Tips on How to Drain Your Refrigerator

24th Dec 2020

Shut Off the Electrical Supply

Before carrying out any repair work to an electrical appliance, it is essential to shut off the power first. Your refrigerator will contain a capacitor which stores electrical charge, so it is advisable to discharge this to avoid risk of serious shock.

Mop Up the Mess

The standing water will probably be under the refrigerator’s salad tray. If the water has been there a couple of days, it may cause an unpleasant smell. Take this opportunity to mop up any excess water and clean the fridge, so that you start the repair job with a clean surface.

Locate the Drain

The drain could be in the rear wall of the fridge under a filter. In which case, remove the filter and clean it, as it is probably blocked with debris too. If the drain is not in the rear wall, you will find it underneath the salad tray.

Mix Up a Solution

You could be forgiven for thinking that the "tools and materials" list looks more like a recipe than a do-it-yourself instruction. Mix up a solution of either bleach and water or baking soda and water. Using a turkey baster, force the solution down the drain, remembering to have a container ready to catch it when the liquid emerges from the other end! Squirt the solution with as much force as you can.

Try Flexible Tubing

If the solution has not cleared the blockage, the drainage problem needs more serious attention. Accordingly, the next step is to gently poke some ¼ inch flexible tubing down the drain, to force out whatever is causing the obstruction. Take care not to scratch the fridge while you are doing this. The obstruction should pop out of the fridge after this treatment.

Turn the Refrigerator Back On!

Don’t forget to turn the refrigerator back on afterwards, so that any food you are storing can be chilled back down to a suitable temperature as soon as possible.

Here's some tips on what to check before calling the experts.

Make Sure Your Fridge is Properly Sealed

One of the most common causes of a "leaking" fridge isn't a leak at all. It's the direct result of your fridge not sealing properly, and as a result running overtime to keep things cool. A fridge that runs excessively will build up extra condensation on the coils, which in turn can lead to the pool of water on the floor that's causing alarm. Check the rubber door seals on your fridge and freezer to make sure you're getting a proper seal. If you find a problem, wash the seals with warm water and soap and apply a thin film of lubricant (petroleum jelly works best). If this doesn't solve your problem, you may need to replace the gaskets. Also, check the adjustable legs on your fridge and make sure the fridge tilts a little to the rear. If it's leaning even a little bit forward, a proper door seal can be compromised.

Check the Drain Pan

Your leaking refrigerator may just have a cracked or damaged drain pan. Your fridge regularly drains water into this pan to prevent water pooling in the fridge itself. Evaporation takes care of the rest. Look underneath your fridge where the drain pan sits and pull it out for inspection. If it has a crack or is otherwise damaged, contact the appropriate retailer about getting a replacement as soon as possible.

Check the Defrost Drain

If your leaking refrigerator is draining inside as opposed to onto your floor, you're probably dealing with a clogged defrost drain. Your fridge is constantly producing condensation inside the freezer, and that condensation drips down the defrost drain into a drain pan underneath the unit. This defrost drain can become clogged with debris or, more often, it freezes shut. Look in your refrigerator manual to locate your defrost drain, and take the appropriate steps to unclog it (inundating your drain with warm water will often do the trick).

Check Your Ice Maker for Leaks

If none of these other quick fixes solve your problem, check your icemaker for leaks. It's a bit unusual, but sometimes the water line to the icemaker fails or comes loose, letting water into your freezer. Try tightening all connections, and if necessary, replacing the line that feeds the icemaker.

When In Doubt . . .

If after performing these basic inspections you can't find the source of your leak, or if you think you're getting in over your head, be sure to contact an appliance repairman immediately to come fix the problem. A leaking refrigerator is usually an indication of a bigger problem, and it needs to be dealt with. Finally, if you suspect your fridge is leaking refrigerant rather than water, call an appliance repairman immediately. Refrigerant is a toxic material and you need to address this issue as quickly as possible in order to avoid subsequent health risks to you and your family 

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