Why Is My Fridge Dripping Water On The Inside?

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

It is easy to forget what a wonderful modern luxury the modern refrigerator is. That is, until you have an issue with your own fridge. Refrigerator problems can be very frustrating, as they often occur when you have a fridge full of perishable groceries. So when you notice there is water dripping in your fridge, you probably want to diagnose the problem as quickly as possible. This way, hopefully, all of your food doesn’t have to go to waste.

The most common reason for having water dripping inside your fridge is a blocked defrost drain. Other possible causes include an improper tilt, a faulty ice maker, or a malfunctioning refrigerator door. Sometimes the fix is simple, but some solutions may require professional help. Check your warranty as it may cover the costs for this type of refrigerator malfunction.

In order to stop the water dripping from inside your fridge, you must first discover the root cause. Once you understand the different reasons why your fridge can drip water from the inside, you will find it much easier to diagnose. Once you find the cause, you can decide whether the solution is something you can do yourself, or would be better in the hands of a professional.

Blocked Defrost Drain

The most common reason for water buildup in your fridge is a blocked defrost drain. Pretty much all full size refrigerators come equipped with a defrost drain. This is a drainage system that lives behind or within your fridge and freezer that collects and drains access water and moisture that builds up in your fridge.

From time to time, these drains can get backed up by ice buildup, or by food particles blocking the drain opening. These blockages can cause water to drip in ways and places it is not supposed to. Luckily, this is often a simple fix that you can both diagnose and solve on your own.

How To Fix A Blocked Defrost Drain

If you suspect your fridge’s water leaking issue might have something to do with a blocked defrost line, you should investigate further. Keep in mind that you might need to unplug the unit for a period of time, so having a cooler with ice for this interim period might be a good idea to avoid any spoilage.

Step One: Locate And Inspect Defrost Drain

Find the drain line and the drains. These are located at the bottom and back to the unit towards the back wall in the drive and freezer. See if there is anything blocking the drain. Remove it.

Step Two: Clean Drain And Create Unobstructed Path For Water

Clean the drain and drain area. Make sure there is a clear and unobstructed path for water buildup to flow. This ensures that there should be no reason for the water to build up and leak.

Step Three: If Problem Persists Defrost the Freezer

Try defrosting the freezer, especially if you have ice buildup. Once the freezer is defrosted you can see if there is a blockage in the drain pipe itself.

Step Four: Clean The Drain Pipe

Once the fridge is defrosted, try using a turkey basted and warm water to push water through the pipe. If water flows nicely, you don’t have a blockage. If the water pools up and does not flow, you might need a pipe cleaner to work through the blockage.

Step Five: Repeat Process Until Line Is Clear

Continue to work through the blockage and then test the drainage using warm water and turkey baster. Once the water flows properly, plug in your fridge and see if there is any more leaking water.

Other Reasons Your Fridge Might Drip Water On The Inside

While a blocked defrost drain is the most common reason for water dripping inside your fridge, it certainly is not the only one. Here is a list of several other possible reasons for your fridge issue in case a blocked defrost drain isn’t the problem.

Your Refrigerator Is Tilted Wrong

While it may appear as though your fridge rests perfectly level to the ground, it is actually resting at a slight angle. Refrigerators, believe it or not, are designed to stand at a slightly tilted angle. The reason for this is to allow for a smooth flow of refrigerator coolant to flow within the machine.

If you recently moved the location of your fridge, or had to adjust it and are now noticing water is dripping inside your fridge, the tilt might be off. The proper tilt involves the back legs of the fridge being between .25 and .5 inches lower than the front. You can check the tile using a level.

If the tilt is the issue you should have no issue fixing this on your own. The front and back legs of your fridge should be adjustable. You may just want to call a friend over to help you with some of the maneuverings as you twist and adjust the feet of the fridge to correct the tilt.

You’re Fridge Is Not Closing Properly

Another issue that can cause unwanted dripper precipitation in your fridge is if your fridge door is not closing properly. This problem is more often found in older fridges whose doors do not close as tightly as they once did.

If there is a small gap in a refrigerator door, or if it does not shut tightly, moisture and warmth get into the fridge. If you live in a humid area, your fridge will collect moisture and begin to drip. This can cause all sorts of problems, and will overwork your fridge (and likely raise your electric bill).

Always make sure your refrigerator door closes properly. When the fridge is in the closed position, inspect the entire door area to make sure there are no vulnerable areas around the door. If the problem persists, it may be time to upgrade to a new fridge.

A Faulty Ice Maker Or Water Supply Line

A faulty ice maker or hardware connected to the ice maker, can also be the cause of your leaky water problem. While automatic ice makers can be a real game changer and quite convenient, they can also cause a few headaches when things go wrong.

If you have an ice maker and/or a water filter system in your fridge, this means you have additional parts inside your fridge. You not only have a fridge plugged into a power supply, but it is also connected to your water line. When the hoses and connections run smoothly, this allows your fridge to take water from the supply line and turn it into filtered water in the front of your fridge, and ice in your freezer. Unfortunately, over time, some of these mechanisms that make this magic happen can fail.

Your water supply lines can get blocked, damaged, or (most commonly) can freeze. In order to find out if the water supply line is the reason for your leak you need to first unplug the fridge, and then pull it away from the wall. Locate the water supply line (it is usually a plastic or braided material tube) behind the fridge (you might need a screwdriver to open to the back of the fridge to view this). Inspect the line.

If you see an issue with the connections or signs of a leak, you likely need to tighten the connections. If the supply line is damaged due to a frozen water line, you might need to replace a portion or the entire water supply line.

DIY Versus Calling A Professional

If you discover water dripping in your fridge, one of your first thoughts is most likely “how much is this going to cost me?” It is true that some refrigerator repairs can be quite costly. Sometimes they cost so much that it is easier and cheaper to just invest in a new fridge altogether. When it comes to cost, the major variable is whether or not you can fix the problem yourself, or if you need to call in a professional.

As you may have gathered, some of the potential causes for the water leak in your fridge are rather simple. They are also often easy to fix. The improper tilt is a great example. You can use a level and a little bit of manpower. Some simple adjustments and your fridge should be working perfectly.

Check Your Warranty

Before you reach for your wallet, there is some fine print you should read. If you have a fairly new refrigerator, there is a good chance it may be under warranty through the manufacturer or store you purchased it from. Check your warranty, or call the store you purchased it from.

Your fridge might also have coverage through your home warranty. Check your home insurance policies and see if your fridge is eligible for some insurance compensation. Call your insurer if you have any questions. You might still have to pay after all your research. Still, it is worth your effort, just in case.

Wrapping Up Why There Is Dripping Water In Your Fridge

There are many reasons why your fridge is dripping water on the inside. One of the most common reasons for dripping water is an issue with the drain pipe. Ice makers, defrost drains, an incorrect tilt, and even a door left slightly ajar can cause your fridge to drip water. Some of these problems are easy fixes and some might require the help of a professional. Before you shell out the money to fix the problem, however, check and see if your fridge is under warranty.

Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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