Emergency? Speak to a Qualified Technician Today

Is Your Refrigerator Leaking Water? Here Are The Common Causes and Fixes

Refrigerator Leaking Water

Most people take their refrigerator for granted until it leaks. A leaky refrigerator can be a worrying sight, although its not something to be too concerned about. As its a common issue that can you can fix without any expensive tools.

So, what should you do if your refrigerator starts leaking? Here’s an overview of the most common causes and fixes for a leaky refrigerator.


Refrigerator Leaking Water

A few different things can cause a refrigerator to leak water. However, a blocked defrost drain is one of the most common issues. 

This happens when the drain hose becomes clogged, leading to ice build-up and eventually, water leaking out of your refrigerator.

Although many refrigerator leaks are caused by a blocked defrost drain, the exact cause can be more specific. Below, you will find an overview of the many things that can cause a refrigerator to leak. You will also find a list of common remedies to fix each problem. 

When a refrigerator starts leaking, you should go through this list before calling a professional. If your refrigerator is still leaking after going through this list, you can rule out many different causes, which will help you save money by the time you call a professional. 

For example, if a bit of tilting caused your refrigerator to leak, it would be much easier and cheaper to fix it yourself than to call a professional. 

Here’s a list of common causes and fixes that you should go through whenever your fridge is leaking water onto the floor.  

Improper Tilting

Improper tilting is one of the most common things that can cause a refrigerator to leak. You might be surprised to know that most refrigerators are designed to be slightly taller in the front than the back. 

The reason for this is because the angle helps encourage circulation for refrigerant coolants running through your fridge. If you just moved in, just bought a new fridge, or just put your fridge back in place after remodeling it can start leaking if it’s not tilted properly.

How can a fridge start leaking just from being tilted at the wrong angle? The refrigerant coolant inside your refrigerator will have a more difficult time reaching its destination if it’s tilted improperly. When that happens, your fridge will work harder than it should which will cause excessive condensation around the coils. 

The condensation will be so extreme, it can create enough water to look like a leak. If left unchecked, such a leak could cause serious damage to your kitchen floor.

How to Check for the Problem 

So how can you tell if your fridge is tilted improperly? Just take a level landline it up from side to side and back to front. Make sure that you are using the level on the floor. Don’t try using it on the top of the fridge. If you find that the back of the fridge is tilted higher than the front, you can be reasonably sure that your leak has been caused by improper tilting. 

The Fix

If your leak was caused by improper tilting, you should be thankful. That’s because improper tilting is one of the easiest problems to fix by yourself when it comes to repairing a leaky refrigerator. All you need to do is place something underneath one end of the fridge to prop it up and tilt it at the proper angle. You can use wood, but plastic is usually preferable as it won’t be affected by condensation.

Damaged Drain Pan

Another reason why your fridge could be leaking is if you have a damaged drain pan. Your drain pan is designed to catch all of the excess water that comes through. If your drain pan is in good condition, you shouldn’t see any signs of a leak.

That said, if your drain pan is cracked or was somehow moved out of its original position, all of that excess water will go straight down onto your floor. 

How to Check for the Problem 

To check your drain pan, you’ll have to get on your hands and knees. Start by removing the front panel at the bottom of your refrigerator. Grab a flashlight and look towards the left side of the bottom of your fridge. 

You should see a square plastic pan. Make sure the pan is still in place, and then look for any cracks. One crack is all it takes to allow water to seep into your floor. 

The Fix

Fixing a cracked drain pan is relatively easy. You will have to remove the original drain pan and replace it with something similar in size. Alternatively, you could slide a smaller plastic pan over the top of the original one until you get it replaced. Try looking up the part number and getting a replacement pan.

Blocked Defrost Drain

Your defrost drain keeps all of the water generated from condensation and collects it. When your fridge is working correctly, the water accumulated in your defrost drain will evaporate naturally. When that drain becomes clogged, however, it will get backed up in your freezer and eventually travel from your fridge to your floor.

How to Check for the Problem 

The simplest and most direct way to see if your defrost drain is at fault is to check it manually. Take a look at your defrost drain and see if something is clogging it. Even if you can’t see any visible obstruction, it might be a good idea to flush it anyway.

The Fix

To fix a clogged defrost drain, you will need to flush it out to remove the blockage. You can do this by flushing the defrost drain with hot water and using a fine brush to clear it out. Once the defrost drain is clear of obstructions, your fridge should stop leaking.  

Frozen Water Supply Line

If your fridge is still leaking after checking everything mentioned above, your water supply line could be frozen. A frozen water supply line is another common cause of leaky refrigerators. 

How to Check for the Problem 

There are a few tell-tale signs of a frozen water supply line. For example, if you have been having trouble getting ice cubes or water from your fridge, there is a good chance that your water supply line is frozen. 

If you want to check the line, you will have to pull your fridge away from the wall to inspect it. Your water supply line will run along the back of your fridge from the ice maker to the filter. If you find that your water supply line is either frozen or leaking, you will need to replace it.

The Fix

To fix a frozen or leaky water supply line, you will most likely need the assistance of a professional. Replacing these lines is a tricky process. Whether you decide to replace the line yourself or not, you should shut the water running to your fridge off. This will temporarily stop the leaking until it’s fixed.

Door Gasket

A damaged gasket can also cause leaks. For example, if the gasket running along your refrigerator door is damaged, it will let cool and warm air in, which will create condensation. That condensation will result in a sizeable leak. 

How to Check for the Problem 

The easiest way to check your gasket for damage is to run your fingers along it to check for any loose spots. If you find a spot where the gasket is loose and tearing away from the door, it will need to be fixed or replaced. 

The Fix

Although you could try to glue the gasket to keep it in place, in most cases, the smartest thing to do is replace the entire gasket. When a damaged gasket causes condensation, it doesn’t just cause a leak. It makes your energy bill jump up as well.

Water Inlet Valve

A damaged water inlet valve can also cause a steady leak. Your water inlet valve is what your water supply line connects to. The valve supplies your refrigerator with water and ice, but if it is damaged, all of that water will leak out all over the floor. 

How to Check for the Problem 

To check your water inlet valve, you will have to get behind the refrigerator again. As such, it’s best to check your water inlet valve and your water supply line at the same time to save you the trouble of having to crawl back there repeatedly. 

If the valve is damaged, you should see a crack. If it’s damaged in some other way or just clogged, you should see water leaking from it. 

The Fix

Whenever your water inlet valve starts leaking, you will have to replace it. Calling a professional would be a good idea in this case as water inlet valves are challenging to work on. Once your valve has been replaced, your fridge should be as good as new with no leaks whatsoever. 

About The Author