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  • Jun 24, 2021
  • By FPL Home

Your grandmother may not have found it odd that water leaked from her refrigerator, but with today’s modern appliances, a refrigerator that leaks is a sure sign that something is awry. However, even with the advancements in refrigeration technology, leaking water is one of the most common issues that affect the major appliance.

There are several possibilities to why your refrigerator is leaking water. If a puddle appears at the base of the refrigerator, don’t panic. It might not be a complex problem for a DIYer to fix.

Reasons Your Refrigerator Is Leaking Water

Poor Seal

You should feel a bit of resistance when opening the refrigerator door. If not, then the seal around the door isn’t doing its job. The gasket that surrounds the refrigerator door should create a seal that is so tight that air can’t penetrate.  A seal that is strong enough to keep air out, provides a boundary for the cool air inside and prohibits warm kitchen air from entering.

A poor seal may keep the door from closing completely. The small opening may go unnoticed, that is until water begins leaking from the refrigerator. This causes the refrigerator to work much harder at cooling the food inside. The refrigerator never stops running.  An overworking refrigerator drives up energy costs and builds condensation on the refrigerator coils, thus the continuous pool of water on the floor.

Dirt that’s gathered along the elastic-like rubber seal could cause the door to lose sealing power. Cleaning the gasket with a gentle detergent will remove sticky debris, which will allow the door to seal properly. If a good cleaning doesn’t fully address the problem, then the gasket may have become worn due to wear and tear. The seal will need to be replaced.

Faulty Condenser Fan Motor

The condenser fan motor is essential to a frost-free refrigerator. The fan is responsible for cooling. It circulates cool air through the refrigerator’s condenser coils. This assists in cooling the compressor and also the coils where refrigerant is housed. Assisting with the evaporation of water in the drain pan is a secondary purpose. Water doesn’t evaporate from the drain pain when the process breaks down. The pan will continue to fill with water if the condenser fan motor is broken. Addressing the problem involves removing the back cover of the refrigerator’s motor compartment to expose the fan. This is not a job for a novice. Call in a professional technician.

Drain Pan

Back in the day your grandmother’s old fashioned refrigerator had to be manually defrosted. Today’s models are designed with an automatic defrost cycle. The drain pan beneath the refrigerator catches water that constantly drains. The water should evaporate as warm air from the condenser blows over it.

If the defrost function on the appliance fails, then water could gather on the inside or on the floor beneath an overflowing drain pan.

Additionally, a broken drain pan; one that is cracked or has holes in it will leak water from the refrigerator. Replacing the drain pan should fix the problem. However, if the drain pan is intact and without damage, then it may just have been out of position.

Water Filter

Water filters are installed in refrigerators that dispense water. The manufacturer’s warranty provides information on how often the filter should be replaced. Most need to be replaced every six or seven months or so. A firm connection between the filter and water supply line, will help to ensure that leaks won’t occur. A water filter that’s not appropriate for the unit, or one that is damaged can cause leaks to form. See your refrigerator’s manufacturer’s warranty to determine the correct model, size, as well as installation instructions for the water filter.

A home warranty plan offered by FPL Home* can help to protect your appliances from failure due to normal wear and tear. Contact 844-965-1133 for more information on the benefits of a home warranty plan.

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* FPL Home is an unregulated subsidiary of Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). The home warranty plans are offered and administered by FPL Home, Florida license #E099597, and not FPL, and are provided by Lyndon Southern Insurance Company (FL Lic. No.: FL-03698).  The home warranty plans are service plans and not warranties. Please refer to the full home warranty plan provisions for complete information including details of benefits, coverage, specific exclusions, arbitration provisions, class action waivers, conditions and limitations.

** Appliances Warranty Plus and Home Warranty Plus are brand names of the service plans and are not warranties.