Solved! What to Do About a Leaky Refrigerator

Always running and used daily, your refrigerator is built to last. Even so, some easy mistakes can compromise its functions and cause a loss. If you notice water on your kitchen floor, read on for common causes and (most importantly) easy solutions.

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First, check if the refrigerator is level.
If you just bought your refrigerator, moved to a new home, or recently remodeled your kitchen floors, it is very likely that simply moving the appliance has caused a water leak. Now, a refrigerator should not be perfectly level; In fact, the front should be a quarter to a half inch taller than the rear; This slight front-to-back slope allows the refrigerant (the liquid responsible for cooling the appliance) to flow freely. When refrigerant cannot circulate easily, it could build up in the pipes and force the refrigerator to work harder than necessary to pump it; This creates additional condensation around the coils that could end up dripping water on the floor, which can make it look like your refrigerator is leaking.

Place a spirit level on the floor of the refrigerator (not a shelf, which can be uneven on its own) to confirm that it is even from side to side. Then rotate the level so that it slides front to back to verify that the equipment is slightly higher in the front.
Kitchen
Resolved! What to do about a leaky refrigerator
Always running and used daily, your refrigerator is built to last. Even so, some easy mistakes can compromise its functions and cause a loss. If you notice water on your kitchen floor, read on for common causes and (most importantly) easy solutions.
By Amy Lynch and Bob Vila
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Is water leaking from the refrigerator? 4 solutions you can do yourself
Photo: istockphoto.com

Q: There is a small daily puddle on my kitchen floor that seems to come from my refrigerator, not from anything inside, but from the refrigerator itself. Why is my refrigerator leaking water? And do I have to call a repair technician?

A: You seem to have a bit of a mess on your hands! You may be dealing with a number of issues, but it’s probably one of four common scenarios, that you can fix yourself without requesting a backup. So, let’s take a look at the most likely possibilities and see which one is wreaking havoc in your kitchen.

First, check if the refrigerator is level.
If you just bought your refrigerator, moved to a new home, or recently remodeled your kitchen floors, it is very likely that simply moving the appliance has caused a water leak. Now, a refrigerator should not be perfectly level; In fact, the front should be a quarter to a half inch taller than the rear; This slight front-to-back slope allows the refrigerant (the liquid responsible for cooling the appliance) to flow freely. When refrigerant cannot circulate easily, it could build up in the pipes and force the refrigerator to work harder than necessary to pump it; This creates additional condensation around the coils that could end up dripping water on the floor, which can make it look like your refrigerator is leaking.

Place a spirit level on the floor of the refrigerator (not a shelf, which can be uneven on its own) to confirm that it is even from side to side. Then rotate the level so that it slides front to back to verify that the equipment is slightly higher in the front.

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If you need to make any adjustments, remove the grill from the bottom front of the refrigerator and adjust the legs or rollers according to the instructions in the owner’s manual. Depending on the model, a wrench or screwdriver may be required. Aim for a ¼ to ½ inch rise in the front and check the level again. Be prepared to call a friend in case the rear legs or rollers need to be adjusted as well, as this will involve unplugging and pulling the refrigerator from the wall to do so.

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