Is Your Fridge/Freezer Leaking Water? Here are 9 Possible Reasons Why

Is your fridge/freezer leaking water causing it to pool on the ground? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We are here to help you figure out the cause behind the leakage.

Fridge/freezer leaking can be caused due to numerous reasons, the most likely ones are listed below:

  1. Drain tube frozen or clogged.
  2. Gaps in the seal and mould.
  3. Improper installation of filter.
  4. Warm air in entering the fridge/freezer.
  5. Cracked, full, or dirty refrigerator condensation/drain pan.
  6. Too much water pressure in the ice maker supply line.
  7. Open liquid containers in the fridge/freezer.
  8. Thermostat may need replacement.
  9. Your fridge lost power.

Let us look at these plausible causes of water leakage in your fridge/freezer in greater detail and see how you can easily fix them. Read on to find out how to identify the issue that you’re facing, and quick guides on resolving each of them.

It’s so frustrating to walk into your kitchen and step right into a pool of smelly water, only to discover that your fridge is leaking. Not to worry! Leaking water is a common problem when it comes to fridges, and we are here to help you fix them.

If you have a mini fridge instead of a regular-sized one, check out this post on why does a mini fridge leak water.

Let’s jump right into the top 9 reasons that your fridge or freezer might be experiencing a water leakage:

1. Drain Tube Frozen or Clogged

Defrost condensation drains often become clogged which results in an overflow in the freezer compartment. This is one of the most common issues in a fridge/freezer that leads to a leak. To ensure that the water exits the freezer correctly, you will have to clean the drain.

The drain can be clogged due to food particles that fell from containers or due to ice. In defrost mode, when the ice in the fridge or the freezer begins to melt from the cooling coil, the water does not find an outlet and starts to pool in the fridge, eventually leaking to the ground. Following are the steps to cleaning a frozen or clogged drainpipe:

  1. The drain hole is what leads to the drainpipe or tube. It is usually located at the back of the freezer or fridge at the very bottom. It might be protected with a plastic cover which will either be removed manually or with the help of a screwdriver. If the plastic cover is screwed down, find the right screwdriver to help you remove the cover.
  2. Inspect the drain hole to see if there is any visual evidence of it being clogged or frozen.
  3. If the drain hole is covered with ice and is frozen, unplug the fridge. Next, take a turkey baster and fill it with hot water. Use the baster to force the hot water down the drainpipe. You may have to repeat this step multiple times before the drain is cleared completely.
  4. If the turkey baster method fails, remove the drainpipe, and see if the water is flowing from the freezer. You might have to dislodge any debris in the valve. Use a paperclip or a pipe cleaner to dislodge the debris from the opening of the drain hole.
  5. You can also replace the valve or the drainpipe with a new one if that is the source of the leakage.

You can also check out this post on how to remove ice from the back of the fridge because a frozen drain tube might also mean excessive ice in the fridge.

2. Gaps In the Seal and Mould

If you notice any mould forming inside or outside the door of the fridge, it is likely that cold air is escaping from the fridge and causing an array of problems, including leakage. Replace the gasket or any other component of the fridge where the mould is forming. Keep an eye on that area for a few days to make sure that the problem does not recur.  

3. Improper Installation of Filter

The filter in your fridge can become loose over time with age. There can also be an issue during the installation of the filter, resulting in it not being fitted correctly. If the connection between the filter and the water supply is poor, the fridge can leak water. Give the filter a thorough inspection to see if there are any holes or gaps that may be causing water leakage.

Cross-reference the model of the fridge and the size of the filter that has been installed. Sometimes an incorrect size of the filter may be installed due to negligence or incompetence of the technician.  The size and model of the filter must be according to the specifications of the fridge. Get the filter replaced from the company’s outlet.

Technicians that have been trained by the brands tend to make fewer mistakes when it comes to these details. You can also check to warranty of your fridge to see if they cover free replacement of the filter.

4. Cracked, Full, Or Dirty Refrigerator Condensation/Drain Pan.

An overflowing drain pan (also known as the condensation pan) can cause the fridge/freezer to leak. A drain pan collects the water that drips from the fridge. Ideally, this water evaporates from the pan before the pan has a chance to fill.

If the pan fills and overflows, this might indicate other issues such as an imbalanced fridge or waterline leak, causing the condensation to increase. The water will then pool in the pan faster than it can evaporate.

Following are the steps on how to fix a drain pan issue:

1) Consult the Fridge Manual

Consult the manual of the fridge and read the instructions on how to remove the drain pan. Every model and brand has a slightly different method of drain pan removal.

2) Remove the Cover and Empty the Pan

Remove the cover of the grille at the bottom of the fridge and slide out the condensation pan. Empty the pan into the sink if it is more than 1/3 full. Make sure that you are careful when sliding out the pan so that the water doesn’t spill.

You can also see the product manual of your fridge for instructions on how to empty and clean the drain pan of the brand or model of the fridge that you have.

3) Inspect the Drain Pan and Check for Holes or Cracks

Before you replace the drain pan, inspect it to check for any cracks or holes. You might have to buy a new pan and replace it with the old one if this is the case.

Once you’re done emptying and cleaning the pan, make sure that you put it back correctly. An incorrect position of the drain pan can lead to leakage in the future.

If you have to replace the drain pan, you can either take the drain pan to the nearest home improvement store and ask them for an exact match, or you can view the product/item number and order a new pan from the brand’s store directly.

5. Warm Air Is Entering the Fridge/Freezer

If warm air makes its way inside the fridge or freezer, it causes the frozen humidity in the freezer or fridge to melt. This warm air can enter the fridge/freezer either through malfunctioning/damaged door seals or a crack in the door due to an imbalanced placement of the fridge.

1) Malfunctioning Door Seals

Door seals can become malfunctional when they are too old, and the glue or rubber becomes inefficient. It can also malfunction due to a manufacturing fault or rough use. Check the door seals and ensure that they are secured in place, allowing the door to shut correctly. You might need to replace old door seals with new ones if you are unable to glue them back into place.

2) Imbalanced Fridge/Freezer

Sometimes the fridge is placed at an inappropriate angle, leaning forward or sideways. This causes multiple problems one of which is that the door is unable to close properly. A crack in the door can cause warm air to flow into the fridge. The frozen humidity and ice in the fridge will melt, causing the water to leak and puddle.

6. Too Much Water Pressure in The Ice Maker Supply Line

If you have an ice maker in your fridge, check the water pressure of the inlet and make sure that the water pressure isn’t too high. High water pressure in the water inlet that feeds the ice maker can lead to water leakage in a freezer. The ice cube trays will overfill and spill water into the freezer causing it to leak from the valve or pool in the freezer.

If you are unable to reduce the water pressure in the pipe on your own, temporarily remove the water pipe from the valve and call a technician who can help you reduce the water pressure. You can also call an experienced plumber for this job.

7. Open Liquid Containers in The Fridge/Freezer

Often, all that is causing leakage from the fridge is an open container of water or liquid. If you tend to freeze or chill water, juice, or any other liquid in the fridge or freezer, check to see if the containers are secured properly and not spilling into your fridge or freezer.

8. Thermostat May Need Replacement

Like all electrical equipment or parts, the thermostat too can become inefficient over time. An inefficient thermostat leads to temperatures that are either too high or too low. If you notice a constant fluctuation in the temperature of your fridge or freezer, get your thermostat checked immediately.

A malfunctioning thermostat will damage your food and your fridge, leading to additional problems in other components. Immediately call a competent technician to prevent your fridge from further damage.

9. Your Fridge Lost Power

A simple explanation for water leakage in the fridge is that it lost power. This can lead to defrosting and the condensation will melt and start pooling under your fridge. Check whether the fridge is plugged in correctly. If it is, the issue might be in the socket or the wiring that leads to the power outlet. Call a competent electrician to help you identify the source of the power issue.

This post on defrosting a mini fridge might help you in removing excessive ice from the fridge once it starts to melt in case of loss of power.

Problems Caused by a Leaking Fridge

Investigating the causes of a leaking fridge/freezer is easy. You should get down to it ASAP because a leaking fridge can cause the following problems:

  • The fridge/freezer becomes inefficient and is unable to maintain the temperature.
  • The leaking water can also cause damage to your flooring and the structure of your house, resulting in extensive damage and costly repairs.
  • The food in your fridge might get ruined due to the excessive humidity and dampness.
  • The water can result in mould in various places including the fridge and the floor.
  • Bad and unpleasant odour will spread in your home caused by mould or rotten food.

Final Word

A fridge/freezer leakage can be caused due to numerous reasons including clogged or frozen drain tube, high water pressure, old and malfunctioning components, imbalanced fridge, and even lack of power.

We hope this blog helped you identify the source of the water leakage in your fridge! Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions.

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.