
  • the lower and upper parts of the refrigerator compartment may differ in temperature by several degrees.

Advantages of the “No frost” system:

  • requires minimal maintenance;
  • the temperature is distributed evenly throughout the chamber;
  • the presence of such a system in the freezer greatly facilitates the use of such a refrigerator;
  • after a break, the temperature inside the chamber is quickly restored;
  • there is a quick freeze function;
  • there is almost no condensation on the back of the camera.
No Frost system

The device of refrigerators with the “No Frost” system

Cons of the “No frost” system:

  • such models do not differ in large capacity;
  • such refrigerators are more expensive;
  • the “No frost” system consists of many parts, therefore, from a technical point of view, the probability of breakage is higher;
  • such models need more electricity;
  • among the presented models often come across quite noisy.


A novelty in the household appliances market is refrigerators with the Low Frost system. Here implemented new method of automatic defrosting. It’s all about the innovative approach when equipping the freezer with an evaporator.

Bosch engineers became the progenitors of the idea. At the moment, many brands, such as Siemens, Gorenje and AEG, install such a system in their refrigerators.

The main idea is the uniform distribution of the evaporator over the entire outer surface of the freezer. This achieves a uniform distribution of cold inside, quick freezing and high-quality storage of products. The second plus is the minimum amount of snow that appears during operation.

low frost system

Which defrost system is best

Any automatic defrost system is better than a do-it-yourself option. The user does not have to either monitor the situation with the accumulated ice or remove it. It is clear that the more expensive the refrigerator model, the more perfect the defrosting system and other elements of user comfort in it.

At the moment, there are practically no refrigerators that require manual defrosting. But if you look at this issue from the point of view of payback, manual defrosting is not so bad. This procedure should be performed only 1-2 times a year. And the difference in price is not in favor of automation: it is such that it will not “beat off” for the entire life of the refrigerator.

If you make a choice between the drip system and “No Frost”, you need to understand that the first is more reliable, but requires more frequent defrosting. The second is more comfortable, but in terms of reliability, it has proven to be weaker.


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