If you see water dripping in the refrigerator, you can easily fix it.
My name is Rich and my company is Western Appliance Repair based in Boise, Idaho. I have worked in the appliance repair business for 20 years. I hope this article answers some of your questions and leads you to a proper refrigerator repair. OK let’s go.
The problem I will address on this page is: water dripping in the refrigerator or water leaking from the upper freezer into the refrigerator. Water may drip from the roof of the refrigerator around the rear vent area.
The defrost drain hole in the freezer is blocked with ice and / or debris. Instead of the defrost water running down the drain, it freezes in the defrost tray of the freezer. Then it will overflow from the vents during the next defrost cycle and you will see the water in the refrigerator. I will show you a PERMANENT solution that I have been using for years. Follow this procedure carefully.
1. Unplug the refrigerator. Open the refrigerator and place a deep plate under the fan, as shown in the picture. This will trap dripping water while you complete the repair.
2. Close the refrigerator door and remove all food from the upper freezer. Remove the grill, if present.
3. Remove the ice maker as shown in the following image. Use a ¼-inch hex driver to remove the three screws. There should be two at the top and one at the bottom. Once the icemaker has been removed from the refrigerator, disconnect it from the connector and set it aside.
4. Using a 1/4-inch hex driver, remove the screws that secure the rear panel. There should be two to six screws. Remove the rear panel, carefully. If it doesn’t come out easily, it means it’s “frozen” at the bottom. Get a garden sprayer, like the one I have in the photo, and a vacuum cleaner. Fill the sprayer with hot water and spray continuously on the bottom of the panel, sucking up the dissolved water with the vacuum. Sometimes it takes time. Wait. If your freezer has a plastic bottom tray, removal is too. Remove ALL ice with a water spray and vacuum.
5. Now I assume that you have successfully removed the rear panel and lower plastic tray, if installed. You should see a build-up of ice under the evaporator. My next step: spray with hot water and soak up the dissolved water as you go. Do not use a photo or a screwdriver, you may regret it if you puncture something.
6. Find the drain hole. It should look like the image below. Point the nozzle at it and spray. Sometimes this can take 15 minutes. Wait for the water to stop collecting. When spraying, you should see that the water runs through the hole and does not stagnate. When this happens, you will have erased the hole. Now comes the fun. We want to make sure this does not happen again.
7. Find a thick piece of copper wire. I don’t know what indicator it is, but look at the image below. It should be of a similar size. Cut the string about 7 inches long. You can pick it up at Home Depot in the electrical section. You may need a salesperson to cut it off the spool. Insert the end of the string into the hole and see how far you can go without dropping it into the hole. You may need to bend a curve like my photo. Add about 2 inches and cut. Using a screwdriver or needle nose pliers, bend one end and wrap it around the evaporator heater, just below the evaporator. Why are we doing this? When the defrost heater is turned on, the heat will radiate down the copper wire, into the hole and prevent the drain from freezing again. You may need to cut the thread a bit for final assembly.
8. Don’t worry that it will melt or get damaged if it gets too hot. It will not happen. I have made hundreds of these fixes and have not encountered any problems.
9. Reassemble and you’ll be fine! You should no longer let the water drip into the refrigerator. Greetings and congratulations!