Troubleshooting a refrigerator problem is always important, but it is especially so if standing water is evident. Besides the annoyance factor, leaks potentially indicate a major problem. Standing water can ruin food and cause a mess, but it also poses a risk for electrical shock and threatens damage to your flooring, drywall and the surrounding wood cabinetry. You may be able to DIY some small issues, but others require the attention of a skilled service technician. Read on to learn the four most common causes of refrigerator leaks.
Problems with the Defrosting System
If water is pooling at the bottom of your refrigerator, one of the most likely causes is the defrosting system. The automatic defrosting system uses both a timer and heater to periodically melt the frost from the evaporator coil. When it works correctly, the melted frost drains into a tube, which leads to a pan under the refrigerator. However, the tube drain or the tube itself can become clogged, causing the water to back up and overflow. The result is standing water on your refrigerator shelves or beneath the produce compartments.
Whether ice or debris causes the blockage, it must be removed. Since this usually involves removing the panel that covers the evaporator, calling a professional repair technician is the logical course of action.
Problems with Heaters
Most modern refrigerators, made to be energy-efficient, have an energy-saver switch. When switched on, it turns off the heaters in your door that help to remove ambient humidity, which helps prevent condensation. Deactivating these heaters saves electricity, but it also lets the inside of your refrigerator sweat. The resulting condensation collects on the walls, runs down the sides of the refrigerator and pools at the bottom. A repair tech can determine whether the energy saver switch is the source of the problem.
Problems with the Cooling System
Your fridge’s freezer compartment stays extremely cold to keep items frozen indefinitely. If the cooling system develops a problem, the ice crystals that naturally form on frozen foods will melt, dripping water onto the bottom of the freezer area. This can drip through to the refrigerator compartment below, resulting in standing water. The three basic causes of a malfunctioning cooling system are dirty condenser coils, frost on the coils or a damaged compressor. You can clean condenser coils yourself with a brush or vacuum cleaner, but if the problem is due to frost or a bad compressor, it is time to call a repairperson.
Problems with the Ice Maker
If you have a problem with the water line that leads to the ice maker, you can end up with standing water. Seals and hoses can come loose and crack as they age. Hoses can also develop kinks. When they give way, the result may be leaking around the outside of your refrigerator. You can spot this by looking for moisture on the supply line that runs down the back of your refrigerator. A repairperson can replace hoses and seals to fix the problem.
Whatever your appliance problems, the skilled repair technicians at Complete Appliance Repair in Salt Lake City can help. Contact them for periodic maintenance and inspections, to keep your appliances working properly and to avoid unexpected problems. The next time you notice a leak or other problem with your refrigerator, contact Complete Appliance for help with troubleshooting.