A Whirlpool® French Door Refrigerator with Bottom Freezer

How to fix a refrigerator that is leaking water

You depend on your fridge to deliver consistent performance that keeps food fresh and cool, which can make problems with your appliance all the more frustrating. When used and maintained per your owner’s manual, refrigerator leaks are rare. If your fridge is leaking water, it’s important to make necessary repairs as soon as possible. 

There are several reasons why your fridge may be leaking water, such as age, improper installation and inappropriate usage. Learn more about possible causes behind refrigerator leaks, as well as helpful tips on how to fix a leaking refrigerator.

Why is my fridge leaking water inside?

There are several reasons why your fridge or freezer may be leaking water. If you’re noticing puddles of water inside or outside your fridge, don’t wait. Troubleshooting your refrigerator quickly is essential to identifying the source of the leak. Fortunately, many of the potential causes of refrigerator leaks are easily identifiable.

A water blockage icon

1. Blockages

Blockage within the internal anatomy of your fridge is one possible cause of a leaking refrigerator. Blockages are most likely to occur in the defrost drain, with the drain hole usually located at the bottom-back of the freezer.


When a drain tube becomes clogged, the blockage can lead to water puddling inside the refrigerator compartment. When left to accumulate, water can leak through the bottom seal of the door and onto the floor.

A gear icon

2. Improper installation

Another possible cause of refrigerator leaks is improper installation. When internal valve connections and nuts are loose—or the fridge isn’t properly set up or if it’s damaged after a move—leaks are more likely to occur. If your dispenser is dripping water, an improperly installed filter may be to blame.

An assorted foods icon

3. Inappropriate use

Using your refrigerator for unintended purposes can increase the likelihood of leaks or other issues. Always refer to your owner’s manual for proper usage and maintenance.

How to fix a leaking refrigerator

When left alone, a leaking refrigerator can cause costly problems. By knowing how to troubleshoot the source of a leak and when to call for professional service, you can keep your kitchen running smoothly. To help you find possible solutions, here are some tips and ideas on how to fix a leaking refrigerator.

What you’ll need
  • Owner’s manual
  • Turkey baster
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Level
A document icon

Step 1: Consult your owner’s manual

To begin troubleshooting your leaking refrigerator, consult the owner’s manual for your fridge. Most manuals include basic troubleshooting steps for your specific fridge model with potential solutions to some issues, including leaks. 

Find product-specific troubleshooting information for your Whirlpool® refrigerator by consulting the Whirlpool® Manuals & Literature page.

A pipe icon

Step 2: Rule out defrost drain blockage

If water is building up inside or beneath the fridge, a thorough inspection of the fridge by a professional is recommended. The technician will check your fridge for signs of blockage in the drain line and, if necessary, will remove any debris inside the drain pipe.


Once your fridge’s drain line has been flushed and unclogged, be sure the defrost drain isn’t being covered by food items stored in the freezer by keeping the appliance organized.

A faucet icon

Step 3: Inspect the water line

Also check for signs that your refrigerator water line is leaking. To inspect the water line, first be sure to unplug the fridge and close the water shut-off valve. Depending on the setup of your home and appliance, the shut-off valve may be located under your sink, in a basement or behind your fridge. Then, check for existing tears or breaks in the line, which will require a replacement water supply line.


If the water line appears intact, inspect the tubing for signs of an ice blockage, which will look like a translucent clog. You can attempt to remove the clog by leaving the fridge unplugged for about two hours to allow the ice to melt. If the clog isn’t translucent, arrange for a professional to inspect and address the issue.

A level icon

Step 4: Check that the fridge is level

If your fridge isn’t sitting at the appropriate level, the angle may cause leakage from the bottom of the fridge if too much water accumulates at the front of the drain pan. If your refrigerator isn’t level, refer to your owner’s manual to learn how to adjust it.

Shop the latest deals on select Whirlpool major appliances   Shop Now

Shop Whirlpool® refrigerators

Whether you have an older refrigerator that’s beyond repair or you’re ready for an upgrade, a new refrigerator can feel like a breath of fresh air in your kitchen. Regardless of the refrigerator type you choose, whether it be a french door, side-by-side, top freezer or bottom freezer model, refrigerators by Whirlpool brand give you the organization you need to keep mealtimes moving. Discover the Whirlpool® refrigerator that suits your needs, no matter how active your lifestyle.

Where can I find refrigerator parts?

It’s important to only use model-specific parts for your refrigerator, which can usually be purchased from the manufacturer. 

If you need to purchase interior or external parts for your Whirlpool® refrigerator, browse the Whirlpool® Refrigerator Parts page. If you are unsure what parts you need, contact a professional to ensure proper installation and repair.

What should I do if my refrigerator is still leaking?

If your refrigerator is still leaking after troubleshooting, it may be time to call a technician. Knowing when to call for professional service for your refrigerator can save you from costly, more complex repairs in the future. If you aren’t familiar with the parts of a refrigerator and how they work, contacting a professional is highly recommended. 

For product-specific resources and troubleshooting information for your Whirlpool® refrigerator, visit the Whirlpool Customer Care page. You can also schedule a service call for your refrigerator on the Whirlpool Service page. If you’re experiencing a problem not related to leakage, it’s important to troubleshoot your refrigerator or contact a Whirlpool professional to identify the source of the problem. 

Shop the latest deals on select Whirlpool major appliances   Shop Now

Find Whirlpool® refrigerators and accessories

Whirlpool® refrigerators help you and your family make everyday life simpler. Whether you need to purchase individual fridge accessories or a new fridge entirely, Whirlpool brand has the appliance that’s right for you. Find your Whirlpool® refrigerator to make food storage a breeze.

Learn more about Whirlpool® refrigerators

Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background

home heartbeat

Ready for more tips, home hacks and appliance guides?

Was this article helpful? Pass it on