The household fridge is one of the most used appliances people have in their homes, so when leaks occur, it can be annoying and a potential hazard if the leaking liquid ends up on the kitchen floor.
The good news is that leaks inside fridges are usually caused by something simple and can easily be fixed yourself.
Simply go through our steps listed below, and you should be able to find the cause of the leak and fix it.
Step 1 – Check the Defrost Drain
The first step is to check the defrost drain, which you can find at the bottom of your freezer. The purpose of the defrost drain is to drain out excess water from your fridge and freezer. When the defrost drain clogs up with loose debris, this causes water to build up on the bottom of your freezer or leak out onto the floor.
Here’s how to check the defrost drain:
- Start by removing everything from the bottom of your fridge and freezer so you can access the drain, which you’ll find at the bottom of your fridge.
- Once the food is removed, locate the defrost drain, and check it for any visible signs of a blockage, like a piece of food blocking it. If you find any blockages, remove them.
- Run a mixture of hot water and detergent down the drain to flush it out. If necessary, you can use a piece of wire to unblock the drain.
- If you find the drain is frozen, then you’ll need to turn your fridge off and let it defrost before flushing it out. It’s a good idea to defrost your fridge regularly to avoid this happening.
- Once defrosted, you can turn your fridge back on, and over the next few hours, check that the problem has been solved. If not, move on to step 2.
Step 2 – Check the Water Inlet Valve
The next step is to inspect the water inlet valve. The purpose of the water inlet valve is to open to deliver water to the ice maker and then close when the ice maker is full of water. When it gets a crack in it or becomes faulty, this can cause a leak to occur inside your fridge.
To check the water inlet valve, you need to:
- Switch the power off to the refrigerator at the wall, or turn the circuit breaker off.
- Unplug the fridge and then pull the fridge out from the wall so you can access the back of it.
- Remove the back panel of the fridge if necessary, and locate the water inlet valve (check your manual if necessary).
- Once you’ve found the water inlet valve, give it a thorough inspection to see if it has any cracks in it.
- If it has cracks in it or is defective, it will need to be replaced. If it is fine, you can move on to step 3.
- Once replaced, turn your fridge back on, and check if the leak has stopped. If not, move on to the next step.
Step 3 – Check the Water Tank
The next step to finding the cause of your leak is to check the water tank if your make and model has one. When the water tank gets a crack in it or is damaged in any way, a leak can occur.
To check the water tank, you need to:
- Turn the power off to the fridge if you haven’t already.
- Locate the water tank in your fridge.
- Inspect the tank for any signs of cracks or other damage that could be causing a leak. You can also inspect it for leaks occurring—especially around where the water pipe connects to it.
- If you find any damage or leaks, the water tank will need to be repaired or replaced. If there is no sign of damage, move on to the next step.
- If you replace the water tank, turn your fridge back on and check over the next few hours if the problem has been solved. If not, move on to the next step.
Step 4 – Check the Door Gasket
The next step is to check the door gasket. The reason you need to check the door gasket is that if your fridge door doesn’t shut properly, a leak can occur if the ice melts or if your fridge doesn’t stay at the correct temperature.
To check the door gasket, you need to:
- Open the fridge door and then inspect the door gasket for any signs of wear and tear—paying special attention to the hard-to-reach parts of the gasket/seal.
- If you find any damage, you’ll need to completely replace the door gasket. If it is fine, you can move on to the next step.
- If you replace the door gasket, you’ll need to turn your fridge back on and check if the problem has been solved. If not, move on to the final step.
Step 5 – Check the Water Filter
The final step is to check the water filter, and if it is faulty, replace it. You should be replacing your water filter regularly, but even if you have, sometimes they can become defective and leaks occur.
Here’s how to check your water filter:
- Turn the power off to the fridge (optional)
- Locate the water filter (check your manual to find its exact location if necessary).
- Take the water filter out from its housing, and then try to put it back in to check that it fits in the housing correctly.
- If it doesn’t fit correctly, you’ll need to replace the water filter.
- Once replaced, check if the problem has been solved. Hopefully, at this point you have found the cause of the leak and fixed it!