Is your freezer leaking water from the bottom? Let’s fix it…
A leaking freezer can be messy, expensive, and damaging to some of the internal components. Some leaks come from using the water dispenser; as water or ice falls out of the dispenser, some of it ends up on the floor. But why do some freezers leak from underneath?
Your freezer is leaking water from the bottom due to a broken evaporator pan, a malfunctioning defrost timer, or random thermostat changes. Furthermore, leaky refrigerant, clogged drain lines, overheating compressors, and loose seals can cause your freezer to leak water and other fluids.
In this post, I’ll explain what causes your freezer to leak water from the bottom and what you can do to fix it.
1. Broken Evaporator Pan
The evaporator pan (also known as the drain pan or drain tray) holds leftover freon and water. KitchInsider explains that a small crack in the tray can leak water around the clock. These trays slowly evaporate all of the water that drips from the freezer. If it’s cracked, the condensation will leak all over the floor.
How To Fix?
The only option for this issue is to replace the evaporator pan. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest repairs you can do to your freezer.
Follow the steps below:
- Unplug your freezer and pull it out from the wall.
- Remove the rear panel to reveal the drain line and the evaporator pan.
- Remove the retaining bolts from the tray.
- Pull the tray out of the freezer.
- Get a like-for-like drain pan from the manufacturer, then connect the previously mentioned retaining bolts.
- Seal the freezer’s rear panel, plug it into the wall, and you’ll be good to go.
2. Malfunctioning Defrost Timer
A faulty defrost timer can prevent your appliance from defrosting. However, it can also cause your freezer to defrost non-stop. Since frost can’t accumulate, the freezer leaks all of the excess water through the bottom. You’ll end up with puddles over the floor every few hours, even after wiping them up.
How To Fix?
Switching the defrost timer can be very helpful if your freezer randomly defrosts when it shouldn’t. Try the following procedure:
- Disconnect your freezer from the power source, then locate the timer (behind the control panel, digital display, or thermostat, depending on the make and model).
- Remove the timer from the freezer. They usually have electrical prongs that hook into the freezer, but some of them use wires that need to be disconnected.
- Plug the new like-for-like defrost timer into the freezer, ensuring you use the same part number from the manufacturer to prevent compatibility errors.
- Connect the freezer to the power source, set the timer, and enjoy your leak-free freezer.
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3. Freezer Temperature Fluctuations
According to Ginnos, rapid temperature changes almost always cause freezers and fridges to leak. This happens because the thermostat thinks it’s hotter or colder than it actually is. Your freezer can go from frosty and extremely cold to room temperature. Once this happens, the defrosting process leaks water all over the place.
How To Fix?
Your best bet to avoid unwanted temperature changes is to replace the thermostat. Here’s how you can do it:
- Unplug the fridge and remove the temperature knob inside the refrigerator or freezer.
- Pull the thermostat sensor out of the socket.
- Disconnect the wires from the back of the thermostat.
- Connect the wires to the new thermostat.
- Slide the sensor into the socket and mount the thermostat.
- Once you’re done, set the thermostat to its coldest temperature until your freezer is cold enough, then switch it to the desired setting.
4. Leaky Refrigerant
Refrigerant or freon is stored in the compressor. If the compressor is cracked or it’s not working properly, the freon will leak through the bottom of the fridge. Many people confuse freon with water because they’re both clear. However, freon leaks are exponentially more dangerous because freon is a toxic chemical.
How To Fix?
If your freezer is leaking freon, you’ll have to replace the compressor. You can do this by removing the rear panel, disconnecting the wires and mounting bolts from the compressor, then placing a new compressor in its spot.
That said, freezer compressors are close to the cost of a brand-new freezer. Once your compressor breaks, you may want to consider getting a new freezer with a multiyear warranty.
5. Clogged Drain Line (Freezer leaking water)
Appliance Express TX claims clogged drain lines are one of the most common explanations for leaky freezers. The drain line sends the previously mentioned condensation through the back of the fridge and into the drain pan. If the line is clogged, it won’t move the condensation to the pan. Instead, condensation will leak on the floor.
How to Fix
Unclogging the drain line can be done in two ways:
- Clear the drain line with a drain snake (also known as a plumber’s auger). Slowly twist and push the snake through the drain line on the back of the fridge. The line leads right into the big drain pan, so you can follow it to the source from there. Once the line is clear, your freezer shouldn’t leak anymore.
- Pour hot water through the drain line. This will melt all of the ice that froze in the line, which will cause it to leak. This method is much cheaper, but it’s not always as effective as using a plumber’s auger.
6. Overheating Compressor
The compressor ensures the whole freezer or fridge gets enough freon. If the compressor overheats, it can crack, cause the freezer to defrost and leak, and more. Most compressor temperature issues occur when there’s not enough freon or when the condenser coil is clogged, dirty, or cracked.
How To Fix?
The quickest and most effective way to stop or prevent a freezer compressor from overheating is to clean the condenser coil. The condenser coil is located in the bottom backside of the freezer. You’ll have to remove the panel to access it.
Use a vacuum, sponge, or brush to gently scrub and clean the condenser coil. Make sure you remove all of the dust, hair, and other debris, then seal the rear panel.
7. Damaged Door Seals
If the door seals are loose, cracks, or gapped, they’ll leak tons of water through the bottom of the freezer. Warm air from the kitchen or garage gets into the freezer, causing the frost and ice to melt. All the water drips to the bottom of the freezer before spilling through the exposed cracks in the seals and gaskets.
How To Fix?
Replace the door seals by pulling off the old ones with a putty knife. Make sure you use the company’s recommended sealant. Fortunately, some of them are peel-and-stick, so you don’t have to apply anything before putting them in the freezer.
Bent or warped seals are just as ineffective and counterproductive as broken, ripped, or missing seals. They should be replaced to ensure your freezer retains as much cold air as possible.
If your freezer is leaking, it’s important to fix it as quickly as possible. While most freezer leaks can be repaired at home, some of them require professional assistance. For example, compressor replacements and adding freon to the compressor line can be quite difficult for some people.