Do you own a refrigerator? Don’t answer that. Of course, you do – it’s a staple appliance in every kitchen. But how long have you had it? They usually last for years, but that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter common problems over time, like water pooling in one of your fridge’s sides. It can be smelly, annoying to clean up, and not to mention dangerous – electricity and water are not a good mix.
On top of that, a fridge leaking water can increase your monthly bills, or make your food go bad.
So if you notice any fridge water leak around or inside the appliance, it is best to investigate the problem and have it repaired right away. And if you don’t know where to start, don’t worry! We’re about to investigate the most common causes for a water leak in a fridge and the possible solutions.
Before you grab your tool box, though, we recommend you think twice when it comes to DIY fridge repairs. It’s important to note that unless you hold the required license by the law in your state, you are not allowed to fix electrical appliances. Basically, anything involving electricity or other life-threatening force needs to be handled by an expert in the field. So, stay on the safe side!
First of all, you should know that there is always condensation in fridges. Condensed water leaks through a drain pipe into a pan under your fridge. Once it gets there, it evaporates. A fridge water leak could appear due to a fault in one of these components:
Unlike boiler leakage, fridge water leaks do not pose any immediate danger to your household, but you shouldn’t neglect them.
How to fix a leaking fridge
A dripping fridge can be the result of several issues, just like a fridge that doesn’t cool. However, you can be 100% sure of one thing – the water in your fridge won’t go away on its own, so locating the problem is step one. Before you start investigating, get familiar with some of the most common causes of a leaking fridge.
Even if you are just doing a simple inspection of your fridge, always remember to unplug the appliance beforehand. Play it safe!
Fridge leaking water at the bottom
Your defrost drain is probably clogged. It is a frequent problem people have to deal with when it comes to their refrigerator. Periodically, your fridge will attempt a defrost so it can maintain its usual work cycle. Then, a fan on the back starts blowing warm air onto its cooling coils. Unfortunately, food or dust can accumulate at the bottom of the area where condensed water is supposed to go through to reach the drain pan.
Solution: To reduce condensation in your fridge, unclog the defrost drain by pouring warm water into it to try and break the clog down. If warm water doesn’t do the job – use a stiff wire or a thin tube, like a drinking straw, to push the clog down into the fridge’s drip pan. If this doesn’t help, then there is probably a problem with the rubber valve at the bottom of your fridge’s drain hose (usually located at the back of the refrigerator).
Your fridge can start leaking water from inside if its water filter isn’t connected to the water supply line properly. Problematic water filters are usually:
Not installed properly
The wrong size
Old and used up (in need of replacement)
This problem isn’t serious, but you won’t have to deal with water in your fridge every other day when it gets fixed.
Solution: Locate your fridge’s water filter, usually in the upper right corner inside it, or behind the base grille at the bottom front side. If you cannot find it, you can check your manual to see if there are any model-specifics.
Then, try to see if it has any leakage. If so, the filter needs to be taken out and replaced. While it sounds like a simple thing to do, different fridge models have their specifics. In some cases, a simple twisting could be enough, while in others, a cutting of tubes might be required. Therefore, we recommend you leave the fridge’s water filter removal to a specialist who understands the mechanism.
Water pooling under the fridge or at the bottom
Over time, a fridge’s drain pan can develop cracks. When it does, the water it’s supposed to contain for evaporation starts leaking out and pooling under it. Replacing a drip pan is possible and we advise you to do it as soon as possible if you notice your fridge leaking water on the floor.
Solution: Unfortunately, it might be hard to inspect the drain pan for damage. It is normally located either at the front or back bottom area of the refrigerator, behind a kick panel. In order to get to the drain pan, the panel needs to be taken off. In case of unauthorised repairs, though, you risk violating the appliance’s warranty and possibly the law in your state regarding electrical appliance repairs. Therefore, again it is best to seek the help of a certified professional.
An ice maker is an excellent feature for your fridge, but sometimes it can cause leaks. If the water line connectors are damaged, or there is a problem with the line itself, you could find water pools under or around your refrigerator.
Solution: Take a brief look at the water line to the ice maker. Do you notice any moisture or drippage? In case you do, then one of the tubes or valves might have come loose, or worn out. The loose components need to be tightened or replaced altogether.
Water dispenser leaking
As convenient as they are, water dispensers can also drip water into your fridge. It’s annoying, but not necessarily a serious problem. It might just be a simple case of trapped air, which takes five minutes to solve.
Solution: Inspect your fridge’s water dispenser. If it keeps dripping all the time, then maybe there is built up pressure pushing water out. Take an empty glass and use it to dry the tank out. Keep pressing the water button for a minute or two after the tank is empty.
Fridge leaks can be annoying and costly, so it’s always better to prevent them in the first place. You should check the appliance’s tilt regularly and assess its placement. If it isn’t appropriately tilted or the heat from the motor is hitting a cold surface, you could set yourself up for problems in the long run.
Regular maintenance and cleaning can go a long way to preventing refrigerator problems. You should aim to have your fridge checked at least once every six-to-nine months. If you wonder who to trust with that hefty task, you can always book a professional electrician to repair your fridge!
How much does it cost to fix a leaking refrigerator
On average, fridge repairs could cost you anywhere between $250 and $450, depending on which component needs fixing. For example, ice makers cost between $100 and $300 to repair, while more expensive parts, like freezers, could cost as much as $800 due to their complex technology.
However, hiring a fridge technician could save you a lot of precious time. It takes no more than ten minutes to set up a meeting, and most professionals work very flexible hours so it’s easier for you to fit them in your schedule.
Remove any access to electricity while inspecting your fridge.
Inspect the place of the water pooling.
Determine which component is causing the problem.
Apply an easy fix (if possible) or seek an expert’s opinion.
Don’t neglect the problem, as it will not go away on its own.
Looking for an expert to repair your fridge? Contact a professional in your area.
Disclaimer: We are a commercial home maintenance service provider. Our purpose with this blog is to provide valuable and accurate content for solely informational purposes. We strongly advise our readers to consider all the risks and health concerns before taking a DIY project. We also highly recommend you get fully informed about the laws and regulations regarding electrical, plumbing and other work in the different states of Australia.