View Full Version : Why does my 5 year old refrigerator leak?

Brian Kent
03-07-2010, 11:30 PM
The refrigerator works well, quietly, no problems. But the floor of the main section fills with water and spills out to the kitchen floor. We soak it all up about once every 4-5 days. Does anyone know what I should look for?

I remember something from the past where I either changed the temperature or let it warm up until an overflow tube thawed out. But I am really not sure.

Thanks in advance for your advice

Michael Weber
03-07-2010, 11:40 PM
Probably your freezer defrost drain tube is stopped up with something. What would normally drain down into a pan under the fridge is not able to so goes down the inside of the cabinet. I had to clean out ours regularly every few years. It can be a bear to get to so you might need specific instructions for your particular mode.

David G Baker
03-08-2010, 12:16 AM
What Michael said. I have had this same problem in the past. Easy fix, clean out the drain tube opening in the bottom of the refrigerator, get a squirt bottle and squirt some water down the tube to make sure it is clear and that the water you squirted into the tube is reaching the evaporator pan under the unit.

Brian Kent
03-08-2010, 12:42 AM
I checked my diagrams and there is no easy access to this tube. I am thawing it out now in case ice is the blocker.

Jeff Bratt
03-08-2010, 1:13 AM
Ours worked fine for several years, then started having the same problem - repeatedly. The freezer defrost drain kept getting plugged - ice would form in the tube where it exited the freezer, and eventually - during a defrost cycle - water would run down into the refrigerator section. I read about a retrofit kit to make sure that portion of the tube gets thawed during a defrost cycle. Instead of having a repair person install the (what I though was too expensive) kit, I fashioned one out of a length of bare copper wire, which I wrapped around the defrost heater a couple times and routed down the drain tube a couple inches. Getting to the tube required taking everything - shelves, bottom and back covers - out of the freezer section. But it was worth it - my problem is now gone... Your configuration could be different, and require a factory made kit, though. But this seems to be a somewhat common problem; one that should have been accounted for in the original design of the freezer.

Lee Schierer
03-08-2010, 8:35 AM
Most likely it is a piece of food that has lodged in the drain and won't let the water drain. You can buy compressed air from most computer stores and blow back up the tube, but this is likely to be a temporary cure unless you can get the offending piece of material completely out. It may also prove to be quite messy. If you can see the top of the tube, placing the suction of your shop vac close while blowing air up from the bottom may get the particle free and sucked out at the same time.

glenn bradley
03-08-2010, 8:47 AM
I checked my diagrams and there is no easy access to this tube. I am thawing it out now in case ice is the blocker.

Some DIY site gave me this tip when I had to thaw my line; get your shop vac and point the hose at the general area. Even though the air isn't warmed, the air motion speeds the thawing greatly.

Jason Roehl
03-08-2010, 9:14 AM
Another possibility is if you have an icemaker. We went through this last summer where our fridge kept piddling on the floor. The catch pan under the fridge was overflowing. It turned out that the little chute that directs the water from the tube into the icemaker tray was plugged with ice. So the water, instead of flowing into the icemaker tray would dribble over to the defrost drain and to the catch pan in the bottom of the fridge, where it would normally evaporate, but it was too much water. I pulled the icemaker, rinsed it with warm water to thaw out that little chute, and all has been good since.

David G Baker
03-08-2010, 10:24 AM
I had forgotten a friend of mine having a leaking problem from her fridge. The water supply line for the ice maker was touching the compressor's refrigerant line, the line was so hot that I couldn't keep my hand on it. The hot line melted a small hole in the plastic water supply line causing the leak.

Steve Peterson
03-08-2010, 12:43 PM
My fridge had a problem with the defroster drain tube not hitting the pan properly. Every day there would be a puddle in the front.

I had to take a panel off the back to get to the tube to re-route it. Air flowing over the pan allows the water to evaporate fast enough that the pan never fills up, but it sure spills a lot of water if it misses the pan.


Dave Johnson29
03-08-2010, 5:28 PM
the floor of the main section fills with water and spills out to the kitchen floor.

That happened to mine a few years back. It was the drain tube and not accessible from the back. I used a long piece of very flexible stainless steel cable about 3/32" diameter. I could only get it about 4" down so I unplugged and let it warm-up for a day or so.

Once I could get the cable going, I was able to push out a small chunk of food that had begun the blockage. That was over 5 year s back now that I recall. No more problems, just don't let stuff get out of bags etc in the freezer.

When it goes into reverse cycle and heats once every day to melt the ice, anything that floats can make it's way to the drain.

Matt Ranum
03-08-2010, 6:22 PM
We live in the country and our well water is high in acid. Factory copper lines don't last too long around here, they get ate through in a few years.