Puddles of water seeping out from under your faithful refrigerator can strike panic in any busy chef or head of an active family. When the refrigerator is leaking water, it could be due to a few things. Ice buildup is one issue that can cause a fridge to leak. There are several quick fixes to resolve ice buildup.
Refrigerator Coils Covered in Frost
A dusting of frost on the appliance's evaporator coils is a sign that the refrigerator has an issue. Addressing it sooner than later can keep the appliance in good working order and save you time and money in the long run.
The defrost heater removes frost before it has a chance to collect on the evaporator coils by turning on several times a day. A refrigerator evaporator coil that is partially frosted can mean that the defrost thermostat isn't working properly. The defrost thermostat senses that the evaporator coils are at the right temperature for the defrost heater to turn on, about 30 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
Check the defrost heater and thermostat for continuity with a multimeter. If it shows that either has no continuity, then those will need to be replaced, according to Repair Clinic.
Refrigerator Leaking Water
Small puddles forming under the fridge is a fairly common issue, according to CNET. Look for the source in two places that are typically the culprit behind the coils dripping water.
A defrost drain blocked by ice, bits of food remnants or other organic matter in the drain hose can cause ice to build in the appliance. A clogged drain will let itself be known by seeping water from the fridge or wetness beneath the appliance. Flush the drain with warm water using a small funnel or baster to get into the small area.
A frozen or clogged supply line can also cause water to collect underneath the refrigerator and possibly affect the quality and thickness of the ice being formed in the ice maker trays. Shut off the valve that delivers water to the lines and unplug the refrigerator. Inspect the lines for kinks, breaks or clogs and replace if necessary. If you find ice in the refrigerator's water lines, then leave it unplugged until the ice melts or about two hours.
Ice in the Fridge
Ice buildup in the refrigerator compartment can mean that there is a problem with the door seal or hinges. Check the door gasket for tears, wear or age. If the door gasket doesn't fit snugly to the main frame of the refrigerator, then it will allow the outside air to pass into the fridge. Removing the door gasket and replacing it can fix this issue.
The door hinges can also add to the issue if they are not attached properly or have shaken loose from a lot of rough activity. Use a screwdriver to tighten the hinges. Check that they are aligned with the main section of the door and frame and allow the door to shut properly.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.