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Fridge Leaking Water
Fridge Leaking Water

Why Is My Refrigerator Leaking?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Don’t Panic if You Find Your Refrigerator Leaking

Is your refrigerator leaking and causing stress? Don’t fret too much because a refrigerator leak doesn’t always mean it’s a big problem. It might be a problem that you can fix yourself. At the same time, a refrigerator leak could be more than just an annoyance. It can also be a safety hazard, from causing the floor to be slippery to damaging the structure of your home.

You can prevent accidents and structural damage from happening by ensuring you investigate the cause of your refrigerator leaking on the floor. With that said, this blog provides you with a list of some of the most common reasons why a fridge is leaking water, how to troubleshoot them, and how to fix the problem.

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Following are some of the reasons your refrigerator could be leaking.

Common Reasons Why Your Refrigerator Is Leaking

“Why is my refrigerator leaking water on the floor?” There are many reasons why that can happen. Some of the ones you can check and possibly repair by yourself are listed below. See if you can salvage your refrigerator with the repair tips we share in this article:

Faulty Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve supplies water to the refrigerator’s water dispenser and ice maker. If the valve is defective, like if it develops a crack or becomes stuck open, it can cause water to leak from the back of the refrigerator. If this is the problem with your refrigerator, you might be able to fix it by replacing the water inlet valve.

Damaged Water Line

Another possible cause of a fridge leaking water inside from the top is a damaged water line. The water line is a part of the refrigerator that supplies water to the water dispenser and ice maker. It can become damaged over time, developing a hole or becoming kinked, causing water to leak from the fridge. Its solution is straightforward enough – replace the damaged water line.

Cracked Drain Pan

Underneath the refrigerator is the drain pan, collecting water defrosted from the freezer. If your refrigerator is leaking, check and ensure that the pan has not cracked. If it is, then that’s probably why water is leaking out onto the floor. Fortunately, all you need to do to solve the problem is replace the drain pan.

Blocked or Frozen Evaporator Drain

The evaporator removes heat from inside the refrigerator, producing condensation as it does so. The condensation typically drains through a small tube or hole located at the back of the fridge. If this hole or tube becomes frozen with ice or clogged, water backs up and eventually leaks outside the refrigerator.

Several things can cause the evaporator drain (the small hole or tube) to produce refrigerator leaks. Some of the common causes are a dirty or clogged drain, a faulty evaporator fan, or a malfunctioning defrost system. If you want to fix this problem, you will need to clear the blockage or replace the faulty parts of the fridge.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, knows a few things about leaky fridges and has some advice on how to best deal with the problem.

Improper Leveling

“Why is my refrigerator leaking from the bottom?” One possible reason is that your refrigerator is not level. This makes water pool in the bottom of the fridge, eventually leaking out. It happens if the floor is uneven or when the legs are not adjusted properly. You can fix this issue simply by adjusting the legs or leveling the floor.

Overfilling of the Drip Pan

Located at the bottom of the refrigerator is the drip pan, which collects condensation. If the pan becomes overfilled, it can cause water to leak out onto the floor similar to the cracked drain pan situation. The good news is it’s also easy enough to fix, with you only needing to remove the excess water from the drip pan.

Damaged Door Gasket

The door gasket is the rubber seal running around the edge of the refrigerator door. It might not seem important, but it is, because it keeps the door sealed tight, making sure the cold air doesn’t get out. If the gasket becomes worn or damaged, it lets cold air escape and condensation forms outside the fridge until it eventually leads to water leaking out onto the floor. Like the other mentioned causes of refrigerator leaks, you can fix this by replacing the door gasket.

Faulty Ice Maker

If your refrigerator has an ice maker, know that it can sometimes malfunction, and that usually causes water to leak out onto the floor. Some of the common causes of this are the ice maker becoming stuck in the on position, or when the water inlet valve becomes clogged or defective. The simplest solution to this problem would be to replace the faulty components.

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See our list of common repair tips for water leaking from the fridge.

Broken Water Filter

If your refrigerator has a built-in water filter, it sometimes becomes clogged or damaged. As a result, water leaks out of the dispenser area. It can happen if the filter becomes old and worn, or if it’s not properly installed. You can prevent this from happening by ensuring the water filter is installed correctly. But if you already have the problem, you can fix it by replacing the filter.

Blocked or Damaged Drain Tube

Some refrigerators have a drain tube that carries water from the freezer to the drain pan. If this tube becomes damaged or blocked, it can lead to water leaking out of the freezer or the refrigerator. This often happens if the tube develops a crack or hole, or if food or debris ends up lodged in it. Clearing the blockage or replacing the damaged tube should solve the problem.

Clogged or Frozen Defrost Drain

Want to know the answer to “Why is water leaking from my refrigerator?” It could be because of the defrost drain, which is a small channel or hole at the back of the freezer. The defrost drain allows water from the melted ice to drain out of the freezer into a pan underneath the fridge. If the defrost drain is frozen or clogged, water can pool in the bottom of the freezer and eventually leak out onto the floor.

This can also happen if food or other debris gets stuck in the defrost drain. Fortunately, it’s often easy enough to fix a refrigerator leaking due to a clogged or frozen defrost drain. You only need to clear the ice buildup or clog from the drain by using either a small tool to remove the debris or pouring hot water down the drain.

Rust or Corrosion

Over time, the metal parts inside a refrigerator become rusted or corroded, causing leaks to appear. This can happen if your refrigerator is old or if the fridge becomes exposed to moisture. As a result, the fridge’s metal exterior oxidizes and that causes rust to form. Replacing the rusted or corroded parts of the refrigerator is the simplest way to fix this issue.

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Check out our FAQ’s relating to fridge leaks.

Leaking Refrigerator FAQs

Is it normal for a refrigerator to leak water?

No, it’s not normal for a refrigerator to leak water. A refrigerator that’s working properly shouldn’t leak. If you notice water pooling around the fridge, it’s a sign that something’s wrong with it. Investigate to find the root cause and perform some DIY fixes if it’s a minor problem. But if it’s not, you should call a qualified appliance repair technician to repair your refrigerator.

What should I do if my refrigerator is leaking water?

If you notice a refrigerator leaking, the first thing you should do is turn off the water supply to the appliance and unplug it from the wall. It will help prevent further damage or electrical hazards. Once you’ve unplugged the machine, try to find the source of the leak. Some of the common causes of refrigerator leaks include frozen defrost drains, cracked or damaged water lines, or faulty water inlet valves. After identifying the cause of the leak, you can attempt to fix it yourself or call a professional for help.

Can a refrigerator leak cause damage to my home?

You can prevent your refrigerator from leaking water by keeping it clean and well-maintained. This includes cleaning the drip pan and drain regularly, which helps prevent clogs. You should also replace the water filter as needed to prevent sediment buildup, and check for any signs of damage or wear on the water supply line or valve. It’s also important not to overload the refrigerator, causing it to work harder than necessary and increasing the risk of leaks.

Can a refrigerator leak damage my home?

It can. Refrigerator leaks can cause water damage if not addressed as soon as possible. Water damage can then lead to structural damage, mold growth, and other issues. This makes it crucial to handle a refrigerator leak as soon as you notice it to prevent further damage to your home.

Contact A Local Appliance Repair Expert

All the DIY fixes mentioned above you can do on your own. But if you’ve tried them and your refrigerator leaking is still a problem, maybe it’s time to contact a professional appliance repair technician. Leaks can be problematic and possibly lead to water damage. If you don’t want to have to deal with it for too long, consult with a qualified contractor immediately.

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