Refrigerators are some of the most heavily used home appliances and hence tend to get damaged from time to time. When there’s serious damage, you have to search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire professionals near you to fix it. However, a refrigerator leak may be fixable on your own. Let’s check out why your refrigerator leaks and if you can fix it yourself or need a repairman for the job:
- Tilted refrigerator – If you had an old fridge and moved into a new home or remodeled your old home, appliances may have been moved around and your refrigerator may have been leveled. It’s surprising to know that your refrigerator isn’t supposed to be perfectly level, but that’s the case.
Most refrigerators have coolant running at the back and that’s why the refrigerator needs to be slightly tilted to that side to ensure smooth flow. In some cases. Refrigerators require that to automatically swing and shut the door properly. The back should be at least half or quarter-inch closer to the floor than the front. This kind of tilt is hard to notice, and you may need a measuring instrument.
When your refrigerator is perfectly leveled or tilted improperly, it won’t be able to drain the moisture efficiently. To check the tilt of your refrigerator, you can use an app that leverages the accelerometer on your phone or use a good old spirit level at the top of the fridge. If it’s angled in a weird way, you can identify the two front legs and use a crescent wrench to increase or decrease the height of the feet. Re-check with the spirit level to be sure.
- Damaged drain pan – A refrigerator leaks some amount of water naturally. However, it is supposed to collect in the drip pan under the fridge. Unlike a washer’s drip pan, the amount drained is so inconsequential that it should evaporate over time. That’s why very few people are aware of the refrigerator’s drip pan.
However, if the pan gets damaged and has cracks or holes, you’ll be made aware of its existence. To check if a damaged drain pan is the reason behind your leaky refrigerator, remove the kick plate or grille from the front. There should be a large and flat pan at the bottom of the refrigerator. Pull it out carefully and drain any water it may have. Carefully observe and inspect the pan for holes and cracks.
If the pan is damaged, you can’t fix it at a nearby workshop. These things are precisely made and thin enough to fit flush under your refrigerator. The only option is a replacement. You can visit a nearby hardware store and buy an identical drain pan or contact your refrigerator’s manufacturer through their website for a replacement.
Even if the pan isn’t leaking, it shouldn’t be full of water. A normal defrost cycle does accumulate some water, but it shouldn’t fill up over one-third of the pan’s capacity. If it has more water, you may have a blocked defrost drain.
- Defrost drain is blocked – When you open and close the freezer compartment to get items, you let in humid air inside the refrigerator. That humidity needs to be channeled out somewhere so that the food doesn’t go bad, and you don’t have a leaky mess. There’s a small opening at the back of the freezer compartment that allows humid air to escape.
The opening is also connected to a drain to allow the escape of condensed water. This drain can get blocked if you stack meat or other items too tightly or due to food or packaging debris. When the drain gets blocked the condenser coils are on overdrive to cool the extra moisture and start dripping water.
To check if you have this problem, locate the defrost drain and remove frozen food covering it. When there’s a clear path to the drain, wait for a day to see if the problem gets solved. If there are still puddles, clear out the freezer, unplug your refrigerator and remove the cap covering the defrost drain. You can fill up a turkey baster with warm water and squirt it down the durian to get rid of debris. You can also manually open the back of the fridge and unclog the drain line.
- Water supply line is frozen – If you have bought a refrigerator within the last five years, you may have a built-in water dispenser and ice maker. If the water supply line that feeds this mechanism gets frozen or clogged, you may have a leaky refrigerator.
To check for this issue, you need to unplug the refrigerator and pull it away from the wall. Identify the water supply line. It is usually made of braided metal or clear and flexible plastic. If there are any leaks or signs of leaks around the connection points of the supply line, get a wrench and tighten the nuts. Plug back everything and wait for a few hours. If the problem still persists, you can try to tackle the problem internally, by thawing the supply line with warm water.
If the leaks still exist after you tighten the nuts, you may need to replace your entire water supply line. Shut off the valves of the supply line between the fridge and your home. Remove the supply line and bring it to your local hardware store to get an identical replacement. It’s important to note that this repair requires few plumbing skills and technical know-how. If you aren’t confident in your plumbing skills, it’s best to leave the job to a professional.
A leaky refrigerator doesn’t always need a professional repairman that costs hundreds of dollars. Sometimes it may be something as simple as a tilted fridge, a leaking drip pan, or a frosted drain that can be fixed on your own. If you’ve tried all the fixes and it still leaks, then it’s time to search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire a professional.