What Could Be Causing Your Fridge To Leak?

Fridge leaking problems always come unexpected…
water valve leaking fridge
Have you ever headed to the kitchen for a midnight snack only to discover when you got close to the fridge that your socks were wet?

While you may have assumed that someone spilled something on the floor and were too tired to turn on the light to check it out, you may want to troubleshoot what happened before it becomes a major leaking problem.

In addition to causing concern of an electric shock, a slipping hazard, or possible floor damage, water leaks can be a sign of a serious refrigerator malfunction. To avoid the risk from any of these problems, the issue should be addressed immediately.

Before you start tearing your fridge apart, consider this:

The technicians at FIX Appliances CA are experts at repairing all makes, models and types of refrigerators, but knowing where the leak is coming from will help get your refrigerator up and running in no time. Water leaks in these areas will likely point to specific problems:

  • Inside water leak—interior defroster drain line problem.
  • Rear water leak—problem with the ice maker or water line.
  • Front water leak—clogged drain tube.
  • Bottom centre leak—drain pan issue.

Check out these common fridge leaking problems:

Clogged Defrost Drain

If the water leak is primarily inside your fridge, you probably have a clogged defrost drain in the freezer. Today’s freezers run on a cycle of freezing and defrosting which means it is constantly producing condensation. The excess moisture travels down the defrost drain and is caught by the drain pan under the fridge.

The small drain can easily become blocked with food particles, ice chunks, or it can freeze shut. As water builds up from the defrost cycle, it can leak out of the refrigerator and onto the floor. Most drain lines are positioned behind the crisper drawers. If you can easily remove the top of the drain outlet, inspect it for clogs. Often flushing the drain with warm water will clear the line. If not, contact a professional to investigate further.

Water Valve or Pipe Failure

leaking fridge water valve replacement
A water leak at the rear of your refrigerator is generally related to a water valve or pipe failure that’s connected to operate a water dispenser or ice maker. This is usually a job for a certified technician, but you can help save time by pinpointing the exact area that is leaking.

To eliminate the risk of electrical shock, pull your fridge away from the wall and unplug it. First, check the water line from the wall to the appliance. Is it wet at joints or is water running down the pipe? Next, take a look at the water line at the bottom of the fridge that connects to the back of the freezer. Is there water on the floor? Is it dripping from the connection point?

A solenoid switch controls the water valve in the refrigerator by opening and closing as needed. This is a common fridge leaking point and may need to be replaced. Valve failure in the wall that operates the ice maker and water dispenser can also be a problem and a source of leaks. Look for holes or wet spots. These areas should be completely dry if operating properly.

One last check – make sure the water line is secured and not leaking directly onto the floor.

If you discover leaks or holes near the water valve or pipes, it’s best to contact a service professional to repair the problem. If water pipes are replaced, be sure to also change the filter.

Water Filter Connection

Many refrigerators require the use of a water filter that should be replaced every seven months. Unfortunately, this can be a source of water leaks for a number of reasons:

  • Poor connection between the filter and the supply line
  • Improper installation
  • Incorrect size
  • Wrong model
  • Cracked housing or seals due to age

In any of these instances, you’ll notice water running down the outside of the filter to the inside of the fridge. Try removing and replacing the filter with the manufacturer’s recommended model. If the problem persists, contact an appliance repair company for evaluation and diagnosis.

Door Seal Failure

Surprisingly, a puddle under your refrigerator may not be caused by a leak but excess condensation from a door not sealing properly. If the rubber door seals are compromised, your refrigerator will run constantly. This will lead to condensation build-up on the coils and eventually, water on the floor.

Try washing the gaskets with warm, soapy water to remove dirt build-up and sticky residue. Also, make sure your fridge is leaning slightly backward (you can lower the adjustable legs to do this.) If it’s leaning forward, the door may not seal properly. Check that the bolts holding the refrigerator door(s) are tight and holding the door in place. Torn or worn door seals should be replaced.

Here are a couple less common leaking fridge trouble spots to check:

Cracked or Improperly Positioned Drain Pan

During the defrost cycle, your refrigerator regularly drains into a drain pan underneath your appliance. This prevents water from collecting inside the fridge. The condenser fan blows warm air across the pan and any excess water generally evaporates before overflowing.

While it’s fairly uncommon, occasionally a drain pan will become cracked or damaged. It can also be installed improperly so water drains to the floor. Pull the pan out and examine it for cracks or holes. A damaged drain pan should be replaced as soon as possible to reduce the risk of water overflows and electric shock.

Loose or Damaged Ice-Maker Tubes

If you’ve exhausted all other options, and your fridge is still leaking, take a look at your ice-maker. This isn’t usually a place of concern, but the water line to the ice-maker may come loose or become kinked. Seals and plastic hoses can also crack and tear as they age and lead to water leaks.

Look on the back of your fridge and examine the entire length of the water line going into the ice-maker. Check the connections too, watching for signs of moisture. Tighten any loose connections. If this still doesn’t correct the problem, give FIXAppliances.CA a call. A courteous, skilled technician will visit your home and provide an affordable solution to your problem.

If you’re not sure:

It’s sometimes difficult to determine the exact source of a fridge leak, so a professional evaluation from an appliance repair service like FIX Appliances CA may be necessary.

If you suspect that the liquid on your floor is not water, but possibly refrigerant, it’s vital that you contact a technician immediately. During the refrigeration process, the mixture transitions between a liquid and gas many times. If this toxic material leaks outside the refrigerator, it can cause significant health risks and should be addressed immediately.

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Troubleshooting your refrigerator leak may take some time, but by utilizing this simple guide, you’re appliance will be up and running properly in no time. If you have questions about refrigerator maintenance or require a service visit, contact FIX Appliances CA online or by calling 1-888-242-0777 today. For your convenience, same day refrigerator repair is available in Barrie, Bradford, Newmarket, Simcoe County, Toronto and the GTA.