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The Home Depot

How to Troubleshoot a Leaky Fridge

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > How to Troubleshoot a Leaky Fridge
How to Troubleshoot a Leaky Fridge

There is nothing worse then heading into the kitchen for a midnight snack, only to feel your bare feet touch a puddle of water directly in front of your refrigerator. This is a common issue in households everywhere, and immediately we all get a little frustrated when thinking, “How much is this gonna cost me now?” as we salvage our Ben and Jerry’s from the freezer.


Hiring a professional to come troubleshoot your leaky fridge could end up costing you unnecessary expenses, especially if it’s an easy fix! Here’s some troubleshooting you should do before calling the pros:

  1. 1.Contemplating Condensation

    Often a leaky fridge can be the result of condensation on the inside of your appliance. Sometimes your door seal may be loose or broken, allowing condensation to leak out of your refrigerator down to the floor. This is also the case when hinges and alignments on your door are off or not working properly. Inspect the doors to your fridge. If they are loose or crooked, you may simply need to tighten up the connections between your hinges. In the case of a broken or loose seal, you can replace the seal.


    Check the inside of your refrigerator as well. If you see heavy amounts of condensation on the interior walls of the refrigerator, that’s a sure sign that condensation is your root cause.

  2. Often a leaky fridge can be the result of condensation on the inside of your appliance. Sometimes your door seal may be loose or broken, allowing condensation to leak out of your refrigerator down to the floor.
  3. 2.Deducing a Defroster

    Some refrigerators have a little contraption in their freezer that allows for a “frost-free” system. Essentially, it’s a heating device that melts away the frost that accumulates on cooling coils in the freezer area. With the frost melted, the water gets routed over to a drainage tube that takes it all the way to an evaporation pan underneath the unit. Ideally, this allows your fridge to melt frost and subsequently dry it up without ever letting that H20 run into your line of sight.


    Trouble is, if the drainage tube is blocked, or the evaporation pan is cracked, rusted, or has fallen off, that melted frost is suddenly your new “Lago de Fridge” – and your defrosting system is your root cause.

  4. 3.Not So Cold as Ice

    If you haven’t been able to deduce your leak just yet, let’s check out the ice maker’s water supply. Ice makers rely on a water supply to operate, and this is usually a tube on the back of the refrigerator. By carefully moving the refrigerator a short distance from the wall (making sure not to rip anything out of the unit or the wall), inspect the tube itself, any connectors to the tube and the wall or the tube and the fridge, as well as the shut off valve. Depending on what you find, you’ll likely have to replace a faulty part, be it the connectors, the valve, or the tube itself.

  5. 4.Solutions

    If you have discovered that a broken seal causing condensation leaks is the cause of your problem, contact the manufacturer of your refrigerator for a replacement seal. They may have instructions for installing the seal yourself, or the company might recommend you have a professional assist with the installation.


    If you’ve discovered the water supply to the ice maker has caused your problem, it’s best to replace any faulty parts over repairing them, as most of these parts are inexpensive – and you’ll have piece of mind knowing you’ve got new materials working on your side.


    If you have found that your defroster is the cause of your problem, you have a few options. If the problem is a clogged drain tube that’s causing water to flow out and onto the ground instead of to the evaporation pan, you can remove the tube and hook it up to a hose outside or faucet and force the clog out. Stubborn clogs may require anything from water forcing them out to tweezers pulling them out.


    If you’ve seen that it’s an evaporation pan problem, you may have to realign, reset, or replace the part.

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