You can expect an average refrigerator to last 10 to 13 years. But this is just an estimate. A leaking fridge can strike at any time, no matter the age of your refrigerator.
Many people forget that refrigerators use water, even those without an ice maker. Several parts in the process can bug out or go awry. And it’s not easy to diagnose the problem.
Is your refrigerator leaking water? If you’re lucky, you may not have to get a replacement or call a repairman. With the right information, you can fix the problem yourself and save hundreds or thousands.
So what’s the secret? This guide will help you diagnose the source of your leaky refrigerator and patch it up.
Why Is My Refrigerator Leaking Water?
First of all: Don’t panic. You’ve discovered your refrigerator leaking all across your kitchen floor. It’s a common occurrence.
And it can be a common fix. Sometimes, it’s as easy as turning the refrigerator off or shifting it around. For other problems, you may have to take out the tools.
Don’t ignore it. Plumbing leaks can cost you in a short amount of time. Not to mention, you’ll start having issues with your preserved food.
Let’s start by looking at some of the most common reasons why your refrigerator might be leaking.
1. Check the Ice Maker
The ice maker on your refrigerator has an external water line. The problem with this water line? It can crack and tear, and it isn’t the most durable thing around.
Unplug your refrigerator and pull it away from the wall. You should find the small water line, usually transparent plastic tubing, on the back and bottom of the fridge.
Now that you’ve found it, check if the line is wet. If there’s a crack, the water should be dripping off the line and making the whole thing moist. Is the water line at fault?
You’ve got two options. You can patch up the crack with some adhesive if you can find it, or replace the water line. Depending on the layout of your home, you may need a professional to replace the water line for you.
2. What About the Drain?
Most refrigerators have automatic defrost. This means it also has what’s called a defrost drain. If you discover your refrigerator leaking water inside the compartment, the drain is probably at fault.
You can find it at the bottom and back of the fridge’s interior. When your refrigerator defrosts itself, the ice turns to water and slides down into this drain. But when the drain is clogged or frozen, the water accumulates at the bottom of your fridge and leaks free.
Empty your refrigerator and take a close look at the defrost drain. Pour warm water into the drain. That should help with any blocks or frozen water.
If that doesn’t work, pierce the drain with something thin and long, such as a wire. You can use this to work out any clogs.
3. Take a Look at the Drain Pan
The defrost drain leads into the drain pan. This is where all that water ends up. It’s supposed to evaporate over time.
But sometimes it doesn’t. If your refrigerator’s condenser isn’t working, then it isn’t blowing hot air. And that means the water level will remain and continue to rise.
But odds are, the pan itself has cracked from the heat. Unfortunately, replacing the drain pan isn’t an easy job. However, it’s possible to do it yourself. Refer to your owner’s manual, since accessing the drain pan will vary based on the model.
If it’s at the end of its lifespan, you might want to consider replacing the refrigerator.
4. Is Your Refrigerator Level?
So, your defrost drain and drain pan both look fine, but there’s still water in your refrigerator? Maybe you just installed it wrong. When your refrigerator is on a slant, even a slight one, the water won’t work its way into the drain.
And that means it will, instead, condense along the bottom of your refrigerator and leak-free.
Be sure that your refrigerator is on even ground. The best way to do that is to first check each of its four legs and confirm they are at the same height.
Are they all lined up? Your refrigerator could still be uneven. The flooring in your kitchen may be slanted, contributing to the problem.
5. Inspect the Water Filter
There is a myriad of things that can go wrong with your refrigerator’s water filter. Just like with your ice maker, the water line can break down and leak over time.
The good thing is it’s easy to see if your water filter is at fault. These are usually in the interior and upper portion of your fridge. The filter may be shaped like a bottle or a tub.
If you see water dripping off it, that’s a clear sign something is wrong. You may have inserted the wrong size of water filter for your fridge. Or, if your filter hasn’t been replaced, it may be cracked.
Stopping the leak is as easy as swapping the old filter for a new one. You should replace your fridge’s water filter every six months, or no later than every year.
It Might Be Time for a Professional Plumber
Is your refrigerator leaking water, or is it something else? You’ve checked the entire fridge, but you can’t find the source of the leak. When that happens, it’s time to call a plumber as soon as possible.
Beehive Plumbing works 24/7 to serve your residential and commercial plumbing needs. Contact us to schedule your appointment.