Where there is water - there is the potential for a leak, and that includes refrigerators. It doesn't even have to have an ice maker or water dispenser to leak.
Our plumbers come across this situation several times a month and in our experience, we find that the leak is usually coming from a blocked defrost drain (which by the way is the most common reason) or a frozen or clogged water supply line.
Let me give you some more information about these and other issues that may be causing your refrigerator to leak.
Refrigerator's Blocked Defrost Drain
If your refrigerator automatically defrosts itself then it also has a drain tube that carries this water from the defrost process to a drain pan under the refrigerator.
This tube can get clogged due to debris which then leads to an ice buildup in the tube which eventually leads to water leaking out of the freezer and/or the fridge.
How to Fix A Clogged Defrost Drain
If you are a handy type of person you can try to clear out this blockage yourself by doing the following:
- Check your owner's manual for information on where the defrost drain tube is located and how you can access it.
- Try flushing the tube with warm water using a small funnel or turkey baster or other type of syringe.
- You can also try using a pipe cleaner to clear up the blog.
Otherwise, we recommend that you contact your plumber to evaluate and correct the problem with your leaking refrigerator.
Clogged Water Supply Line
If you notice that you are experiencing poor water flow throughout your house and you now have a leak under your refrigerator, the cause may be a clog in your main water supply line. If it's during the winter months, it may not be a clog but a frozen pipe line.
We recommend you contact a plumber to assess and correct the problem.
Other Issues Causing Your Refrigerator To Leak
Now that we've gone over the two most common reasons that may be causing this problem with your refrigerator, let's go over some other reasons that could be the culprit.
- Floor is not level - If the floor that your refrigerator is sitting on has shifted somehow and is now not level. The front of all refrigerators should stand about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch higher than the back of the fridge. The reason for this is to allow the coolant to flow freely. The fix is to adjust the levers on the bottom of the refrigerator.
- The drain pan has a leak - It doesn't happen often but it has happened - the drain pan has a crack or some kind of break that is allowing the water in the pan to leak out onto the floor. Simply pull out the drain pan to inspect it and you'll have your answer. (By the way - this would be a good time to clean that pan.) Of course if it's damaged, it needs to be replaced.
- Check the inside of your fridge - Sometimes leaks do occur inside the refrigerator. So, open your fridge door(s) and run your hand along the bottom, sides and the door itself searching for any wet areas. This is usually caused by a problem with the defrost drain. Please call in a plumber to look at the situation.
- Water filter not properly aligned - If you have a water filter installed in your refrigerator - check that it's not leaking. It's usually because it wasn't inserted correctly so simply remove it and re-install it.
- Water filter housing - The "tube" that the water filter goes into may also be damaged (a crack perhaps) so check that as well as you can to see if you can identify a leak coming from there. This may need to be repaired or replaced.
How Do I Stop My Refrigerator From Leaking?
Of course, the fix for the problem depends on what is causing the problem.
I've outlined above what can be done after each problem. If you are unable to fix the problem yourself, please call in a professional plumber.
If you have any questions about leaks from your refrigerator, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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