Blocked Defrost Drain

Automatic defrost freezers defrost accumulated ice and drain it. Unfortunately, if food, ice, or debris clogs the drain line, the water cannot escape and cause a leak.

If the leak is coming from the lower front of the refrigerator or the freezer door, follow these steps:

Unplug the refrigerator.
Check your owner’s manual to find out where the exhaust pipe is. It may be necessary to remove the cover panel on the bottom of the refrigerator to access the drain hose.

refrigerator leaking water

Remove the lower end of the tube and place it in a bucket to collect the dripping liquid.
Remove the top of the hose to completely disconnect it from the refrigerator. Use warm water or a stiff piece of wire to clean the block.
Replace the drain hose and blanking panel and reconnect the refrigerator.
On some brands of refrigerators, the defrost drain runs along the back of the inside of the refrigerator rather than outside, causing water to collect under the cooler drawers at the bottom of the refrigerator. If this is the type of water leak you are seeing, it means that the defrost drain is on the back wall inside the freezer. Follow these steps to clear a defrost drain stuck in this position:

Unplug the refrigerator.
Remove the fruit and vegetable drawers to unclog the drain.
Insert a small plumber’s snake, pipe cleaner, or stiff wire to loosen the clog.
Fill a kitchen syringe or turkey dish with hot water and insert it into the drain to remove the clog. Clean up any material that has been flushed down the drain.
Replace the fruit and vegetable drawers and reconnect the refrigerator.
Check the drain pan to defrost
Refrigerators have drain trays where water collects as melted water is drawn off during the defrost cycle. If the leak is coming from under the front of the refrigerator or from the back of the appliance, the drain pan may be the culprit. Follow these steps to find out:

Remove the cover panel on the bottom of the refrigerator to access the defrost tray.
Check the tray for cracks, tears, or the wrong location.
If the tray is positioned incorrectly, adjust it. If it is damaged, replace it.
Check that the refrigerator is level with a carpenter’s level. If the appliance is not balanced, the water may spill over the edge of the drain pan before it evaporates.
Level a rickety refrigerator by using shims under one or more legs.
Check the ice maker and water dispenser
Refrigerators with ice machines and water dispensers can leak due to poor water connections. If the leak is coming from under the front of the refrigerator or the back of the appliance and it is determined that the drain pan is not the culprit, follow these steps:

Unplug the refrigerator.
Inspect the water supply line for cracks and the valve connections for leaks.
If your refrigerator has a water filter, inspect the case for cracks.
Tighten all connections if possible or replace damaged hoses, valves and housings.
Contact Mr. Rooter® Plumbing for Home Plumbing Repair
If a bad plumbing connection is the reason your refrigerator is leaking, Mr. Rooter Plumbing is here to help. We can help you check the tightness of the appliance and solve the problem. Your quick response can help prevent serious water damage to your home.

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