When your refrigerator leaks, it can be a frustrating ordeal. No one likes to step in puddles of water in their kitchen, especially if you’re only wearing socks. As it turns out, however, fixing a leaking fridge isn’t a difficult thing to do in most cases. The hardest part is usually figuring out where the leak is coming from, but even then, it only takes a little detective work.
Water leak from the lower front of the Refrigerator
Self-defrosting fridges can suffer from clogged drainage tubes, which result in leaks from the bottom of the appliance. Once you unclog the tube, your leak is usually fixed.
1. Unplug the refrigerator – You never want to work with an appliance that still has power.
2. Find the Drainage Tubes – Your fridge manual should show where the tubes are located. The tubes generally empty into a pan at the bottom of the fridge.
3. Remove the cover panel – This panel is usually at the bottom of the fridge, at floor level.
4. Drain tubes into a bucket
5. Remove top of tube from fridge – Unhook the tube from the fridge. Water may leak at this point, so be prepared for that.
6. Feel for frozen areas – Check the tube for frozen areas by squeezing along it. You can defrost those areas with a hair dryer.
7. Check for more clogs or leaks – Run water from the faucet through the tube. If the water doesn’t make it to the end, then it’s still clogged, or if it leaks through any other section of the tube, you’ll need to replace the tube. Running hot water through the tube should dislodge any other obstructions as well.
8. Replace the drain tube – Reattach the tube to the fridge
Leaks beneath or under the Refrigerator
These leaks, the ones coming from under your refrigerator, usually come from the drip pan, or the inlet line for your water dispenser.
1. Unplug the fridge!
2. Check all the connections of the inlet line to make sure they’re tight and sealed.
3. If the leak isn’t coming from a loose line, check the line for holes or cracks. If there is any damage to the line, replace it.
4. Check the drip pan – There may be a crack or hole in your drip pan, so check it carefully. If its damaged, you can have it replaced according to the manual. They generally need to be ordered specifically for the make and model of your refrigerator.
Water leaks inside the Refrigerator
If the back interior wall of your fridge is leaking, this can cause all sorts of problems for the food stored inside. This can happen if the drain line is running through the interior of the fridge instead of the exterior. It’s generally a clogged line, just like the one mentioned above.
1. Unplug the fridge!
2. Remove the food from the interior of the fridge. You don’t have to worry about the food in the door, as you won’t be working there.
3. Remove the drawers – The drain is usually behind the crisper drawers at the bottom of the fridge.
4. Insert a thin plumbing snake – Unlike the exterior lines, you can’t just remove the drain line and flush it out. Instead you need to use a thin plumbing snake or stiff wire to unclog the drain.
5. Push the snake until you meet the clog, then hook it by turning the snake clockwise.
6. Pull out the snake – This will usually remove the clog along with the wire.
7. Flush the drain tube with warm water – This is usually easiest by using a turkey baster or a syringe. You’ll need to clean up anything that drains out the system.
8. Replace drawers and food.
Usually when your fridge is leaking, it has to do with the drain line. It’s not a difficult repair, and generally has more to do with clearing a clog or just replacing the line.