Refrigerator Leaking Water

If your refrigerator is leaking water, it may be due to a problem that you can easily fix. Find out how to identify the problem and how to protect your wallet in case professional maintenance is required.
A leaky refrigerator can be more of a nuisance; it can actually be a safety hazard if it makes the kitchen floor slippery. To avoid accidents and possible structural damage to your home, be sure to investigate any puddles of water around the refrigerator.

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Here are some of the most common causes of refrigerator leaks, how to check them, and how to fix them.

The useful life of a refrigerator is about 13 years. If you are concerned that your aging refrigerator is about to cause a leak, you can save a great deal of money and time by investing in a home warranty. These service agreements will cover the costs of repairs and even replacements for covered systems and appliances that wear out over time. Refrigerators are expensive to repair and replace, so look for a home warranty that covers damage to these vital devices.

Here are our top three tips for home warranty companies, all of which offer refrigerator coverage:

American Home Shield: the best of all
Choice Home guarantee: the best service
Amazon Home Guarantee: Best Add-ons
What causes my refrigerator to leak?
There are some common problems that can cause refrigerator leaks to start. Fortunately, there are also some solutions that you can try yourself before calling in a contractor.

Wrong incline
Believe it or not, your refrigerator should not be level with the floor. It actually requires a slight backward tilt to keep the coolant running and, in some cases, to automatically close the door. The back of the refrigerator should be approximately ¼ “to ½” closer to the floor than the front.

If you recently moved your refrigerator or completed renovations, the unit may be tilted incorrectly or too close to level to drain properly. You can check this quite easily with a spirit level placed on top of the refrigerator, perpendicular to the doors. If the angle is out of line, follow these steps to correct it.

Remove the grille or protective plate from the lower front of the refrigerator.
Locate the two front legs.
Use a wrench to increase (by turning counterclockwise) or decrease (by turning clockwise) the leg length. Don’t remove your legs.
Compare your work to the spirit level until you get the correct angle.
However, remember that your refrigerator should be level side to side, with the spirit level parallel to the doors. If not, you will need to adjust the rear legs. They can be lengthened or shortened in the same way as the front legs, but you must first remove the refrigerator from the wall.

Damaged drain pan
A refrigerator has a natural leakage of water, but it must collect in a pot under the refrigerator, where it can safely evaporate without wetting the floor. While it is unusual for this pan to develop holes or cracks, this may be one of the causes of a water leak. Here’s how to check and fix this problem.

Remove the grille or protective plate from the lower front of the refrigerator.
Find the large, flat skillet that rests in the bottom of the refrigerator.
Carefully remove the pan (remembering that it may contain water) and inspect it for damage.
If the tray is damaged, take it to the hardware store to purchase an identical one, or visit the manufacturer’s website to find a replacement.
While the pot may hold water from a normal defrost cycle, it should not be more than one-third full. If so, you may have one of the following issues contributing to the problem.

Defrost drain blocked
Inside the freezer compartment, along the bottom rear wall, there is an opening that allows moist air to escape. If this drain becomes blocked, either by a pile of items in the freezer or by debris blocking the line, the refrigerator condenser coils will have to work overtime and begin to leak water. Here’s how to check and fix this problem.

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