Why Does My Refrigerator Leak Water: Top 10 Causes and Fixing

Are you wondering why does my refrigerator leak water? Many people face the problem of leaks in their ice maker refrigerator, you know if there’s a leak in your ice maker and you leave it without fixing will damage your whole refrigerator, we advise you to fix that.

In this article, we’ll show why does my refrigerator leak water  Top 10 causes and fixing

Refrigerators should not leak water. It will not harm it, but it is frustrating. Most times, it is because the drain line is blocked somewhere. A frost-free refrigerator will automatically defrost once or twice a day.

The ice will melt off of the evaporator coils in the freezer, and the water flows down a drain line. If it is blocked somewhere, then gravity takes over, and it flows wherever is the easiest path to take. Usually, it ends out collecting under your crisper drawers and then onto the floor.

Why does my refrigerator leak water

Before start fixing the leaks

1) make sure the appliance is unplugged or the circuit breakers are off

so there’s no chance of electrocution.

2) make sure you turn off the water supply underneath the sink.

Why does my refrigerator leak water Top 10 Causes & Fixing

Cause1. A clogged or frozen defrost drain

it’s where the water drains out during the defrost cycle, the freezer drain is usually located in the rear of the freezer behind the back panel.

if the defrost drain is clogged with debris or frozen the water dripping off the evaporator coils will overflow the drain

trough drip into the bottom of the freezer compartment and potentially leak onto the kitchen floor.

if it’s frozen up or clogged then water won’t be able to drain this will cause water to build up and leak out the bottom of the door or if it’s a top-mount freezer it will leak into the fresh food section this may also cause the bottom of the freezer to ice up.


once you have access to the drain you want to:

1) inspect the drain.

2) make sure there’s no ice or food clogging it up.

3)  if it’s clogged you just need to remove the blockage.

5) thaw any ice buildup in the drain

5) if it’s iced up you’ll have to either leave the unit to unplug to defrost or pour hot water down the drain to clear.

6) flush the drain with hot water to clear any debris the water inlet valve controls.

Cause2. Damaged water inlet valve

the water inlet valve controls the water being supplied to the dispenser and the refrigerator’s icemaker if the inlet valve is damaged or the water supply line is not tightly secured to the valve. the assembly could leak.

1) check the water inlet valve.

It controls the water going into the refrigerator.

water inlet valves have solenoids that open and close to send water to the ice maker and dispenser.

they’re usually located at the back of the machine behind the access panel, but some can be found inside the fresh food section.

if you’re getting water leaking on the floor at the back of the machine or in the bottom of the fresh food section it could be that an o-ring or compression fitting where one of the water lines plugs in has failed or the body is cracked.


anytime you have leaked from a connection point wherever it is in the fridge you can:

1) remove and receipt the line to see if that fixes the problem.

if not then the o-ring or compression fitting is failed.

inside the water valve under each solenoid is a diaphragm if it’s damaged in any way

this could let water seep through.

 If it’s leaking through the icemaker solenoid it could cause the water to be pushed up the waterline either causing

the icemaker fill tube to freeze up or if it’s bad enough to drip inside the freeze

 if it’s leaking through the dispenser solenoid you’ll get water dripping from the dispenser in the door.

if you determine that the valve is failed in any of those ways you’ll have to replace the whole thing.

Cause3. Faulty water tank assembly

a faulty water tank assembly could cause a leak as well since glue won’t stick to the plastic components

the water tank holds water inside the fridge so you can have cold water from the dispenser.

The water tanks are either an actual reservoir or a long length of tubing coiled up to hold the water and keep it cool.

they’re usually located in the back of the fresh food section either behind an access panel or the back wall itself.

if it’s leaking you’ll usually get water on the bottom of the refrigerator.


once you have access to the tank:

1) inspect the tank for any leaks.

if you find any leaks:

2) replace the tank.

Cause4. Water filter

a leak could also be caused by the water filter being misaligned in its housing.

the water filter assembly filters the water as it comes into the fridge.

depending upon your design the water filter assembly is made up of:

  • a water filter
  • a water filter head
  • a water filter housing 

the assembly is usually located inside the fresh food section or down by the kick panel.


 if you notice water pooling underneath the assembly you’ll first:

1)  take out the filter and check for any cracks or damage that can be causing a leak.

2) check the o-rings on the end of the filter.

3) reinstall the filter and make sure it’s seated properly.

If it’s still leaking:

4) take the filter back out.

5) inspect the head or housing whichever you have to make sure it’s not cracked or damaged.

6) check to see if your lines are removable and try to reseat them.

Note: if you notice the filter or housing is damaged or still leaking you’ll need to change out the damaged part.

Cause5. Ice maker

there are several different styles of ice makers the most popular kinds are the Halfmoon style and the Flex tray-style they both work the same way they have a control section that controls the cycles of the ice maker and a tray where the ice is made.

ice makers can be located in several different places depending upon your style of refrigerator usually they’re mounted in the freezer but on some models, they can be located in the fresh food section.


if it’s leaking the first thing you want to do is:

1) check to make sure the fill tube is going into the ice maker.

2) check if the ice maker is mounted properly if it’s not mounted level the water will go to one end and overflow.

3) check are the tray’s plastic flex trays can crack causing a water leak out.

4) on the half-moon style ice makers the mold itself can crack or a road and let water through.

5) on some ice makers you can adjust the size of the cubes which actually turns the water off sooner.

If you have an adjustment screw:

  • take the cover off.
  • turn the screw clockwise to make the cubes smaller.
  • Only turn it in small increments at a time you may have to do it a couple times to see if it works.

Cause6. Ice maker fills tube.

1) inspect the icemaker fill tube water flows through it to get to the ice maker.

there are many different styles of icemaker fill tubes but they all work the same way it’s a simple tube that connects the water supply line to the ice maker to fill the cup.

it’s usually melted from the outside of the fridge goes through the back wall to the inside and sits in the

icemaker fill cup.

2)  if it’s cracked on the outside of the refrigerator water will run down the water supply line and onto the floor.

3) if it’s damaged on the inside water can leak underneath it causing ice to build up under the fill tube.


if the ice maker is damaged you’ll have to replace it.

Cause7. Drain pan.

1) check the drain pan to where the water from the defrost cycle clicks.

there are many different styles of drain pans they’re usually made out of plastic because they’re exposed to heat over time they can crack allowing water to leak out.

there usually located in the back of the refrigerator behind the access panel but can also be located in front behind the kick plate.


if you have water leaking from that area:

1) pull the pan out and inspect the drain pan for damage.

2) if the pan is damaged you’ll have to replace it.

Cause8. Water lines.

the water lines and connectors carry water throughout the refrigerator the water lines and connectors are all made out of plastic.

they usually come in quarter and 5/16 in sizes.

the connectors seal in a couple of different ways one style has orange inside and the other uses a compression fitting.

there are various water lines and connectors throughout the machine.


if you’re getting a leak in a certain area and you’ve already checked everything else you should:

1) look at the lines and connectors inspect all the lines for any holes or cracks where the water might be dripping.

2) inspect the connectors to make sure they’re not leaking.

3)  remove the line and try to reseat it.

if it doesn’t work you’ll have to replace the connector.

many times the lines are sold individually but if you just need to replace a short section you

can get a small piece of line in a couple of connectors and splice in a new piece.

Cause9. Control section.

if the control section has gone bad it could cause the ice maker not to dump the cubes.

the next time it goes to fill it overflows or up the contacts inside that turn the water on or failing it can leave the water on for too long and overflow.


depending upon the style you have you may be able to buy the ice maker parts individually otherwise you’ll have to replace the whole assembly.

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Cause10. Drain tube.

if you have one inspect the drain tube that goes from the cabinet to the evaporator pan.

• make sure it’s not clogged up.

once you have it cleared out you can put the fridge back together.