Water Damage From Your Refrigerator: Causes and What To Do
Water damage from your fridge can be a tricky situation for your Fairfield County kitchen, namely because you usually don't realize your fridge is leaking water until it's already caused noticeable damages. Since you can't see under or behind the fridge, you're only likely to catch the problem if a large puddle forms on your kitchen floor.
So what do you do when your fridge is leaking water onto the floor? Here we will outline why your fridge is leaking, how to handle water damage from your fridge, how to prevent your it from leaking in the first place.
What Causes Refrigerators to Leak?
In most cases, leaks from your fridge start small and worsen over time, since you're not likely to notice them. When you finally discover the leak, you want to figure out what's causing it as soon as possible to prevent further damages from occurring.
The most common causes of fridges leaking water include:
- Clogged defrost drain
- Damaged defrost drain pan
- Water Dispenser
- Ice maker leak
- Excess condensation
1. Clogged Defrost Drain
Most refrigerators will periodically defrost automatically. When they do, the excess water drains through a drain hole in the back of the fridge into a small tube which discharges in the drain pan.
This drain can become clogged when debris or food particles get into the tubing during a defrost cycle. When it becomes clogged, the next time the defrost cycle runs, melted water will back up in the freezer, down into the fridge, and cause a puddle on your floor.
2. Damaged Defrost Drain Pan
It's normal for water to accumulate in the drain pan underneath your fridge. There's usually enough time between defrosting cycles for this water to evaporate away.
But, when the drain pan is cracked, split, or damaged in some way, it'll cause water from the drain hose to leak right onto the floor.
3. Water Dispenser Leak
If your refrigerator has a water filter or dispenser, these can begin to leak. These leaks can be caused by improper installation, incorrect water filter use, or even old age can cause a connection to fail.
4. Ice Maker Leak
Similar to a faulty water filter, ice maker water lines can detach or become damaged which will cause the component to leak. This may simply be due to cracks or loose plumbing connections.
5. Excess Condensation
When your fridge has higher than normal condensation levels, it can cause it to start leaking. Excess condensation can be caused by weak seals or gaskets which work to keep cool air in the fridge and warm air out.
When warm air leaks into the appliance, it also makes the unit work harder to keep everything cold. When this occurs, excess condensation can be created on the coils behind the fridge, causing water to drip down onto the floor or even affect the wall behind the fridge.
What To Do When Your Fridge Leaks Water
When you notice that your fridge is leaking water, immediately take the following steps to prevent water damage or mold growth in the kitchen floor of your Connecticut home.
Clean up puddles of water.
Before doing anything else, you want to clean up and contain as much water as your can to prevent it from seeping into flooring, walls, or even cabinetry. Use towels, mops, or a wet dry vacuum to get up as much water as you can. Then, put down towels to catch any additional leaking water.
Inspect the refrigerator.
Take note of where it seems the leak is coming from and start your inspection there. Many times homeowners can repair a leaking fridge themselves. You may need to clean out the defrost drain line, replace the drain pan, tighten seals or connections, or level off the fridge. If you can't diagnose or repair the problem yourself, call a plumber or appliance repair company.
Inspect your home for signs of water damage or mold growth.
If you're lucky enough to catch a leak right when it starts, the extent of your damages may only be cleaning up a puddle. But, if your problem went unnoticed for weeks or months, you may actually have serious water damage on the floor underneath the fridge or the wall behind it.
Inspect the following areas of your home for signs of water or mold damage:
- Behind the fridge
- Underneath the fridge
- Any cabinetry adjacent to the fridge
- The ceiling below where the refrigerator is located
If you find signs of water damage or mold in these areas, you should call a local water damage restoration company in Fairfield County to inspect your damages and help decide what needs to be done to restore your home.
Preventing Your Fridge From Leaking
- Regularly inspect the area around your fridge for signs of leaks.
- Don't ignore excess condensation forming inside the fridge, as it can be a sign of a larger problem.
- Make sure that the fridge is level.
- Replace water lines which have plastic tubing with steel supply lines.
- Place a water alarm underneath the fridge. These go off when they come in contact with water and are helpful to alert you of leaks in places you can't see.
Need Help With Water Damage From A Leaky Appliance in Fairfield County?
When your Fairfield County, CT home sustains water damage from your fridge leaking, SERVPRO of Westport/Fairfield can provide immediate assistance. Our fast response helps to prevent further water damage or mold growth from forming in your home after an appliance leaks.
Our team of damage restoration specialists are highly trained in both water damage restoration and mold remediation. With over 14 years of experience, you can trust that SERVPRO of Westport/Fairfield can make the damage from a leaking fridge "Like it never even happened."
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