Why is My Refrigerator Filling with Water?

May 15, 2023

As home appliance repair technicians in Southern Colorado, we have seen our fair share of refrigerators filling with water. This may seem like a minor – but messy – inconvenience at first, but not addressing the underlying issue can lead to significant problems, including damage to your flooring.

This blog post will explain the three most common reasons why your refrigerator fills with water and provide solutions to fix the issue.

Water Filter Issues

A common reason for a refrigerator filling with water is an issue with the water filter. The filter screens out contaminants from your home water supply before it reaches the dispenser or ice maker. If the filter is the source of your leak, you may find water leaking from the water dispenser or inside the filter housing.

If you suspect this is the issue, ensure that the filter is not clogged, old, or damaged and that the filter is sitting in the housing correctly (and is the right filter for your refrigerator!).

Leaky Water Line

Your refrigerator’s water line is a thin, flexible hose that connects to your home water supply, providing water for the refrigerator as needed. If you see water pooling front of your refrigerator door, you may have a loose or damaged tube.

Inspecting the water line requires that you first remove the kick plate from below the refrigerator. Ensure the tubing fits snugly in the water inlet valve. If you notice that the tubing has puncture marks, holes, or tears (which often happens when mice or other vermin are making their homes behind your refrigerator), you should replace the tubing as soon as possible.

refrigerator filling with water

Clogged or Frozen Drain

A drain that is clogged with debris or is frozen is another common reason for a refrigerator filling with water, since there is nowhere for the water to go.

The solution to a clogged or frozen drain is removing debris or ice from the drain hole. The simplest way is to use a pipe cleaner, straw cleaner, or another small brush. Simply insert the pipe cleaner or brush into the drain hole and gently remove the debris. Once the drain is clear, flush the drain with a combination of vinegar and warm water (we find a turkey baster to be a very effective tool for this task).

Related: Discover the Ideal Refrigerator Temperature to Keep Your Food Fresh

Damaged Defrost Pan

A damaged defrost pan is another reason your refrigerator may be filling with water. The defrost pan is under the refrigerator and collects the water produced during the defrost cycle. If the defrost pan is cracked or damaged, the water will leak out and collect in the bottom of the fridge.

If you suspect that your defrost pan is damaged, the answer is to replace the pan. To do this, first remove the front grill of the fridge and locate the defrost pan. Once found, remove the old pan and insert the new one. Be sure to clean out any water in the bottom of the fridge before installing the new pan.

Faulty Water Inlet Valve

A faulty water inlet valve can also be the cause of your refrigerator filling with water. This inlet valve controls the flow of water into the fridge, so if it is not working correctly, water may leak into the fridge and collect in the bottom.

The only repair option available if you have a broken water inlet valve is replacement. Start by turning off the water supply to the fridge. Then locate the valve (usually at the back of the fridge). Remove the old water inlet valve and install the new valve, then turn the water supply back on.

Don’t Let Your Refrigerator Filling with Water Fill You with Dread

Besides the mess, a refrigerator filling with water can indicate a more significant problem.

If you need professional assistance, contact Reliable Appliance Repair for trusted, affordable refrigerator repair.

We will ask a few questions before scheduling your repair – for which you now know the answer – and you and your fridge can get back on speaking terms with your temper(atures) in check.