What causes a leaking refrigerator?

If water is leaking from your refrigerator, or is found pooling inside your refrigerator – underneath or inside the vegetable crisper pans – it might be due to a number of parts or factors. A clogged or freezing defrost drain or a broken or cracked part like a water tube line or faulty water inlet valve or drain pan can cause water to leak from your refrigerator.

WARNING: Before attempting to work on any appliance, make sure that all power (electricity) and utilities (water and gas) have been turned off and/or disconnected on the appliance. Read more

Parts that could be causing your refrigerator to leak water

Clogged or Frozen Defrost Drain

A common reason for a leaky fridge is a clogged or frozen defrost drain. The location of the defrost drain can vary depending on your refrigerator’s model type. For top-freezer models, it is usually located in the freezer section behind a covering or panel that covers the evaporator coils. For side-by-side or French door models, the drain is usually located at the bottom of the freezer portion.

Unplug your refrigerator temporarily and remove any food, shelving, paneling and screws in order to expose the defrost drain. Use hot tap water to flush the drain hole and melt any ice on top and inside the drain area. Use a turkey baster to flush the tube inside the drain until water runs freely to the bottom drip pan. To see this, you may need to move the fridge and remove the back paneling to expose the end of the drain hose. Or you can listen to hear the sound of water dripping out of the bottom of the drain hose.

While you are doing this, why not clean the drain hose at the same time?  Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the hot tap water to clean the drain hose.

Faulty Water Inlet Valve

Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Inlet Valve w10408179

Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Inlet Valve w10408179

Another cause behind water leaking from a refrigerator is a faulty water inlet valve. The water inlet valve controls the water supply to the refrigerator ice maker or water dispenser and is connected to the household water supply line. If the part is faulty, it will not properly  shut off, letting water slowly leak.  Also, its connections to the water supply lines can become loose or the hoses can become cracked or brittle and leak.  First, check the connections to make sure they are tight and secure. Also check the water inlet part itself for cracks. You might need a multimeter to test the part to make sure it is working properly and not letting water leak out when it is not in operation.

Cracked Defrost Evaporator Drain Pan

Other parts that could be causing water to leak from your refrigerator include a cracked defrost evaporator drain pan. Sometimes the pan can become dislodge (especially if you were cleaning) and just needs to be moved back into place underneath the drain hose to catch any water runoff.

Cracked or Sagging Door Gasket

Refrigerator Door Gasket , General Electric, WR24X10236

Refrigerator Door Gasket , General Electric, WR24X10236

A cracked or sagging door gasket –the seal that goes around your refrigerator door ­– could be letting warm air into your refrigerator, which can lead to water condensation. If you notice water dripping down the insides of your refrigerator, check to see that the refrigerator door is sealing properly. Inspect the gasket around your refrigerator’s door for cracks and sagging. The gasket can be removed and replaced if needed.

Sometimes the hinges on the door need an adjustment, which is another easy-to-do fix.

For more refrigerator replacement parts, visit PCApplianceRepair.com.


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