Why Is My Refrigerator Leaking Water?
We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air provides top-notch HVAC and plumbing services for homeowners in Murrieta and surrounding areas of Southern California. One of our favorite ways to help the communities that we serve is to answer common questions. If you ever have a question or would like to learn more about your heating, cooling, plumbing, or appliances, give us a call. A question that we are often asked by homeowners is, “Why is my refrigerator leaking water?” Many times, the issue can be solved with a little support, so you may not need to start figuring out how to fit a new refrigerator into your budget.
1. Open Containers
A common problem that can make it look as though your refrigerator is leaking is an open container. We recommend that you start troubleshooting by removing all the items from the fridge, and look for any containers that are open and leaking. If you find something, be sure to clean the shelves and bottom drawers. You should also carefully pull the refrigerator away from the wall and clean the floor.
Have you recently spilled water in your kitchen? The puddle around and under your fridge may be the remnants of the spill. Clean up the liquid, and pay attention to the pattern of moisture. It can tell you if the water came from that recent spill.
3. Leaks From Other Appliances
If you have a dishwasher or sink near your refrigerator, check to see if the leak is actually coming from those areas. You can check the pipes under the sink, as well as the faucet. Look near the bottom of your dishwasher to see if you notice any drips or puddles. If you do find a problem with your plumbing, we can help! Give us a call right away, and we will schedule an appointment for one of our expert technicians to take a look.
4. Water Dispenser
If your refrigerator has a water dispenser, that may be the source of the leak. Check to see if the overflow container is full. If it is, it may not be a sign of a problem, but just that people are over-filling their glasses and spilling water onto the floor. Empty the container, let everyone know to be careful, and keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the leak stops, this is likely the source.
5. Ice Maker
Ice makers are modern conveniences that ensure that we have cold drinks at any time. The devices do have relatively simple designs, but things can go wrong, and the ice maker may leak. The problem is usually found in the water line that feeds into the ice maker. Troubleshooting the water line takes some expertise, so we recommend that you leave the job to one of our experts. The water line may be clogged or in need of replacement. Another reason why ice makers leak is that the connections have worn out after years of use. These issues are easy to fix.
Condensation may be the problem behind your leaking fridge. Even though the fridge seems to feel cool and dry, there may be too much moisture. Condensation typically builds up on the back of some older refrigerators and drips down onto the floor. You can pull the fridge away from the wall to see if you notice any built-up moisture. If you do, no worries. Our technicians can fix the problem quickly.
7. Defrost Drain
Your freezer has a drain that removes water when it defrosts. The drain can get clogged with crumbs, wrappers, and other debris. You can try to clear the drain yourself. Remove all the items from your freezer, and pour small amounts of warm water along the bottom of the freezer space. You want to give the water time to run into the drain and clear out any clogs and ice. If this doesn’t work, try clearing the drain with a pipe cleaner or other flexible object. Do not jam anything down the drain. Also, check the end of the drain valve that should be located on the outside bottom edge of the refrigerator. Use the pipe cleaner to clear out the valve.
8. Check Valve
Most refrigerators have a check valve on the back of the unit that helps to maintain an ideal humidity level inside the unit. When the valve goes bad or gets clogged, moisture inside your fridge may be too high. The humidity causes condensation inside the fridge, and this can drip down onto your floor. You can try to clear the valve with hot water. If this doesn’t work, schedule a repair appointment with We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air. We can replace the valve for you.
9. Unlevel Refrigerator
Did you know that fridges need to be level to work properly? The appliance does not have to be exactly level, but the back should sit just slightly lower than the front. Grab a level tool and see how close the bubble is to the center. Place the level on the bottom-most part of the inside. Do not put it on a shelf. You want to check two ways. First, place the level so it is perpendicular to the sides of the refrigerator. The bubble should be centered. Next, move the level so it is perpendicular to the back of the refrigerator. This is where you should see that the front of the fridge is just a bit higher than the back. If the bubble is outside the markings on the level either time, try moving your fridge just a little to bring it closer to level. Once you level the fridge, the coolant should move through the tubes better and prevent condensation from building up on the pipes. If you have trouble leveling the fridge or continue to have a water leak, our technicians can help.
10. Drain Pan
Like the HVAC system in your home, the refrigerator has a set of evaporator fins that help keep the temperature nice and cool. Water can condense on the fins, so the fridge is designed with a pan to capture all the water droplets, and keep your floor nice and clean. The pans are usually made of plastic, so they are prone to chips and cracks. You should be able to remove the pan, empty it out, and check to see if it’s still in good shape. If the pan is full, there may be something going on with the cooling process, so we recommend that a technician come by for a quick inspection. If the pan is damaged, you can find a replacement at a local home improvement or hardware store.
Professional Refrigerator Service
Have a problem with your refrigerator? Give us a call! We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air has been helping Southern California homeowners since 2000 keep their appliances, plumbing, and HVAC systems running efficiently. We offer installation, repair, and maintenance services. Be sure to ask about our indoor air quality services, too!