How to Repair Water Leaking Inside a Refrigerator

If you notice water on the floor in front of your refrigerator, or you have problems with water pooling under your crisper drawers, you may have a leak inside your refrigerator caused by a clogged drain hose. The drain hose takes water from your freezer compartment and carries it down to the drip pan beneath the refrigerator, and if that hose gets clogged or frozen over, the water will back up and leak inside the refrigerator. Fear not; repairing the leak is a simple task.

Hand holding screwdriver
credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

Step 1

Unplug the refrigerator from the wall socket. This is important, as you will be working at the back of and underneath the refrigerator.

Step 2

Access the back panel inside the freezer compartment by removing food, ice, and other items. You will notice approximately six Phillips head screws holding the panel to the refrigerator body.

Step 3

Remove the screws and unhook the ice maker, if available. The ice maker will be connected by plastic wiring connectors. Once you unhook the ice maker and remove the screws, you should be able to pull the back panel off and set it aside.

Step 4

Locate the evaporator coils -- these will look like a rigid accordion -- and find the drain hole underneath them. Sometimes this drain hole gets covered with ice and will prevent the flow of excess water through the drain hose. Use hot water to melt the ice covering the hole.

Step 5

Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and locate the drain hose running down the back of the refrigerator body. This hose will be white or clear, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter, and attached to a small elbow fitting that connects to the back of the freezer compartment. Unhook the hose from the elbow fitting and use a pipe cleaner or wire to clean any debris from the fitting.

Step 6

Follow the drain hose underneath the refrigerator, unhook it from its clamp, and place that end in a medium saucepan or bowl. Pour hot water through the hose to clear any clogs.

Step 7

Reconnect the drain hose, ice maker, and rear panel. Plug the refrigerator in.

Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson teaches writing at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University. He wrote Writing Across the Curriculum content for Western Michigan University's Best Practices site. Johnson graduated from Western Michigan University with a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in educational technology.