Nobody wants to see their refrigerator leaking. It usually creates a mess in the kitchen. But if you are a DIYer, you can fix a leaking refrigerator yourself. Let us explain in this article.
Refrigerator Is Leaking Water Inside – Solved
The following are possible causes why your refrigerator is leaking water inside, and how to solve them:
1. High Humidity
Whenever the ambient temperature is high, the humidity level rises. It affects the refrigerator in that it builds condensation when you open the refrigerator door. The condensation may not freeze in time because the refrigerator may not be cooling as it should. As a result, it will cause water to pool inside the unit.
If you have an air conditioner in the same room as the refrigerator, turn it on to cool the room. It will help reduce the humidity. You can opt for a dehumidifier if an air conditioner is not an option. Also, keep the drain pan empty on humid days as it tends to fill up too quickly and back water up into the refrigerator.
2. Frozen Water Line
Ice may block the line that feeds water to the water dispenser and ice maker. If that happens, water will pool inside the refrigerator and may even spill out onto the floor. Water won’t even get into the refrigerator.
To check the waterline, disconnect the refrigerator from electric power. The waterline is usually at the bottom back of the unit and should be a slim plastic tube. Move it to create some space at the back.
Check to see whether or not something is blocking the line. If there is, find a long-handled tool that will fit and push the blockage out. If it is a fragment of ice, apply a little heat to the area to loosen and melt it. Ensure it is free before connecting the line back. You can also check the connection points and tighten any loose ones.
Afterward, reconnect the refrigerator to electric power and allow it to run for about an hour to check the waterline. If the leak continues and pools inside the refrigerator, replace the waterline and see if there is an improvement.
3. Overflowing Drain Pan
During the defrost cycle, the water drains through the defrost drain hole into the drain pan. The water in the pan under the refrigerator is designed to evaporate so that you don’t always have to empty the pan.
However, the defrost water may collect food crumbs and other debris and drain everything into the pan over time. As a result, the water in the pan will overflow; it will be difficult for the water in the pan to evaporate.
Find the drain pan under the refrigerator, close to the compressor. In some models, the pan will be behind the front grille. If it is the removable type, your job will be easy. Pull it out and empty the contents in the sink.
Next, run the pan under clean water and wash it with soap. Clean all the dirt in the pan, ensuring to scrub off dirt adhering to the bottom and sides. A soft-bristled brush will do an excellent job cleaning the pan, but if none is handy, use a sponge or cloth. However, be sure not to scrub too hard, so you don’t damage the pan.
You may want to sanitize the pan after washing it. Pour a little bleach or vinegar into the pan after washing it, leave it for a few minutes, and rinse it off. But be aware that if you use bleach, the pan may lose some color if it is not originally white.
Also, see if the pan is cracked. It may not be overflowing but leaking through cracks under it. If that is the case, you will have to replace it.
When the Pan Is Not Removable
If the drain pan is not removable, you will have to improvise to clean it. Reach under the refrigerator and mop up the contents of the pan with a rag until it is empty. Then, clean it with wet wipes; that may mean using a long stick with the wipes at the end. Clean the pan until the wipes come out clean.
If you want to sanitize it, follow the same steps as listed above. However, you may have a hard time emptying it of the liquid afterward. One option you have is to clean with wipes.
After cleaning and sanitizing the pan, wait a while for the refrigerator to run. That way, you will be able to tell if the pan is leaking or simply overflowing. If it is leaking, contact the manufacturer or hire a service technician to fix the issue.
4. Clogged Defrost Drain
The most probable reason for water leaking inside the refrigerator is a clogged defrost drain. Ice or debris can clog the tube and prevent the defrost water from flowing out. In that case, the water leaks to the bottom of the refrigerator.
The drain hole is usually at the center bottom of the freezer section. Remove the items and shelves to access the drain. Check to see if ice is covering the hole, and if it is, melt it. You can use a dryer to do the job or a rag dampened in warm water. Scrub the drain entrance with the rag until the ice melts.
Next, pour warm water into the drain hole and see if it flows out into the pan. If it does, you are good to go. Otherwise, the hole may have debris in it. Push it out with a stiff wire. Then, make a mixture of water and a little baking soda, and squirt it down the drain with a cooking syringe or turkey baster.
Now, pour clean water down the hole until it runs clear and free. Ensure you empty and wash the drain pan after cleaning the hole.
Refrigerator Is Leaking Water from the Bottom – What to Do
If you find that a refrigerator is leaking water from the bottom, do the following:
1. Check the Defrost Drain
Check the defrost drain inside the freezer section. It is usually at the center bottom back of the section. There may be a layer of ice covering it or dirt inside the drain tube. If that is the case, pour some hot water over the ice to melt it. You can also dip a cloth into the water and scrub over the ice to melt it instead of pouring the water directly over it.
After the ice melts, clean out the drain tube with a stiff wire. Then, pour water down the tube to flush it until the water runs free. Empty and clean the drain pan to avoid an overflow.
The defrost drain may be blocked with ice and debris. And when it is blocked, water from the defrost cycle cannot flow out. As the water accumulates, it begins to leak out of the freezer, down to the refrigerator, and the floor of the refrigerator. Slowly, the water flows from the bottom of the refrigerator onto the room floor. You may find some of the water leaking into the crisper drawers.
2. Check the Drain Pan
But if the defrost drain is clean yet the refrigerator keeps leaking water from the bottom, check the drain pan. It may be filled to overflowing or cracked. The defrost water that accumulates in the pan evaporates when the condenser fan blows air over it. So, if it is overflowing, the fan may not be doing its job, or the pan has too much debris in it.
Remove the pan, empty it, and clean it. Then, inspect it for cracks. If there is any, you will have to replace the drain pan. Also, check the condenser fan to ensure it is working well enough to evaporate the defrost water in the pan.
3. Check the Ice Maker
The connection of the waterline to the ice maker may be loose due to age. The line may also be cracked and in need of a replacement. So, check the water connection to the ice maker from the water source. Ensure the connections are tight and, if they are, that they are not old. You may have to replace the connectors if necessary.
A kink or twist in the line can cut off the water flow and build pressure which leaks water from the connecting points. Straighten the line if it is kinked and check for moisture at any other point. But if the waterline is cracked, replace it.
4. Check the Water Filter
If the refrigerator uses a water filter, check the connection between the water source and the filter. It may be loose, creating a leak. The filter may also be old, the wrong type for the refrigerator model, or not correctly installed.
If it has been longer than six months since the last filter replacement, consider replacing it. Do it whether or the filter indicator is beeping. And if you suspect the filter does not fit the refrigerator, ensure it is the correct type by searching online for water filters using your refrigerator model number. You can find affordable replacement options online.
However, if it is not correctly installed, it is an easy fix. Consult your user manual to find the instructions on correctly installing a water filter. The steps will depend on the refrigerator model. Some hold the filter in the refrigerator section, some hold it in the door, while some have the filter installed at the bottom front.
Refrigerator Is Leaking Freon – Quick Fix
If your refrigerator is leaking freon, the best way to fix it is to hire a licensed technician to assess the problem and recommend a solution. More often than not, the fix is to purchase a new refrigerator because most freon leaks cannot be repaired.
However, before calling the big guns, you have to be sure the refrigerator is leaking freon. And there are ways to determine it:
1. Cooling Drops
One of the first signs of a freon leak is a reduction in the cooling capacity of the refrigerator. The compressor may run as usual, along with the condenser and evaporator fan. If you notice a drop in the cooling, there may be a leak in the sealed system.
2. Compressor Constantly Runs
Another tell-tale sign of a freon leak is a compressor that runs non-stop. A refrigerator compressor is designed to be the heart of the cooling system. But it turns off a few times a day to allow the defrost cycle to run. That way, the evaporator coils don’t freeze and reduce cooling.
But if the compressor runs without stopping, the sealed system may be leaking, even though that is not the only cause of a constantly running compressor. So, you may need professional help to determine if the system is leaking.
3. Chemical Odor
You should be used to the smells around and inside your refrigerator. So, if you catch an odd whiff, like chemicals or nail polish remover, it may be a sign of a freon leak. Freon has no color, and in some cases, it has little or no odor. Therefore, it may be easy to miss it if you are waiting for an odd smell. However, if you smell chemicals in your refrigerator, call for help.
Sometimes, a freon leak can lead to a small oily puddle in the room. Freon is gas, so it won’t settle on the floor. The puddle is simply a by-product of the leak. If you are unsure, clean the puddle and wait for another to appear. And if it does, you have your answer.
If all else fails, mix a little soap and water in a spray bottle. Then, spray the soapy solution on all the tubes through which the gas flows. If you find bubbles at any of the tubes, you have a freon leak. The gas may be dangerous to health, and the leak should be fixed immediately.
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Refrigerator Is Leaking Oil – Solved
The drain pan may be leaking dirty water, or there is a leak in the sealed system.
The drain pan collects defrost water, and the condenser fan blows warm air to evaporate the water. But the pan needs a thorough cleaning from time to time. Otherwise, it will collect dirt, food crumbs, and grease.
If the pan fills up due to debris or is cracked, it will leak brown or black greasy water from under the refrigerator. Therefore, check the drain pan and empty it if it is filled to overflowing. Give it a thorough cleaning and sanitize it. But if it is cracked, replace the drain pan.
A leak in the sealed system can let oxygen into the system. The oxygen dirties the refrigeration oil and turns it black. As it flows out through the leak, it runs out from under the unit. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and contact a service technician for further assistance.
Door Gasket on a Refrigerator Is Leaking – Quick Fix
If a refrigerator door gasket is leaking air, check to see if it is loose, dirty, or old. If it is loose, it is an easy fix. You can push it back into place behind the retainer using a flat-head screwdriver. Do it gently so that you don’t damage the gasket.
And if it is dirty, clean or scrub it with soapy water and an old toothbrush. Ensure you reach all the crevices and dry the gasket to prevent ice from forming on it.
However, if it is not loose or dirty, it may be weak from age. To determine this, try removing a dollar bill from between the refrigerator door and the frame. If you successfully remove it, replace the door gasket.
Door on Refrigerator Is Leaking – What to Do
If the door of your refrigerator seems to be leaking water, check the defrost drain, ice maker water line, and water filter, especially if it is fitted in the door. Once water leaks and drops to the floor of the refrigerator, it may leak through the door.
However, it is crucial to check the liquid contents you stored in the door bins. One or more of them may be leaking. Carefully inspect each one to find the source, and clear the door bin of any compromised item.
Refrigerator Leaking Clear Oil – Quick Fix
If you find that your refrigerator is leaking clear oil, it indicates that the refrigeration system has sprung a leak. The oil may be from the compressor or the sealed system. If it is from the compressor, you may have to replace it. But if it is from the sealed system, you may have to replace the refrigerator.
Refrigerator Leaking from Water Dispenser – Solved
The water dispenser line may have air trapped in it. This happens if you change the water filter and don’t flush the system. To fix it, dispense water from the system for about three minutes. Ensure you use a sizable container to perform this task so that you don’t interrupt it for the duration of the process.
There is also the possibility the water pressure is insufficient, causing the leak. Try filling a glass of water three-quarters of the way within ten seconds. If that does not work, turn off the water supply valve under the sink or back of the refrigerator.
Next, disconnect the water line from the back of the unit and put the end into a container. Turn on the water supply, and if the water is slow, the pressure is low. Hire a qualified plumber to fix the pressure issue.
However, if the water pressure is sufficient, the problem may stem from the water inlet valve. It may have an accumulation of deposits or may be old. The best fix for the valve is to replace it.
Apart from the water pressure and the water inlet valve, the catch pan may be full. There is a pan behind a grate under the dispenser where excess water collects. If the pan fills up, the water will overflow and drip down the dispenser. It may appear as a leak from the dispenser or even the refrigerator.
Open the grate and empty the pan. Wash it before replacing it under the dispenser. That may fix the leak problem.
Note that water drips from a water dispenser from time to time under normal circumstances. If you remove a filled glass before the water entirely stops dispensing, it may appear as if the dispenser is leaking. The same applies if water splashes on cubes of ice.
Ice Machine in Refrigerator Is Leaking Water – How to Fix
If your refrigerator’s ice maker is leaking water, check the following:
The water line that goes from the water source to the ice maker may be kinked, loose at the connection point, or damaged. If it is kinked, you will easily notice this by checking along the line. The water pressure will build because of the cut-off flow of water and lead to leaks from the line. Straightening it usually fixes the problem.
If the line is not kinked, check the connection points. You will know if there is moisture on the waterline. The connectors may be loose or in need of replacements because they are weak. Try tightening them and if that does not fix the leak, replace them.
But if the waterline is damaged – broken or cracked – the only fix is to replace it. If you do replace it, ensure you position it so that nothing rests heavily on it. Incorrectly placing the line may cause objects to rest on it and damage it.
2. Water Inlet Valve
The inlet valve may not be supplying enough water to the ice maker. Mineral deposits from the water can clog the valve over time and inhibit its capacity to allow water into the ice maker. And if the valve is malfunctioning, you need to replace it.
You may find the valve leaking water onto the floor due to insufficient water pressure. And if the valve does not fully close, the ice maker will leak water. Therefore, check the water pressure to ensure it is sufficient to open and close the inlet valve.
3. Ice Maker
A faulty ice machine will leak water, whether or not other components are in good working condition. It may also be frozen, which means water will leak from it when it thaws. Inspect the ice maker for ice around it.
The ice maker compartment may have cracks, letting in warm air that condenses and freezes. The same applies if the gasket on the ice bucket is weak. But if the ice maker does not seem to work anymore, replace the entire assembly. You may not find individual replacement parts if there are faulty parts in the ice maker.
Water Filter in Refrigerator Is Leaking – What to Do
Ensure the connection between the filter and water source is secure. Then, check how well you installed it. It may not be correctly installed, and if that is the case, you will find water leaking from the filter.
Also, ensure you are using the correct type of filter for your refrigerator brand. Most refrigerators need specific water filters and won’t work correctly if you use the wrong type. You can search for and purchase a water filter using the refrigerator’s name and model number.
Additionally, check the water filter head. Any damage to the head will cause water to leak. The same applies if the water filter housing is cracked. And while checking the filter, ensure there is no dirt on the head.
Finally, consider replacing the filter if it is older than six months. In some cases, you don’t need to replace the filter so often. In others, you need to replace it more than twice a year. If you don’t use the water dispenser or ice maker often, the filter may not need a replacement. And if the water supply is clean in your area, you can replace the filter every twelve months.
However, if your area does not have clean water or you use the refrigerator all the time, ensure you replace it every six months. Otherwise, the filter will clog and malfunction. And one of the ways it malfunctions is to leak water.
If you recently changed the water filter and it starts leaking, flush the system by dispensing a few gallons of water from the dispenser or water line. That should release the trapped air in the system and reduce the pressure.
Check the water filter installation if the system flush does not fix the leak. You may have incorrectly installed it. Also, check the rings at the filter head. If there is any damage, the filter won’t work.
The problem of a refrigerator leaking water is usually easy to fix. But if it is leaking gas, oil, or greasy water, you need a service technician to find the leak in the sealed system. It is crucial to fix the problem as quickly as possible to prevent food spoilage and a damaged refrigerator.
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