We've all been pranked by the "is your refrigerator running?" gag at one time or another, but the issue of a leaking refrigerator is no joke. Whether you decide to attempt it by yourself or call in an expert, it's important to understand the different sources that can cause leaks, especially in your kitchen, and how to address them appropriately:
1. The door seals
Homeowners should first check the seals on their fridge. Improper sealing is one of the most common causes of a leaking fridge. It's also one of the easiest to diagnose and fix quickly. When it's not sealed properly, the fridge works overtime to keep things cool, building up condensation on the coils. This then results in water on the floor. If you find an issue with the door seals to the fridge and freezer, wash them and reapply with a lubricant. It's important to note that if this doesn't fix the issue, your fridge may need new gaskets or it may be tilting too far forward, compromising the seals.
2. Drain clog
If you find water inside the fridge, it's likely that the defrost drain line is clogged. Homeowners can often find this outlet behind the crisper drawers, and a simple inspection should be able to determine if there is a clog. Rinsing out the drain line or using a mini plumber's snake should remove whatever is clogging the line. Check your owner's manual to see where your drain line is located and how to properly rinse the line. Although this is one of the easier fixes, it's important to periodically check this line to ensure that it continues to work as needed.
A leak stemming from the ice maker or fridge could mean that the appliance isn't lined up properly. If you just moved your fridge to a new location, the hose or the drain pan could be misaligned or it may not be fitting well. It's important to ensure that water valves are tight and sealed so that there are no loose connections in the tubes and that pipes are flush with their connectors. These simple steps will alleviate a number of leaky fridge and ice maker issues and can be done without professional assistance.
4. Cracked pan
A refrigerator's drain pan catches water that may be leaking from the fridge, but evaporation typically eliminates the issue of this accumulation. If water is leaking from the very bottom of a refrigerator, it could mean that your drain pan is cracked, damaged or just positioned incorrectly. If there are any holes or cracks, it's important to get the pan replaced immediately, to stop the leak. Otherwise, simply adjusting it to the right alignment could be the solution.
Leaks can come from a variety of sources, and it will be important for homeowners to understand what issues they can handle on their own and when it's time to call in a plumbing expert. While a misaligned fridge and a cracked drain pan are easy fixes, problems with water pipes and clogged drains may require assistance from your local Brooklyn Roto-Rooter.