Refrigerator Leaking Water

Do you have a refrigerator leaking water? In this article we will discuss how refrigerators with the freezer on the top can have water leaking inside the refrigerator in the fresh food section. Water dripping into the fresh food section starts off as a minor problem but can wind up being a very expensive problem even to the point of destroying the refrigerators ability to refrigerate properly.

Water leaking inside the refrigerator happens when the drain under the evaporator located in the freezer becomes restricted. When a frost free refrigerator goes into defrost, the defrost heater below the evaporator gets hot. When it does the frost that has accumulated on the evaporator during the cooling cycle melts and drips into a trough usually made of aluminum. This trough or channel is attached to a hose that runs to the refrigerator base. The water is allowed to accumulate in the base of the refrigerator near the compressor or sometimes on a pan actually on top of the compressor so it can evaporate.

If the drain hose attached to the trough becomes restricted in anyway, the water cannot flow to the base of the refrigerator. When this happens the water accumulates and freezes during the next cooling cycle. The next time the refrigerator goes into the defrost cycle the water will run over the trough and leak into the fresh food section on your top shelf and beer. If this is not corrected, the water will start to spread around and actually get into the styrofoam that is located below the freezer floor above the ceiling of the fresh food section. If the styrofoam get saturated with water, then it will freeze and start to swell up. When that happens the airflow channels that normally control the air for the refrigerator cooling section become blocked or distorted. If you continue to ignore the water dripping in your refrigerator fresh food section and do not clean the defrost drain line, you will inevitably have a refrigeration problem.

As soon as you notice water dripping from the ceiling of fresh food section it needs to be corrected. That is done by unplugging the refrigerator and removing the cover to expose the evaporator in the freezer. Be very careful! Evaporators are made of aluminum and are very delicate. If you poke a hole in the evaporator then you're buying a new refrigerator!

Once you gain access to the evaporator you will notice ice underneath it. It is best to let this ice defrost naturally by leaving the refrigerator unplugged with the doors open for 24 hours. You could always use some sort of heat source like a hairdryer, but you run the risk of damaging the refrigerator plastic parts. It is best for the inexperienced person to let the refrigerator thaw out naturally.

Once the refrigerator is completely thawed out you can remove the obstruction from the trough under the evaporator. Then take a plastic catchup bottle with a nozzle on it like the ones that are refillable at restaurants and fill it with warm water. Take that warm water and gently flush out the drain hose that runs to the base of the refrigerator. Once the drain is flowing free you can put the refrigerator back together.

How does the drain get restricted? This is a common problem for folks that keep their bread in the freezer. Instead of removing the loaf of bread from the freezer and taking out a slice or two, they often open the bag in the freezer spilling crumbs. The crumbs get sucked up by the natural flow of the air to the evaporator and wind up in the drain. This refrigerator breadcrumb issue is only an example. Anything that spills in your freezer could eventually wind up restricting the drain.