Refrigerator Maintenance and Leak Solutions

The kitchen is the epicenter of the home. Life buzzes in this room, so it’s important to make sure its appliances are in tip-top shape. And one thing is for sure… an unhappy refrigerator makes for an unhappy family!

If you spot water around your fridge, it can be tricky to diagnose.Hopefully it’s just a loose seal around the fridge, creating condensation that pools outside, but it could be something a little more mechanical. Here are a few suggestions for diagnosing the problem and preventing future leaks!

If you’ve decided that the sealing is not at fault, move to the drain pan below the fridge. Water collects here to prevent pooling, but if it is cracked, water will leak onto the floor. This is an easy part to replace. However, what if the opposite is happening? If you have water draining into the interior of the fridge, instead of the floor, you may have a clogged defrost drain. If this happens, the condensation from your freezer, which drips down the drain into the drain pan, may not be getting to the pan due to a debris blockage. Like many other appliances, the water inlet valve may be loose or cracked, so make sure to check this too. If your refrigerator has a water dispenser or ice maker, one of these may be leaking as well. The water dispenser will leak when someone fills a glass of water, so test the water dispenser’s tube, which is underneath the fridge, for cracks. Of course, safety first, so remember to always unplug the refrigerator before you do any handy work.

Don’t forget, prevention is the best medicine! Use these tips to prevent future leaks:

  • TIP #1: Check the gasket seal on your fridge by closing it on a dollar bill. If the bill falls out, or if you can remove it very easily with the door still shut, it’s time to replace the gasket.
  • TIP #2: Replace the fragile hose behind your refrigerator every 2-3 years, and make sure to use a sturdier braided hose as a replacement. You can also tape the hose to the back of the fridge to prevent it from getting kinked and cracking when sliding the fridge back in place.
  • TIP #3: Vacuum the cooling coils at the base of the fridge once a year to clean out the dust and debris that reduces the refrigerator’s efficiency.
  • Tip #4: Install a rigid pvc pipe to your hose. This is more durable than the flexible plastic tubing that often comes stock with your appliance. This can be a DIY project if you consider yourself handy, but your plumber should also be familiar with type of installation.
  • Tip #5: While you’ve taken every measure to prevent a leak, there’s no such thing as a leak proof refrigerator (yet!) That’s why it’s important to put a WallyHome water leak sensor at the base of the hosing behind the refrigerator to notify you the second a leak is detected. (Bonus: With Wally’s 10+ year battery life guarantee, you won’t be crawling behind your refrigerator every two years for battery replacements!)

We hope these tips help keep your fridge (and family) happy! Do you have any refrigerator scar stories or helpful tips? Share them in the comments below!