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Why Is My Refrigerator Leaking Water + Fix | Full User’s Guide

Leaks from refrigerators can be caused by several things, including a frozen water supply line, an unleveled refrigerator, a clogged drain, or specifically damaged parts that require replacement.

Why Is My Refrigerator Leaking Water

Even the Best Refrigerators and the Best Mini Freezers may experience water leaks if not properly maintained or unchecked.

Let's find out why our fridge is leaking water and try easy-fix solutions.

Why Does My Refrigerator Leak Water?

Why Does My Refrigerator Leak Water?
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

More than just the annoying water puddling, a leaking fridge can lead to major kitchen accidents or more expensive repairs and plumbing if the underlying cause is not fixed.

Try these simple fixes for your leaky fridge first

1. Leaky or Frozen Water Supply Line

The water supply line is typically located on the kitchen floor, sink, cabinet, basement, or crawl space near the fridge.

Check the supply line's connection points and the shut-off valve that connects to the fridge.

Once you see this flexible plastic hose or braided metal between the refrigerator and the wall, check if the water supply line that sends water to the ice maker and water filter is frozen, wet, or dripping.

If it is, then you've found the cause of your leak.

How to Fix

  1. Find the defrost drain hose or water line. Most are behind the refrigerator's rear panel, near the evaporator coils.
  2. If frozen, try flushing the drain inside the freezer with warm water, using a turkey baster, a small funnel, a pipe cleaner, or a bottle brush.
  3. If the water line itself is faulty, disconnect and change them. You can even leave the water supply connection turned off and continue using your fridge (just without using the water and ice dispensers).

2. Improper Tilting

This is possible because of improper installation or the recently moved fridge.

When internal valve connections and nuts are loose—or the fridge isn’t properly level from side to side, the drain pan will eventually spill water over one side.

If your fridge needs adjusting, here are easy steps you can follow accordingly.

How to Fix

  1. Remove or carefully pull the grille or kick plate from the bottom front of the refrigerator.
  2. Identify the two front legs. The front of the refrigerator should be 1/4 higher than the back legs.
  3. Use a crescent wrench to adjust or perfectly level your fridge legs until you get the angle right. Clockwise to increase and versa.

3. Clogged Defrost Drain

This defrost drain is typically at the bottom and back of your freezer, which often gets clogged due to having a stuffed freezer or from the accumulated bits of food and other debris.

If this drain hole gets blocked, the coils and water dispenser may not work right, and that can lead to condensation building up.

This also prevents water from draining into the pan during the normal defrost cycle.

How to Fix

  1. Create a clear path by rearranging your freezer and ensuring the defrost drain isn't blocked.
  2. To clear this clog, use a turkey baster or flush warm water through the blocked defrost drain. Use anything else that will allow you to squeeze water with some force into the drain pipe.
  3. If symptoms persist, check further down the components of the defrost circuit.

4. Drain Pan Damage

This is also one of the most common causes of a fridge leaking water.

The fridge drain pan can also leak if it has a crack or is otherwise damaged


The drain pan is at the bottom of your fridge, just above the floor.

It's normal for the drain pan to have some water in it when you slide it out, but it is unusual for this pan to develop any drain hole or crack, as this can be one cause of leaking water.

How to Fix

  1. Remove the grille at the bottom front of the fridge to slide the drain pan out. You may also access it from the back wall.
  2. Inspect it carefully (including the drain line) for any damage, leaks, or cracks.
  3. A damaged drain pan can be fixed using a good quality water-resistant sealant. Replace them if necessary.

5. Inlet Tube or Valve Issues

The inlet valve at the back of your fridge supplies water to the ice maker.

To see if the inlet valve is the issue, turn off the water at the saddle valve and disconnect the supply tube. Hold the tube over a bucket and have someone turn on the saddle valve.

The inlet valve is probably causing the refrigerator leaks if the water flows from the pipe (fluid conveyance).

How to Fix

  1. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the cover panel and screws that keep the valve in place.
  2. Unplug the wiring and unfasten the adjustment screws that connect the water supply lines of the fridge.
  3. Tighten the compression nuts on the valve to resolve the leak. However, in many cases, the valve must be replaced altogether.

6. Worn Out Door Seals

A door gasket on old refrigerators normally wears down over time.

The soft plastic seals (some made of natural rubber) running along the edges of your freezer or fridge door may lose their sealing qualities, which can cause moisture and water to escape from the fridge.

This can also happen when too much food and other gunk builds up on the seals.

When they can't seal off the fridge or freezer properly, humid air can enter, and ice starts melting. All that water can be yet another source of a fridge leak.

How to Fix

  1. Remove all items and thoroughly defrost the freezer to see if something is blocking the seals.
  2. Please give them a quick vacuum and a wipe with soapy water to remove possible dirt.
  3. If steps 1 and 2 don't work, a new seal will be needed—which you will need to source from your refrigerator's manufacturer. 

7. Defective Ice Maker

Lastly, a common problem for refrigerators is a defective ice maker. Sometimes, a part or component of the freezer itself breaks down.

You’ll most likely have to seek professional refrigerator maintenance in these cases. But before doing that, a few quick fixes can be done to solve the problem.

How to Fix

  1. Take a look at your refrigerator's freezer compartment. If you notice ice buildup, pour a cup of hot water down its chute to clear the blockage.
  2. The problem may have stemmed from the inlet valve that goes to the ice maker, a fill cup misalignment, or an expired water supply line—have these checked.
  3. Recheck items 1-6 in this article, as those defects might be the root of this defective freezer. If the problem persists, seek help from a professional.

What Should I Do if My Refrigerator Is Still Leaking?
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

What Should I Do if My Refrigerator Is Still Leaking?

Recheck all parts or redo some quick fixes.

When there is still much water escaping from your refrigerator, even after you have looked into the possible cause, this problem might be caused by incorrectly replacing some parts or other issues.

Immediately stop using your fridge, shut it off, and either bring it to your local home appliance centers or schedule a home service if it is too heavy or built-in.

Avoid more expensive and serious damage repairs in the future by knowing when to call a professional appliance repair specialist for your refrigerator.

Take note of your fridge warranty coverage in the owner's manual, as it can help protect you by providing discounted repair and replacement services.

Refrigerator Leaking Water FAQs

  • Along with a quick fix for a leaking refrigerator, there are several questions that individuals who have had the same refrigerator issue frequently ask.

    If you also have experienced dripping water out of your fridge, then read further.

  • When Do I Need a Professional to Fix My Fridge?

    It might be time to hire a pro if you’ve tried all your DIY (Do It Yourself) repair options and the water line leaks.

    A skilled appliance repair service saves you time and successfully resolves the leaking water damage.

    It must be done immediately to prevent a small puddle problem from becoming a massive disaster.

    Always visit a professional right away if you notice that your refrigerator is leaking coolant or freon rather than water dripping. This substance is harmful and must be disposed of.

  • Where Can I Find Refrigerator Parts?

    You can frequently find the availability of refrigerator parts on the website or customer service of your refrigerator brand or in an online marketplace like Amazon.

    You only need to explore the page and browse for the right parts to order online.

    Keeping them working properly is essential, so use only model-specific parts, typically available from the local hardware store or the manufacturer.

    As the keeper of food at home, our refrigerator is one of the most important pieces of equipment in the kitchen for keeping food safe.

    To guarantee appropriate installation and repair, consult a professional if you need clarification on the required parts.

  • Does a Home Warranty Cover Refrigerator Leaks?

    Your most-used appliances, particularly the fridge that keeps your perishable food items at a safe temperature, can be repaired and replaced with a home warranty.

    A home warranty coverage can lessen the inconvenience of a leaking refrigerator and your other major appliance covered if it is past the manufacturer’s warranty (specified in the fridge owner’s manual).

    It helps connect you with a local service provider and lowers your out-of-pocket cost for a repaired or new refrigerator.

  • Why Is My Refrigerator Leaking Water Conclusion
    © Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


    Suppose it still looks like your fridge is leaking water from the bottom somewhere. You may also follow these DIY Guide to Repairing Refrigerators or check the Why Is My Refrigerator Not Cooling + Fix article.

    Adding good fridge maintenance to your to-do list is part of good hygiene and helps prolong the life of your new fridge—this and good troubleshooting help resolve more than leaking water.