Refrigerators are ubiquitous appliances in modern homes, and well constructed units are generally low-maintenance products that can serve you well for many years. However, as with all appliances, things can and do go wrong from time to time.
One such problem is that refrigerators could develop a leak on the inside. Fortunately, this issue is often possible to identify and correcting the problem on your own is possible, following these basic steps.
Self-defrosting refrigerators have drainage tubes that carry water away from the refrigerator and into a drainage pan. Sometimes these tubes become clogged, causing a leak. Often these drainage tubes are located at the back of the refrigerator, but sometimes drainage tubes are located inside the unit, resulting in interior leaks.
- Unplug the refrigerator: The plug should be at the back of the refrigerator. You may need to pull the refrigerator away from the wall in order to do this.
- Remove the food: To keep the food from spoiling during this process, place food items in a cooler with ice.
- Pull out crisper drawers in the bottom of the refrigerator: You’ll see the inlet line into the drainage tube in the back or the bottom of the refrigerator.
- Insert a pipe cleaner into the inlet line: If you’ve ever used an auger, you’ll understand this process. Bend the end of the pipe cleaner into a hook shape and push it gently into the inlet spout until you encounter the clog. Very likely, this will be a piece of food that’s fallen down into the drain. Rotate the pipe cleaner a few times, then pull out the food with the hook. This may need to be repeated several times to fully remove the clog. Take care during this process not to stuff the clog farther down into the drain.
- Flush the drain with warm water to remove any leftover food particles and complete the process: This can be done with a turkey baster.
- Place the crispers back in the drawers and plug the refrigerator back into the wall : With your refrigerator now empty, this may be a good time to clean the drawers and shelves before replacing the food.
- Place the food back in the refrigerator
And you’re done! Take a look at this website for some helpful pictures of the entire process.
If the refrigerator is still leaking, clogged drain tubes may not be the source of the problem. It may also be that your efforts to unclog the drainage tubes have been unsuccessful. Before you throw up your hands in frustration, take the following steps:
- Check the owner’s manual: The owner’s manual that came with the refrigerator should have a trouble shooting section that may have helpful suggestions.
- Consult with online forums: Try typing the brand of your refrigerator, model number and the words “leaking on the inside” into your search engine. You may be pleasantly surprised to find a relevant discussion taking place in an online forum, with helpful suggestions for next steps. If other people who own refrigerators like yours are having the same problem, you may find online conversations that relates to the problem.
- Check the warranty information: If your refrigerator is less than three years old, it may be covered by a service agreement or warranty that will cover the cost of repairs. If you can’t find this information, contact call the company or store that sold you the refrigerator.
When all else fails, call an appliance repair service. You may find a reputable service through the store where you bought the appliance, and many stores have their own technicians who may be able to make a service call for your refrigerator as well.
Either way, it’s always best to work with a reputable company that employs trained, certified technicians. If you have doubts about an appliance repair company, check with the Better Business Bureau to find out how that company handles customer complaints.