The fridge is the central appliance in your kitchen, a central hub to feed the family. Unfortunately, refrigerators often leak, and you may wonder why this is happening.
Your fridge may be leaking water inside due to a defrost drain that is blocked or a water supply line that is frozen or clogged. These can easily be fixed by flushing the drain with warm water or unclogging or replacing the water supply line.
Before calling for help, or ordering a new fridge, try the strategies in this article to see if you can fix it first.
Fixing The Fridge From Leaking Water Inside
Whether you have a Samsung, a Fridgidaire, an LG, a mini-fridge, and so on, leaking is a common issue. Generally, leaking water is a result of one of two issues. Thankfully, you can usually stop a refrigerator from leaking water using simple tools and inexpensive replacement parts.
Please keep in mind that a fridge leaking water can be dangerous since someone could slip and fall or worse, get an electric shock. Carefully unplug or turn off the electrical supply to the refrigerator before getting to work.
1. Blocked Defrost Drain
When food and other debris get stuck in a drain hose, ice can build up, blocking the defrost drain. Then as the ice expands water can leak out of the fridge and freezer.
You may be wondering where the defrost drain is on your fridge. In most fridge designs, the defrost drain and hole are located in the bottom and back of the freezer part. There may be a plastic cover over the drain hole that can be removed with a screwdriver.
How to Fix It
Gather the following items:
- Small funnel
- Warm water
- Pipe cleaner, steel straw scrub brush, or something of this nature
- Towels to clean up
Try the following steps to get the debris out:
- Use the funnel and warm water to flush the drain from inside the freezer.
- Push the pipe clear or mini scrub brush into the drain to dislodge the debris.
- Pull the fridge (with help) out from the wall. Locate the rubber check valve on the defrost drain hose. Remove the valve and clean it in the sink with warm water and soap. Put the valve back on and push the fridge back into its place.
If water is still leaking, there may be a problem with the water supply line.
2. Clogged or Frozen Water Supply Line
If the water line is not working properly then water will go elsewhere or flow irregularly. The fridge may struggle to produce ice or a steady flow of water or may leak.
How to Fix It
Unplug the fridge and turn off the plumbing line that leads to it. The shut-off valve for the water supply may be underneath the kitchen sink, in the adjacent cupboards, or located under the fridge area in the basement.
Look for leaks, moisture, or small drips in the plastic water supply line. If you find where the water is coming from, you can replace the water supply line by getting a replacement part from the hardware store. We suggest you unscrew the old line and take it with you so you can find the perfect match. Consider using a plumber’s wrench and plumbing tape to get a tight seal when you hook up the new one.
On the other hand, if you can see an opaque spot along the supply line, it is likely ice. Simply unplug the fridge for a couple of hours. Keep the doors closed to keep your food cold for up to four hours. A freezer can stay cold if unopened for 24 to 48 hours. If the color of the blockage is dark, contact a professional for help.
If water is still leaking after you investigate these two issues, you may need a new fridge or a plumber.
Other Fridge Problems
In addition to leaking water, refrigerators can have other issues, and thankfully many of them can be addressed by you before calling for help. Remember to unplug electricity sources and turn off water valves to keep you safe. It may be helpful to have your fridge’s user guide to help you locate parts.
1. Poor Cooling
If the fridge is leaking water inside and is not cooling, it could be that it has an evaporator problem. Remove the cover over the refrigerator evaporator cover to replace the refrigerator condenser fan.
Noisy refrigerators are working hard using up more energy than needed. This may occur because the compressor or condenser may be dirty from debris and dust. Unplug your refrigerator and use a vacuum cleaner, brush, or cloth to remove the debris and dust.
3. Refrigerator Temperature
Ideally, your fridge should be set to 37 – 40 °F (2.8 – 4.4 °C). Refer to your user manual for your particular appliance. If too low, foods can freeze, and if too high foods can spoil.
To check the internal temperature of the fridge, put a thermometer into a glass of water and place them on the middle shelf in the fridge. Leave it in there for a minimum of eight hours, checking every two hours to see if you need to adjust the temperature of the appliance. If this doesn’t help, you may have a malfunctioning part for a professional to address.
4. Ice Buildup
If the fridge is at the right temperature, this issue is usually in the freezer part of your appliance. Ice buildup can happen due to a variety of reasons:
- Leaving the freezer door open too long which raises the humidity level inside
- A faulty freezer door seal that needs to be replaced or cleaned
- Items inside the freezer are covering the airflow vent areas in the back of the appliance
5. Malfunctioning Ice Maker
A clog in the water line from ice or a kink can restrict water flow. You can follow the above-mentioned steps for a clogged water line using warm water.
If the shut-off arm of the ice maker is stuck in the off position, ice will not be produced. Look inside the freezer and make sure nothing is preventing it from moving.
Another possibility is that the ice bin is misaligned telling the sensor inside that the bin is full or removed.
Water leaks generally happen in refrigerators due to a blocked defrost drain or clogged or frozen water supply line. Thankfully, many fridge problems can be addressed by the homeowner, which requires inexpensive part replacements, defrosting ice, cleaning parts, and ensuring the fridge is working at optimal temperatures. This will save you from spending money on a professional or new appliance.