Why Is My Refrigerator Leaking Water?

Refrigerator Leak in Atlanta, Georgia

Have you noticed any signs of a leaking fridge? If you notice a leak that’s not coming from the dishwater or sink, then your fridge could be the culprit. Look underneath the fridge for possible signs of water. If you are not sure what is causing the fridge to leak, here are some possibilities.

1. Electric Malfunctions and Power Surges

Electric malfunctions are dangerous and often lead to components short circuiting. For instance, a fridge’s temperature regulator can short circuit, leading to malfunctioning of the fridge. Ice in the freezer starts to melt because the unit’s power is off, and you’ll start seeing leaks on the floor.

2. Faulty Ice Maker

Modern fridges have a built-in ice maker that offers a constant supply of ice to homeowners. But that modern feature can turn into an inconvenience if it causes a leaky fridge. Ice makers are directly connected to water lines, and when the connectors crack or wear out, water can leak. You can tell if the ice maker is the cause of leakage by simply following the water line to the ice maker and its connections.

3. Defective Water Inlet Valve

A fridge will also leak water because of a faulty water inlet valve. This valve works by opening and closing to provide water to the dispenser and ice maker from the home water supply system. If you think the valve is problematic, move your fridge from the wall and take a closer look. If the valve is loose, secure it to the water line tightly. But if the valve has cracks or other damage, replace it.

4. Broken Drain Pan

When you’re certain that it’s your fridge leaking, start by examining the pan for cracks. You’ll find the pan at the bottom of the fridge, and if you notice little water down there, the pan could be okay. However, if there is a pool of water, it’s an indication that the pan may have cracks. In case of any damage, replace the pan.

5. Poor Water Filter Installation

There are several issues that a filter could experience for it not to work properly. For instance, you can install the filter incorrectly, it could be old, and it could also fail to fit correctly with your fridge model. These issues can result in poor connectivity between the water supply and the filter, leading to water leakage. To counter leakage from the filter, repair the hole where possible or have the filter replaced. You can also check the models of the fridge and filter to ensure that they match.

6. A Defrost Drain

A defrost drain is the common cause of leakage in fridges. When there is a blockage in the defrost drain because of food particles or ice, it becomes difficult for defrosted water to drain into the pan. With time, the water starts building up. When the water fails to find a place to drain, it starts leaking. You can rectify this issue by unblocking the drain. Flush hot water down the drain, and use a wire hanger to remove debris. If the drain was the culprit, your fridge will not leak after going through the unblocking process.

7. Water Line Leak

Fridges with water lines are popular since they offer the convenience of getting ice-cold water on demand. But when you notice leakage close to the rear, it is possible that the water line is the culprit. You can tell that the water line has issues when the ice production decreases and when the water flow seems unusual.

You can fix the issue by inspecting the waterline and its connection to the valve behind your fridge. If the leak is coming from the valve, tightening the connection will solve the problem. But if the hose is leaking, remove the damaged section of the hose or replace the entire hose.

8. High Humidity

Extraordinarily humid conditions also cause fridge leaks. When humidity mixes with the cold temperatures of the fridge, condensation happens, and it quickly fills the drain pan. Once the pan overflows, you’ll notice a pool of water on your floor. You can avoid leakage resulting from humidity by ensuring that you empty the pan manually over the humid season. You could also invest in a dehumidifier in your kitchen.

9. Open Fridge Door

When you leave your fridge door open for a long period, the fridge will work overtime to cool, and before you know it, there will be a pool of water on the floor because of condensation. Correcting this issue is easy since you only need to ensure the fridge door is closed. If the leakage persists, use soap and water to clean the rubber seals. Then, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the seal to lubricate it. This way, you will achieve an airtight seal.

10. Uneven Tilting

It is a fact that a fridge should not be on the same level as the floor. You should ensure that it is positioned with a backward tilt. This position keeps the coolant running efficiently. At the same time, the door swings and shuts automatically.

If you just completed a renovation or moved your fridge from its position, you may have tilted the fridge improperly, and that is why it’s not draining correctly. To check if this is the issue, place a spirit level on top of the unit, perpendicular to the doors. If the angle misses the line, rectify the position using these steps.

  • Remove the grill or kick plate from the bottom front of the refrigerator
  • Identify and mark the two front legs
  • With the help of a crescent wrench, adjust the legs by turning the wrench clockwise to increase the legs’ length or counterclockwise to decrease the legs’ length
  • Continue checking with the level until you get the right position

But it is vital to note that your fridge’s side-to-side direction should be level, with the spirit level parallel to the doors. If this is not the case, make some adjustments on the back legs. You could either shorten or lengthen the legs with the fridge pulled away from the wall.

When Should You Call a Professional?

All of these causes of fridge leaks may seem easy to fix yourself. However, instead of taking chances, call a professional who can help you address the leak. Apart from being annoying, moisture leaks can shorten your fridge’s lifespan. The fridge starts wearing out when moisture starts interfering with the fan’s operation. In other cases, moisture will cause your fridge to rust.

If you notice something leaking in your kitchen, call our team at Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We offer various services to Norcross, Georgia, and the surrounding areas. Our services include heating and cooling system service and installation, furnace repair, indoor air quality audits, and gas fireplaces installation and service. Call us today for more information or to schedule a consultation.


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