Whirlpool is well known for making robust and reliable fridges that users praise for their excellent work. Despite the generally favorable reviews, they do sometimes run into issues. And one issue, in particular, that recurs is that the fridge will start to leak water.
Needless to say, this is cause for alarm, and you no doubt want to get this problem fixed as soon as possible before your entire kitchen gets flooded.
If this is happening to you, don’t worry, you’re in the right place!
In this article, we’re going to share all the common reasons why leaks in Whirlpool fridges occur and how you can fix them quickly.
Why is your Whirlpool Refridgerator Leaking Water?
A single water line will travel from your home to the fridge; from here, the water will be distributed around the refrigerator to both cool it and supply the ice maker.
By tracing the path the water takes around the fridge and identifying each potential point of failure, we can pinpoint the source of the leak and then take the necessary steps to fix. Let’s start by taking a look at where these water leaks occur.
1. Compromised Water Line
The water line is the tube that connects your home’s water supply to the fridge. It is one of the most common leaking points on a refrigerator due to its relatively poor plastic housing that can quickly become damaged.
If the leak is coming from the backside of the fridge, it’s a good indication the water line is at fault.
The connection point to the fridge is the first thing you will need to check; this is the point at which it will usually fail as the fitting that keeps it watertight becomes loose or may break. It will need to be tightened or repaired accordingly.
But there may also be a problem with the drain line itself; inspect it visually to see if it is kinked anywhere, which may have caused a crack or hole to form.
2. The Water Filter is Leaking
The water filter, as the name might suggest, is responsible for filtering the water before it gets taken through the machine. This ensures no debris or particulate can make it into the drinking water or ice cubes.
Over time these filters can become so clogged up they will cause water to back up and leak from the fridge, which might need to be replaced. However, it can also be caused by a damaged filter installed incorrectly or the wrong filter doesn’t fit in the allocated slot well may have been used.
3. The Defrost Drain is Clogged
Fridges with an auto defrost function will use a defrost drain tube to carry water created during the defrost cycle down to a drain pan located at the bottom of the fridge.
If you notice water tends to pool in front of the fridge once or twice a day, it’s usually because it coincides with the defrost cycles and means the defrost drain tube is clogged up.
4. Damaged Drain Pan
The drain pan collects water produced during the defrost cycle, which is then evaporated by the condenser fan. Sometimes this drain pan can get knocked or damaged, causing it not to be level with the floor, so as it fills up, it will spill water.
5. The Water Inlet Valve has Failed
The water inlet valve controls the flow of water to the fridge by opening and closing based on instructions from other components that call for more water.
If the valve fails, becomes cracked, or any of its fitting work is loose, it will leak water inside the fridge, then drop down to the floor.
Often if the inlet valve is faulty, it will simply need to be replaced with a new one.
6. The Door Gas isn’t Working
The door gasket is a plastic seal that sits around the edge of the fridge and freezer doors and creates an air-tight seal so the compressor can manage the internal temperature.
If this gasket fails and develops a crack or hole, it will no longer create a seal, which in turn causes warm air to enter the fridge, which then condensates and forms water.
How to fix a Whirlpool Refrigerator Leaking Water
Now that we’ve identified the most common failure points within a fridge, you should be able to perform an inspection and see where the leak is coming from.
We can now cover how to fix each failure point so you can stop the leak and get your fridge back in working order as quickly and efficiently as possible.
1. Fix the Water Line
The most common spot for the water line to start leaking is at its connection point to the fridge. The fitting that attaches it may have just come loose, so you can easily retighten it.
However, if it’s cracked or physically damaged, the fitting will need to be replaced with a new one.
If the connection point looks fine, and you’ve identified a crack or hole somewhere down the line, you can then try to carefully straighten it out and use a plumber’s tape to seal the breach temporarily.
The water pressure used in this line is very low, and it’s a small enough crack, this will plug it long enough to source a replacement water line. Don’t leave it like this forever, it’s just a temporary solution that needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
2. Replace the Water Filter
If the water filter is leaking or has become blocked, causing water to back up into the fridge, you can try to clean it out, which may allow the water to pass through again. But if the filter has become damaged or the wrong filter type has been used, it will need to be replaced with a new one.
Always use an original equipment manufacturer filter, not a generic one, as it may not fit into the filter housing properly, causing more leaks. An OEM filter will always fit perfectly in its place and create a watertight seal.
3. Unclog the Defrost Drain
If the defrost, the drain has become blocked, each time the defrost cycle starts, you may notice pools of water forming at the base of the fridge because the water cannot drain into the pan properly.
The blockages in the defrost drain pipe are caused by excessive ice forming, which restricts the water flow. We can easily fix this ourselves with no special equipment.
The first thing to do is consult your user manual to ascertain the location of the defrost drain pipe and how to disconnect it from your fridge.
Then you pour some hot water to melt the ice; something like a turkey baster or large pipette works great for this as you can directly pipe the hot water through the line. This will melt the blockage and restore the water flow through the fridge.
4. Fix the Leaking Drain Pan
When the drain pan leaks, it usually means it’s not sitting flush with the floor, which causes the water to spill out. Sometimes this may be because the fridge isn’t level, so you might be able to adjust one of the feet to level the fridge out.
But most of the time, it’s because the pan is damaged in some way; it may have warped or cracked, in which case the only solution is to replace it with a working one.
5. Replace the Water Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve is commonly located on the back of the fridge near the bottom. You should test this valve with a multimeter to check it’s working. If it’s not working, it will simply need to be replaced with a new one. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to do if you’re not trained, so we recommend contacting Whirlpool customer support, who will help you source a replacement valve and install it.
6. Check and Replace the Door Gasket
Inspect the door gasket for damage, cracks, discoloration, or mold.
If you locate damage on the door gasket, it may be causing warm air to enter the fridge or freezer, which can cause excess moisture to form, which may cause a leak. In this case, the gasket will need to be replaced with a new one.