Refrigerator Leaking Water? Here’s What to Do

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Leaking refrigerators are both annoying and dangerous, as water can leak out onto the floor, which can cause people to slip. If your refrigerator is leaking, follow the steps in this article, and you should be able to find the cause of the leak and fix it.

Step 1 – Check the Defrost Drain

The first step is to check the defrost drain. Sometimes the defrost drain can become frozen or clogged, which stops water from being able to drain out, and instead it leaks out from the door onto the floor.

Here’s how to check the defrost drain:

  1. Open the freezer door.
  2. Locate the drain (it’s at the bottom of the freezer).
  3. Check the drain to see if it is frozen over. If not, check to see if it is clogged – you can push a piece of wire down the drain hole to make sure.
  4. If the drain is frozen over, you need to unplug the fridge, open the door, and let it defrost for an hour or so. If it is clogged, remove the loose debris, and flush the drain out with hot, soapy water. If the drain is fine, move on to step 2.
  5. Once the drain is cleaned out, turn the fridge back on, and monitor the fridge for the next 12 hours to ensure the leak has stopped. If not, move on to the next step.

Step 2 – Check the Water Inlet Valve

The next step is to check the water inlet valve. The water inlet valve opens up and supplies water to the ice maker and dispenser unit. When it becomes faulty or damaged, the valve won’t close properly, and this will cause a leak to occur.

To check the water inlet valve, you need to:

  1. Turn your refrigerator off.
  2. Pull your refrigerator out from the wall – the water inlet valve is at the back of the fridge.
  3. Locate the valve – you will probably have to remove the lower back panel on your fridge.
  4. Check the water inlet valve for any signs of cracks or general wear and tear.
  5. Make sure the valve is properly connected to the water supply pipe.
  6. If the water inlet valve is not damaged and is connected to the water supply pipe correctly, you can move on to the next step. However, if it is damaged or not connected properly, you will need to replace the valve and/or the connection.
  7. Once repaired, turn your fridge back on and check if the leak has stopped. If not, move on to the next step.

Step 3 – Check the Water Tank

If your refrigerator is leaking water, the next step is to check the water tank. If the water tank gets a crack in it or the assembly gets damaged, leaks can occur.

To check the water tank, you need to:

  1. Turn the refrigerator off if you haven’t already.
  2. Find the water tank – the location of the tank depends on the specific make and model. If you’re not sure, check your manual.
  3. Once located, inspect the water tank and the water tank assembly for any signs of cracks or holes that could be causing a leak to occur.
  4. If the water tank is fine, move on to the next step. If you find any cracks or holes, the tank will need to be replaced.
  5. Once replaced, turn the fridge back on and check if the problem has been solved. If not, move on to the next step.

Step 4 – Check the Door Gaskets

The door gaskets/seals on your refrigerator door make sure that your fridge stays properly closed. If they become damaged, air will get into the fridge and defrost ice or cause excess moisture, which can then leak out through the door onto the floor.

To check the door gaskets, you need to:

  1. Open the fridge door.
  2. Inspect the gaskets for any signs of wear and tear and rips. Also, make sure the gaskets are not dirty; if they are, give them a good clean.
  3. If they are damaged in any way, they will need to be repaired or replaced. If the gaskets are fine, you can move on to the next step.
  4. Once replaced, check if the leak has stopped, and if not, move on to the next step.

Step 5 – Check the Drain Pan

The next step is to check the drain pan. Most refrigerators are self-defrosting. This means water that defrosts goes out through the drain and into the drain pan and water from the evaporator coils also goes into the drain. Hot air is then blown over the pan, which causes it to evaporate. When this doesn’t happen, the drain can fill up with water and leak out onto the floor.

Here’s how to check the drain pan:

  1. Turn your refrigerator off if you haven’t already.
  2. Pull it out from the wall so you can access the drain pan.
  3. Locate the drain pan – you might have to remove the lower back panel.
  4. Check the pan to see if it is full of water or it has cracks in it. If it is fine, move on to the final step.
  5. If it is damaged, it will need to be replaced. If it is full of water, you will need to clean the coils.
  6. Once repaired or cleaned, turn your fridge back on and check if the problem has been solved. If not, move on to the final step.

Step 6 – Check the Water Filter

The final step is to check the water filter. The water filter should be changed every couple of months. If it hasn’t been, then it can become faulty, which causes leaks to occur. 

To check the water filter:

  1. Locate the water filter inside your refrigerator (check your manual if you’re not sure where it is).
  2. Remove the filter and check it for signs of wear and tear. If it looks ok, put it back in to ensure it fits properly.
  3. If it doesn’t fit properly, you will need to replace it. Also, check the housing the filter goes into to ensure there are no cracks in it. If it is damaged, the water filter housing will need to be replaced.
  4. Once replaced, you can turn your refrigerator back on and check if the leak has been fixed.
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