Refrigerators are made to last long and may even survive 15 to 20 years. So, we hardly experience any problems with it. However, seeing a puddle underneath it. You can get scared and worried seeing small puddles around the refrigerator and wonder why.
The simple answer is your refrigerator has become leaky. So, what causes a refrigerator to leak water? Also, how do you fix the leaks in the refrigerator? Can you fix the leaks at home, or do you need professional help?
Usually, blocked water lines and clogs in the defrost line cause the refrigerator to leak. Inappropriate tilting on an uneven surface and a damaged drain pan can also be responsible for the leaks. So, you need to inspect the fridge closely to find the actual reason and fix it ASAP.
What Causes A Refrigerator To Leak Water?
Leaks in the refrigerator can be terrifying since it doesn’t leak frequently. It is a rare case, so you should be proactive in fixing it. We will show the four common causes of a leaky refrigerator with their quick solutions.
Reason 1: Inaccurate leveling
Ideally, a refrigerator must sit on a bare and level floor. Experts suggest that the refrigerator needs to have slight tiling towards its back. The backward tilting can be ½ inches to ¼ inches. It helps the coolant to run correctly without any issues.
Nonetheless, at times, the refrigerator can tilt too much backward or sideways. The coolant will fail to flow adequately when it doesn’t sit on a level surface. As a result, it will overflow and create puddles on the floor. This happens mostly for garage refrigerators as the garage floor isn’t leveled properly.
Tips for positioning the refrigerator on a plain floor:
This cause of leaky refrigerator has a quick fix. You need to position the refrigerator on a plain surface with slight tilts at its back.
- Access the front legs of the refrigerator by removing the front grille or kick plate.
- Check their measurements and compare them with the rear legs. If these are at identical lengths, you should adjust the height of the front legs minimally.
- Increase the front leg height with a crescent wrench if it is shorter than the rear leg. You need to move the crescent wrench counterclockwise. If the front legs are taller, move the wrench with care in a clockwise direction.
As you adjust the front leg height, it should give the appliance a perfect tilt. Finally, connect the front grille or kick plate and secure the refrigerator.
Reason 2: Clogged and frozen water line
The water line in the refrigerator supplies water for ice and drinking. Also, a small refrigerator with an ice maker will have a water line. Sometimes, the water supply line may be blocked due to unwanted residues. Also, hard water will gradually develop minerals inside the water line to reduce its interior diameter. As it happens, water will not flow freely through the pipe.
As the clogged water line persists, you will see leaks from the refrigerator. Also, the water line may get frozen to cause leaks.
Signs of blocked water line:
When the water line is blocked, it won’t supply enough water for the icing. So, your refrigerator will need more ice. You will see the icebox empty or only partially up to its recommended level. Also, there may need to be more cold drinking water.
Quick cleaning of the water line:
You need to unclog the water line by cleaning it. Nonetheless, cleaning the frozen or blocked water line can be a daunting task.
- First, locate the refrigerator water line by unplugging it and moving away from the wall. Check the user manual for the refrigerator diagram if you need help finding the water line.
- First, check the connection point of the refrigerator water line. Often tightening the screws at this connecting point will solve the problem.
- For ice-blocking, the refrigerator, keep it shut off for 4 to 5 hours. The ice will melt and unclog the line. And for residues, you can use a baking soda and vinegar mixture to do away with the clogging items.
- For enormous damage, you must replace your refrigerator water line. It will cost you around $50 to $75.
Reason 3: Block inside the defrost line
The primary cause of the leaking refrigerator is the blocked defrost line. The defrost line is responsible for preventing the home appliances from freezing inside. Refrigerators have an automatic defrosting option. After defrosting, it drains the water through the defrost line.
Typically, food particles and residues will flow through the defrost line. As their presence increases, the defrosting line will get blocked. As the defrost line is blocked, the water will not have space to run into the draining tray. So, it will leak and overflow on the floor.
Tips on unblocking the defrost line:
Unblocking the defrost line isn’t an easy task. Unless you are confident, calling a refrigerator mechanic will be helpful. But you can try unclogging it at home too.
First, try melting the ice inside the defrost line. Use a turkey baster to supply warm water inside the defrosting drainpipe. Alternatively, you can shut off the appliance for many hours. And for removing food particles, use a wire hanger with a bent at its front. It can hold and remove food particles and residues.
Damaged drain pan:
The drain pan will hold the defrosting water in it. If the drain pan gets damaged, the water will pour in through the pan. It happens when renovating homes and moving refrigerators to change their usual location.
The drain pan is mainly made of hard plastic. So, holes and cracks on the drain pan are rare incidents. Thus, it can be worrisome.
Replace or fix the drain pan:
For small cracks, you can fix them with an adhesive. If the cracks are unrepairable, you need to replace them. It may cost you around $25 to $30.
A leaky refrigerator is a least common scene you would like to see. As you see, four reasons are mainly responsible for leaky refrigerators. You need to inspect the cause and start troubleshooting it ASAP. You must understand that the persisting leaks may damage other parts of the appliance. So, you must pay attention to it and start fixing the problem faster.
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