When you open the door to your refrigerator, you are expecting your goods to be safely cooled inside. But if you open the door and find excess moisture or pools of water, you’ll be left asking: “Why is my refrigerator leaking inside?” There are many reasons for a leaking fridge and many reasons for water to collect inside the unit. This home problem can be hard to approach, as it will not necessarily be an emergency (your fridge still works) but it can lead to water leaking outside of the fridge as well, damaging your home.
This guide will help you understand the causes for a refrigerator to be leaking inside and will offer some handy solutions that might help you if your refrigerator is leaking.
Modern refrigerators are efficient appliances that don’t usually give an owner problems for many long years of use. A common sign of problems, however, is water leaking inside the refrigerator cabinet. This can be an alarming problem, as even just a little bit of water getting out of your fridge can cause major damage to your floor, walls, or more. Don’t wait until the leak in your refrigerator becomes a more serious problem: address it while the leak is still just a little leak.
The most common cause for a refrigerator to be leaking inside is a blocked defrost drain. This should be the first remedy that any handy home owner attempts, as it is not a serious or difficult maintenance task, and it can often solve the problem right away.
Refrigerators have defrost drains that help channel water from the freezer to a drain pan during a defrost cycle. This is a normal occurrence, but the amount of water draining is minute and constantly evaporated by the condenser fan in the refrigerator. If the drain is blocked by ice or food products, however, it cannot function properly and may cause water to leak or pool inside the refrigerator.
First, take everything out of your freezer so you can visually inspect the area and the defrost drain. Be sure that the area is basically clean, and that there isn’t too large a build-up of ice or frost. You can store your freezer goods in a cooler, or wrap them in a towel until you’re done. If you are having trouble locating the defrost drain, consult your owner’s manual for specific locations and parts.
Next, disconnect the power from the refrigerator while you service it. This will allow the freezer to warm, and for any ice blocking the defrost drain to melt and drain off as it should. You should also remove any grate or cover over the defrost drain. Again, your owner’s manual should be able to help you locate the exact location, and even instruct you on how to remove the drain cover or grate. If you’re having trouble removing the cover, don’t force it right away. It could be frozen on, and you should wait until the freezer defrosts to proceed.
A next step to take, if your cover or grate is not coming off, is to use a warm cloth or ice pack to help defrost the area around the cover. Place the warm cloth or compress on or near the drain cover, and remove it to reheat as necessary. This can help speed along the defrost process and might be a good preliminary measure in clearing your drain, too. Once you’ve warmed the area up, see if you can remove the cover.
Finally, once the cover is off of the defrost drain, you can begin to inspect the drain itself. Check for blockages of food or ice, first. If you don’t see any evident debris, use warm water to flush the drain out. You can use a funnel, small measuring cup, or even a turkey baster to get the water as close to the drain opening as you can, without spilling too much around the interior of the freezer. Perform the flush a few times. If you look and can see physical debris remaining after the flush, consider using a thin object like a wire, guitar string, or piano wire to probe the inside of the drain hole for any physical debris. Once you check for physical blockages, try draining warm water through the drain again.
If the cause for your refrigerator leaking inside was a clogged or blocked defrost drain, then this guide should have helped you clear up your problem. Replace all items into your fridge, plug it back in, and monitor the leak situation for the next few days to see if you’ve solved your problem.
We hope this guide helped you find the problem and fix your leaky refrigerator. If you feel like you need professional refrigerator repair services, give us a call.