Do you hear the sound of water dripping inside your fridge? Typically, when you open your refrigerator door to investigate the issue, you constantly notice scattered and small puddles of water. In most cases, the freezer stands behind this water leak.
Moreover, a malfunctioning ice maker may contribute to the leak issue. But if your fridge does not have this device, it is all in the freezer.
The problem of a freezer leaking into a fridge is easy to detect and, in some cases, simple to fix. In many cases, deep cleaning of the freezer can remove the clogging that causes the leaks. In other cases, however, professional intervention is required to fix the problem.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the causes and possible fixes for this issue. So, keep reading for proper insight and useful solutions!
Why is Your Freezer Leaking Into The Fridge?
Unfortunately, freezer leaks are associated with various causes. Sometimes, there is a problem with the defrost system. Also, there might be an incorrect temperature setting leading to the leak.
You will often notice that water leaking from the freezer is associated with decreased cooling performance. This indicates that the appliance requires proper defrosting.
Without further ado, let’s delve into the possible causes and their suitable troubleshooting methods:
1. Inspect the Drain Pipe
Inside the freezer of your refrigerator, there is an ongoing condensation process. This means the water vapor from everything you keep in the freezer will condense and become water. This newly formed liquid reaches the freezer’s drain pipe and evaporates.
The water won’t leave the refrigerator if the defrost drain pipe is clogged. Moreover, it will remain stuck inside the freezer and eventually turn into ice. In many other cases, the water will leak back into the refrigerator instead of becoming ice buildup.
2. Check the Seals
For a refrigerator and freezer to provide ideal cooling, their seals should be in the best condition. Generally, the freezer door seals keep hot air from getting inside the cooling appliance. Over time, these seals will wear and get damaged. Also, sticking debris inside the seals will weaken their efficiency.
Weak seals make the cooling temperature lower than needed. This leads to the presence of water inside the freezer. Then the water will find its way to the refrigerator.
3. Inspect the Ice Maker
Some freezers have a built-in ice maker similar to the Whirlpool Ice Makers. These ice makers contain an inlet valve that lets in water whenever the ice maker has a room that needs to be filled. Typically, the valve closes once this mission is accomplished. However, if this valve malfunctions, the excess water will leak into the fridge.
4. Clogged Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils play a role in cooling the air circulating in the fridge. These coils contain refrigerant that eliminates the heat of the flowing air. These coils also include a defrost heater that prevents ice accumulation. If this heater malfunctions, there will be buildup clogging the coils.
5. There is Ice Buildup in the Fridge
If all these above-discussed culprits are not guilty, then there must be a problem with the defrosting function inside the fridge. The majority of fridges are equipped with a defrost function. But if yours does not have it, you can manually perform it.
6. Monitor the Freezer’s Temp
This type of monitoring does not require you to stay in front of an open freezer all day. You can test the stability of the freezer’s temperature by filling a small plastic cup with warm water and letting it freeze. Then, put a coin on its top surface and let t stay there overnight.
The next day, check whether the coin remains on the surface or has fallen to the bottom of the cup.
If it remains on top, then the temperature is stable. If you find the coin in the bottom, the temperature is unstable, and the freezer melts and freezes again. This problem will lead to leaking water into the fridge and the expiration of frozen food items.
How to Fix a Freezer Leaking Into the Fridge?
An ongoing freezer leak will affect the lifespan of this appliance. Also, it will affect the machine’s safety as it might lead to electrical shocks. Moreover, the cooling efficiency will be negatively affected. So, leaking from the freezer is not something you can tolerate.
You can quickly fix this problem if you correctly diagnose the main culprit. Some of the causes can be fixed with some basic maintenance steps. However, other issues might be complex and require professional intervention.
1. Unclog the Pipe
Luckily, this is one of the easiest causes to address when your freezer leaks into the refrigerator. You will need to locate the pipe using your appliance manual accurately. Then bring a turkey baster and fill it with warm or hot water. Then remove any debris clogging the drain hole.
As you squirt the water down the hole, you will ensure clearance of the pipe path. Remember that all these procedures must be done when the fridge is unplugged.
2. Replace the Faulty Seals
Damaged door seals of your freezer will lead to a sudden temperature shift. This will affect the quality of frozen food items and cause a leaky refrigerator. You can recognize torn seals by their appearance. Also, you can insert a paper bill, close the freezer door, and try to pull it.
If you remove the banknote easily, the seals are no longer in shape and need replacing. If not, you should look for another cause for the leak.
If there is stuck debris or food particles in the seals of the external doors, try cleaning them first. You can use a soft brush to remove these stuck particles. This solution can be helpful if there are no defective door seals.
3. Change the Defective Inlet Valve
A bad inlet valve will not stop excess water from leaking into the refrigerator. This valve may become clogged or torn. In this event, you will no longer find ice cubes formed inside the ice maker bucket. Getting a replacement valve won’t cost you a fortune, but replacing it is not easy. In this case, consider calling a professional service.
4. Unclog the Coils
If the evaporator coils are plugged with ice buildup, you should replace the defrost heater. But before doing this step, you will want to unclog them. Make sure you’ve correctly located them in the back of the freezer. You can use a hairdryer if it is present at home.
Ensure its temperature is manageable to avoid damaging the coils and the whole fridge. Also, distribute the heat all over the coils to prevent accidental damage.
5. Defrost the Whole Fridge
Modern fridges have a defrost thermostat and heater that prevent ice buildup from blocking vital cooling components. If the appliance does not have this system, you can easily defrost it. It just requires more time than you want.
All it takes is unplugging the fridge overnight to allow the frost to melt. If it is summer and you are surrounded by hot air and high humidity, you can use your hair dryer to speed things up.
6. Replace the Control Thermostat
The leading cause of an unstable freezer temperature is the thermostat. Unfortunately, defective thermostats do not have a fix. They should be replaced. Replacement thermostats are costly. You can find ranges of $100 – $440 Thermostat replacements. This range depends on the brand and model of your refrigerator.