If you’re looking in your refrigerator and see water collecting on the shelves or dripping from the ceiling, it’s time to take action. Fortunately, most of the time, a refrigerator that's leaking water inside can be fixed with a few simple troubleshooting steps. Read on to learn why your fridge may be leaking, and what to do about it.
The defrost drain is the primary source of a refrigerator water leak. The water from the defrost cycle will travel through the drain pipe and eventually end up in the drain pan beneath your fridge. If there’s a blockage in the pipe, it can cause water to back up, resulting in a leaking refrigerator. To check your drain pipe for blockages, first make sure that you have unplugged your refrigerator. Next, remove both the kick plate and freezer bottom by gripping them firmly and pulling them away from the unit. Once they are removed, look for any food particles or other debris clogging the drain tube. You may also be able to see pieces of ice forming around or inside of it as well.
To clear out the clog, use a thin but sturdy object such as a wire hanger to dislodge any debris. If you can't reach the obstruction with the wire hanger, try using some hot water or a mixture of hot water and white vinegar to get rid of it. Be sure to replace the kick plate and freezer bottom afterwards so that they fit snugly against your refrigerator. If this doesn't seem to be working, then you might need to call in a professional who can diagnose and solve the issue quickly and efficiently.
If you don’t find any blockages, the next step is to look at the water inlet valve and hoses. Unplug your refrigerator again, then remove the lower back panel to gain access to these components. Inspect the hoses for any splits or cracks. There may also be a water inlet valve located on the rear of your unit that needs checking as well. Make sure it is securely fastened and there are no signs of damage. In some cases, replacing this component can resolve the issue and stop your refrigerator from leaking water inside the unit.
If your refrigerator continues to leak after inspection, take a closer look at the defrost drain pans located inside of the unit. These are typically made from plastic and can begin to crack with age, allowing water to escape. If you find any damage here, replace the entire unit as soon as possible. With these steps, you should be able to pinpoint the source of your refrigerator’s water leak and make the necessary repairs.
To check evaporator coils, unplug your refrigerator and then use a flashlight to look at the coils located behind the lower back panel. Look for any blockages or signs that they are not working correctly. Alternatively, you could consult a service technician to have them thoroughly cleaned and inspected to ensure proper function.
Evaporator coils are largely responsible for the cooling capacity of the refrigerator and freezer compartments. To effectively cool air, they need to be free of dust, dirt, lint and other debris. If your fridge is leaking water inside, you could be dealing with a blockage that is preventing the evaporator coils from functioning correctly. In addition to blocking airflow, this could also lead to an accumulation of ice on the back wall of your fridge or freezer. In these cases, unblocking the evaporator coils and/or cleaning them professionally can help resolve the issue quickly and easily.
If your refrigerator is leaking water inside, one of the first things to check for are issues with the door seals or gaskets. Over time, the seals or gaskets can wear down and permit water to escape. Check carefully around the edges of all doors and replace any seal that doesn’t close properly or is starting to tear. This will help prevent additional water leaks.
Another possible cause of water leaks is condensation on the refrigerator walls. If you wipe down the interior of your fridge before closing the right and left doors, any condensation that has built up will likely evaporate. If not addressed, however, it could lead to more significant issues such as a malfunctioning drip pan or even a faulty defrost drain. In this case, it’s best to call in a certified technician to inspect the problem and make necessary repairs.
If your refrigerator has been leaking, it's important to address the issue quickly to avoid further damage. Start by cleaning up any excess water from the unit's interior and dry out the area with a cloth or towel. It helps to have some towels on hand in case of spills or leaks to help prevent any additional messes. This extra time is sure to pay off in the end as it will keep future water leakage from occurring.
Once you've stabilized the area, it's important to check whether the problem lies with the refrigerator unit or if it is being caused by water coming in from outside. If water is coming through an external hose near the refrigerator or if a door or window is leaking, then fixing those issues should get rid of the problem. For refrigerators that are suffering from an internal water leakage, it may be necessary to contact a professional for a more serious repair. In any case, cleaning up and drying out the area will be beneficial and help prevent future leaks from occurring.