What Causes Water Accumulation in a Refrigerator?

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You may find one liquid you didn't expect inside your refrigerator.
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If you open your refrigerator to find puddles of water on the shelves, running down the walls, or accumulating in the lower vegetable drawers, then you obviously have some kind of problem. Odds are that water in refrigerator is nothing too serious, but it's a problem that causes a constant mess, and the water may even run out the front door of your appliance and cause damage to the floor in your kitchen. Make diagnosing the source of the accumulating water a top priority.

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Water accumulation in refrigerators may be a response to high humidity, a result of spills, a clogged drain tube or a water dispenser leak.

Clogged Drain Tube

If you're seeing puddles of water in the bottom of your refrigerator, it's likely that the problem is up above in your freezer. Under normal circumstances the defrosting system in your freezer will turn on a heater several times a day and melt off frost that accumulates on the evaporator coils.

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As the frost melts into water, the water is channeled into a drain tube that leads to a drain pan in the bottom of the refrigerator. There the water evaporates from heat. But if the drain in the freezer becomes clogged, the water will simply run over and wind up dripping into the refrigerator below. Eventually it makes its way to the bottom.

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You will have to clear the clogged drain. Most likely it's simply iced over. Pouring a little hot water into the drain will clear it out and solve the problem.

Water in Refrigerator From Sweating

Excessive sweating inside the fresh food compartments could cause water accumulation from the buildup of condensation inside refrigerators. If you notice the walls of the refrigerator getting wet, you may be putting wet fruit and vegetables inside these food compartments, or there may be an issue with the door gaskets. The rubber gaskets surrounding the door opening keep outside air from getting into the refrigerator when the door is closed.

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If the warmer air from outside is allowed to enter the cool refrigerator consistently, the resulting moisture inside refrigerators can cause condensation on the walls. This moisture eventually develops droplets and runs down the walls, pooling at the bottom of the unit. Replacing the worn gaskets is the only solution to this problem.

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Water Dispenser Leak

If your refrigerator has a water dispenser built into the door, then it's possible that accumulating water could result from a leak in the dispenser system. The water dispenser could have a bad hose connection, or the tubes that carry the water through the refrigerator for chilling could be leaking and dripping into the main compartment. This may be an obvious leak or one that requires taking the panels off the refrigerator to locate. If you can't see the problem yourself, consult a professional appliance repairman.

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Spill Inside Refrigerator

If you simply can't find a physical problem with your refrigerator and you still find water accumulating in the refrigerator, check the obvious. If you keep a container of bottled water, especially the large type with a spigot on the side, check to see if it's leaking.

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These water containers often have slow leaks if they aren't closed properly. Containers may also be damaged when you transport them from the store. A few drops here and there can lead to big puddles over time.

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