How To Solve A Leaky Refrigerator

Cure for the Common Icebox Drip: How to Fix a Leaky Refrigerator

Few things give you the willies like walking into your kitchen in the middle of the night to grab a bite to eat, standing in front of the open fridge trying to figure out what to eat and realizing that you’ve stepped squarely into a pool of standing water puddling around the base of the refrigerator. First, you’ll most likely be filled with dread trying to figure out what the offending liquid even is. Then, you’ll be concerned once you realize that you’re dealing with what is most likely an expensive-to-fix leaky refrigerator. Read on to find out how leaky refrigerators can actually be really easy to fix.

Many “Help! My Refrigerator is Leaking!” Issues Are Easy to Fix

For major refrigerator repair issues, you must call in professional help in order to avoid making a bad situation even worse. For an issue like a leaky refrigerator, you may be able to pull out your own tool kit and resolve the problem on your own. Some of the most common reasons – and fixes – for a leaking refrigerator are included below. Make sure that you always refer to your refrigerator manual to correctly identify the different parts of your refrigerator model.

The Refrigerator is Too Level or Too Slanted

Leaning Tower Pisa

Every refrigerator has a drain hole. Moisture, condensation and any type of water inside the refrigerator travels down through the fridge and into the drain hole. Once it goes through the drain hole, it falls into a drip pan located underneath the fridge. It stays inside the drip pan until it evaporates. The refrigerator has to be positioned just so in order for the water in the fridge to flow into the drip pan. If it’s perfectly even or slanted too much, the water will flow outside of the fridge and onto the floor instead of into the drip pan. You’ll need to reposition the fridge so that it tilts slightly backwards. In order to fix this, do the following:

  • Get a friend to tilt the fridge backwards and hold it so that the front legs are slightly lengthened.
  • Without completely unscrewing them, adjust the front legs so that they’re lengthened a bit. Use a level to make sure that the front legs are level with each other before placing it back down.
  • If you don’t have a refrigerator that has adjustable front legs, place 1/8″ wide shims or other types of spacers underneath the front legs.
  • Water pooling around the bottom of the front of the refrigerator may also be due to a water dispenser’s faulty inlet line. Check to make sure that all of the inlet line’s connections are tightened securely, or replace the line altogether if it looks ragged or has got holes in it.

Ewww…I Think the Drain Hole Is Clogged With…Something

One of the most common reasons for a leaky refrigerator is because of a clogged drain hole. As moisture and water flows through the fridge and into the drain hole, it often carries bits of food and other particles right along with it. Since those bits of dirt and food don’t evaporate, they can build up in the drain hole pretty quickly, causing a clog. Self-defrosting refrigerators also have draining tubes that can become clogged. Some of the best ways to clear a clog include the following:

  • Unplug the refrigerator.
  • Get a long skinny tube like a pipe cleaner or a thin piece of plastic and insert it into the refrigerators drain tubes. You can find them at the back of the refrigerator. Gently push the tube back and forth to remove any clogged particles located inside.
  • Make a mix of warm water, dish soap and ammonia, and pour it down the drain tube. Turkey basters or other types of squeeze tubes can make this part of the fix a breeze. Not only will this clean the tube of any bacteria, but it will also allow you to see if water now flows easily from the drain tube and into the drain pan.

Hopefully after attempting these fixes, you’ll find that your pesky refrigerator leak seems to magically disappear!

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