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The Leak Under My Refridgerator

Updated on March 4, 2011

A few months ago, my refrigerator started to leak occasionally from underneath. So far, I have been able to get by putting dry rags underneath to absorb the small puddles. At least they are visible near the front. It would have been a disaster if water accumulated under the refrigerator and destroyed the floor. I have wood laminate in the kitchen but underneath are some other layers of protection which includes a plastic sheet, a thin foam padding, and the original vinyl floor. The worst that could happen is that the laminate floor would be destroyed.

I tried researching how to troubleshoot the leak. The refrigerator manual only mentions the integrity of the seal. It was good. There is a switch in the refrigerator for keeping moisture out between the refrigerator doors but even when it was on, the leak continues. The only good thing about the manual was that it located the drip pan for me. In many troubleshooting instructions on the 'net, the examples used refrigerators with the drip pan underneath. The pan in my refrigerator was in the lower back. I wasn't ready to pull the refrigerator out yet with all the food still inside.

I could not tell what was going underneath by using a flashlight. There were too many things in the way and even tilting the refrigerator proved to be very difficult. The refrigerator is a top freezer type with around 25 cubic feet of space. I emptied the freezer only and wasn't ready to empty out the refrigerator yet. I needed an entire day to do this and perform a full diagnostic on the identifying the leak. If finally tilted the refrigerator slightly and put two 2 x 2 pieces of wood at the front to hold the tilt. I still could not see the leak but it was nasty with mold and dust. I had to clean up the areas I could reach. It took a while because the mold slime stuck to the floor.

You do not see this type of filth in home improvement shows on TV. Every project on a old home seems to be clean. I understand the focus of the video instruction but they could at least acknowledge that there will be dust, dirt, or some type of mess that will be in the way. I don't know if there is a word for a combined dust, dirt, mold, slime, dead bugs, mouse feces mixture. But it exists.

Dry paper towels were placed underneath so that I can pinpoint the area where the leak was coming from. The refrigerator would not leak. Later, I started to use the ice maker inside the freezer. I started to notice the leak again.

For the time being, I will not use the icemaker. I can still fill water in ice cube trays to produce ice the old fashioned way. A considerable amount of time will be needed to remove the food, clean the nasty area beneath and behind the fridge, and check the water and drain lines in the back.

If there are no leaks coming from the back, I will have to tilt the refrigerator and troubleshoot leaks underneath. The waterline going to the refrigerator does not have a shut off valve. To do this right, I would have to shut off the water main for the whole house.

Once I've looked at the problem underneath and if there is a leak to be fixed, I will have to test the refrigerator upright. I know it will cost alot of money to have someone do this so I will just deal with the work.


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      Jessica 6 years ago

      Wow! Best of luck with the cleaning. The problem you're having is actually pretty common problem and probably an easy fix! You don't mention your model number in your post, but if you know it and can let me know I can probably be a bit more helpful.

      In the meantime, you can use the Virtual Repairman at to help diagnose your issue, and read comment from others who have had similar problems. Hopefully you'll find the solution you're looking for and it won't cost you the big bucks.