A Frigidaire refrigerator is a companionable appliance for keeping your water chilled and fresh — but what happens when you wake up one day and it gives you too much water?
Under your fridge, behind it, and even inside the compartments — a leaky Frigidaire refrigerator can turn your kitchen into an island overnight!
But don’t worry; this comprehensive guide can give you six quick fixes to remedy this situation with.
Go through them step by step and you won’t have to worry about a refrigerator leak ever again!
Why Your Frigidaire Refrigerator Is Leaking
Leaks in your Frigidaire refrigerator are likely due to a clogged defrost drain, a leak in the water supply line or inlet valve, or an overdue water filter.
To unclog the defrost drain, first, defrost your fridge. For particularly large ice chunks in the drain, pour warm water down the drain.
Frigidaire refrigerators are engineered with a special feature that allows them to automatically defrost when their interior temperatures significantly drop from their initial temperature settings.
Once this autodefrost function successfully melts the ice buildup in your fridge walls, the excess water from the process naturally has to exit the fridge — and that’s where the defrost drain comes in handy!
Once all the ice melts, they travel down the drain tubes of each compartment and collect in the drain pan at the bottom of your fridge. Once there, they eventually evaporate.
When your fridge over-freezes, however, the autodefrost function might not be enough to thaw out all the ice. Sometimes, they can only get reduced to chunks of ice that clog up the defrost drain.
In this case, all you need to do is unplug your refrigerator and scoop up all the water pooling around the area. Then, using a turkey baster, pour warm water down the drain to melt any ice clogging it.
But what should you do when it’s a tiny morsel of food stuck there? Or what if the issue isn’t just in the defrost drain?
Don’t worry; we’ve still got you covered!
Aside from the defrost drain, there are a handful of other parts that you can look into if you find your Frigidaire refrigerator leaking. We’re here to tackle them one by one with you, and we even threw in some quick tips for you!
See them all below.
Common Causes of a Frigidaire Refrigerator Leak and How to Fix Them
As you read on, you’ll discover that a water leak isn’t really as complicated or technical of an issue. All of these fixes we’ve listed can be done in the comfort of your own home without calling for service!
That said, the golden rule to them is to always shut off the water supply to your fridge first to mitigate the leak.
|The defrost drain is clogged.||• Unplug your refrigerator or put it on Forced Defrost Mode.|
• Boil a cup of water and use a turkey baster or any siphoning device to pump the hot water down the defrost drain.
• If there are any morsels of food stuck in the drain, pour a vinegar solution or baking soda paste to flush it out.
|The drain pan is damaged or overfilled.||• Remove the drain pan from the drain assembly. Its location will depend on your Frigidaire refrigerator model.|
• If it’s overfilled with water, empty the pan first and then inspect it for any cracks or damages.
• Replace the pan if necessary.
|The water supply lines have a leak.||• Unplug the appliance and shut off its water supply.|
• Inspect the main water line for any loose connection or damage. Then, unscrew the lower access panel to check on the other water lines.
• Replace any damaged lines and reconnect the loose ones.
|The water inlet valve is defective.||• Unplug the appliance and shut off its water supply.|
• Remove the main water supply line, then unscrew the lower access panel and set the cover aside.
• Remove the water inlet valve’s mounting screws as well as the plugs attached to it so you can test its terminals for electrical continuity.
• Inspect also if there are any physical damages on the valve.
• If there is no continuity or if the valve is damaged, replace it.
|The water filter is damaged, inauthentic, or needs to be replaced.||• Turn off the water supply to your Frigidaire refrigerator.|
• Push the old water filter in place until it clicks and pops out of its housing.
• Verify that the replacement water filter is authentic and compatible with your refrigerator model. Also, make sure that it doesn’t have any physical damage to it.
• Install the new water filter with its nozzle facing the fridge. Push it in until it clicks.
|The door seal is damaged or loose.||• Unplug the appliance. Inspect the rubber seal going around its door.|
• It should not be loose or damaged in any way (scratches, cuts, etc.).
• If the rubber seal is loose or damaged, replace it.
The defrost drain is clogged.
As we’ve established, your Frigidaire refrigerator’s defrost drain leads all the excess water from autodefrost sessions inside the appliance to the drain pan outside of it.
This part is located at the bottom of the appliance, right next to the evaporator coils. As a quick overview, the evaporator coils are chiefly responsible for keeping the interior of your fridge and the items inside it cool.
This means that any condensation that may come in contact with the evaporator panel, or any part near it, can quickly turn into frost — and no part is closer to it than the defrost drain!
Condensation accumulation near or in the defrost drain can end up being frozen into ice that effectively blocks the defrosted water’s exit path. And that’s not to mention the tiny chunks of ice that might come sliding down from other compartments.
Aside from unmelted ice, other debris can also make its way down the drain. Morsels of food, for example, can get stuck in there just as ice can.
You’ll want to watch out for spillages, too, especially of condiments or other mixtures with a thick texture. It’s difficult to reach down the defrost drain, so your options for cleaning it out are limited to using a turkey baster or any siphoning tool.
Solution: Unplug your refrigerator or shut the power off at its circuit breaker. Then, remove the shelf above the defrost drain.
This may vary depending on the Frigidaire refrigerator model that you own, though most side-by-side models would have this right below the freezer compartment. To know the precise location of the defrost drain in your unit, consult your user manual.
Boil a cup of hot water and use a turkey baster to spray the water down the defrost drain. Do this gradually; do not pour the cup down the drain all at once.
This can flush out any ice blockage in the drain, regardless of its severity.
To check if water is getting flushed out of the drain pipe as you do this method, you can look for the drain pan under your fridge. It should be filling slowly with water.
But if you’re looking to clear the drain pipe of other liquid or debris that isn’t ice, you can either use a vinegar solution or a baking soda paste.
Just mix water a baking soda into a paste, or water and vinegar into a solution, and use a siphoning tool to pump it down the defrost drain — just like you’d do with the hot water!
• You don’t always have to boil a cup of water to clear a frozen defrost drain. Sometimes the good old way of defrosting the entire appliance is enough to thaw out the ice over your defrost drain and push the water down without clogging.
• If you find the defrost drain blocked by ice, try putting your fridge in Forced Defrost Mode first!
• The activation method may vary from model to model, but for side-by-side models, you can look out for a plus and minus sign on your fridge’s control panel. Press these buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds until ‘dF’ shows up on the display.
• If your fridge doesn’t have these buttons, or if pressing these buttons does not activate Forced Defrost Mode, you can also try the classic method.
• Unplugging your fridge and letting it sit with its doors opened and shelves removed for at least 30 minutes.
• Afterward, scoop out all the water and dry the interior down using a microfiber cloth — and voila! No more frozen defrost drain!
• Moreover, regular defrosting of your fridge can prevent ice from severely building in places they’re not supposed to. We recommend defrosting your appliance like this once a month.
The drain pan is damaged or overfilled.
If you went to check on the drain pan from the previous fix, you would have noticed that it’s a shallow sheet that’s only large enough to fit underneath the fridge, but depending on your Frigidaire refrigerator model, it might be wider than you think!
The drain pan typically spans half the width of your fridge. In some models, it’s a tiny bucket in the back panel that’s deep enough to store water for weeks without overfilling.
In general, the drain pan is designed to carry water from autodefrost sessions and let it evaporate after a couple of days.
But if your fridge is prone to thick frost buildup, the pan can fill faster than the water can evaporate. When this happens, it could be accompanied by a noticeably bad odor!
For cases like this, it’s advisable to check on the pan every three months.
Moreover, if your drain pan is cracked or damaged in any way, water will pool underneath your fridge instead.
Solution: Remove the kickplate cover underneath your Frigidaire refrigerator and pull the drain pan out. You may have to lift the fridge and tip it back to unscrew the drill pan from the unit body.
Remember to unplug your appliance and shut off its water supply before proceeding to move it. If your drain pan has water in it, you might need to siphon this out before tipping the appliance back to remove the drip pan.
Meanwhile, if your fridge’s drain pan is behind the unit instead, you’ll have to unscrew the lower access panel first. To verify this location, consult your user manual.
Once you’ve removed the drip pan, inspect it for cracks or any damages. If there are any, replace the drain pan.
• Want to avoid the drain pan from overfilling again? Keep your refrigerator condenser coils clean!
• The refrigerator condenser coils are found outside of your Frigidaire refrigerator, usually in the lower access panel.
• Their main role is to hold the heat absorbed from the refrigerants inside the appliance and release that into the unit’s surrounding environment.
• This part of your fridge is typically exposed to dust and other outside stressors, which can make them clogged or dirty over time.
• When this happens, the heat from the refrigerants inside the appliance would have no way of being discharged, making it harder for your fridge to keep everything chilled.
• This could also strain the evaporator coils inside as they try to keep cold temperatures at double the power to compensate for the heat that’s still present.
• Over time, this can lead to ice build-ups that melt too fast and overfill the drain pan!
• We recommend cleaning the condenser coils at least twice a year to prevent them from clogging up or rusting too soon.
The water supply lines have a leak.
If you experience a water leak, one of the first places you’ll naturally suspect is the water supply line — so, of course, we’re not ruling out the possibility!
As a matter of fact, in some cases, the water supply line might just be the trouble. Depending on the placement of your appliance, these lines might become bent or come loose.
Moreover, these lines can get frozen — either due to inappropriate temperature settings or improper insulation during cold weather. When they freeze, they become brittle, which can eventually lead to a crack or a hole that water can leak through.
Solution: Shut off the main water supply to your refrigerator, then inspect the main water supply line on the back of your fridge for any kinks, bends, cracks, or holes.
Observe if the line is frozen. If they are, you’ll have to defrost the appliance first before you can inspect the line.
Once you’re done with the main water supply line, disconnect it from the fridge and remove the lower access panel to inspect the water lines in this part as well.
Any damaged or bent lines need to be replaced immediately.
• Is your Frigidaire refrigerator backed up against a wall? You might want to put some distance between them.
• If the appliance is pushed too far back, this can bend and damage its water lines! We recommend putting a distance of an inch or two between the appliance and any surface around it.
• This will help maintain the quality of the water lines and also ensure that heat from the condenser coils can be released properly into the surrounding area, preventing them from overheating.
The water inlet valve is defective.
Following the water supply line, you’d want to check the quality of your Frigidaire refrigerator’s water inlet valve next.
The water inlet valve is a component in your appliance that’s responsible for regulating the incoming water supply. It opens and closes upon an electric signal from the control board — think of a door, but to let the water into the fridge.
Any loose connection to the valve will lead to a leak. The same can apply to a failing valve that cannot open or close freely.
Solution: A faulty water inlet valve needs to be replaced. To do this, do the following:
- Step 1: Unplug the appliance or cut off its power at the circuit breaker. Shut off its water supply as well.
- Step 2: Afterward, disconnect the water supply line from the appliance body. With a wrench, loosen the nut around the line and then pull it out.
Water might leak out of the pipe in the process.
- Step 3: Remove the lower access panel and set it aside.
- Step 4: Locate the water inlet valve in the right corner. Remove its mounting screws.
Take note of the water lines that are connected to it before disconnecting them. These lines determine which compartment of your fridge the water is going into.
We recommend taking a photo for reference before proceeding to the next step.
- Step 5: Test the water inlet valve for electrical continuity. This will determine whether it’s opening and closing properly.
Using a multimeter, set the device to its lowest ohms settings.
For analog models, pinch the probes together to calibrate the meter and adjust the needle until it reads zero on the display.
- Step 6: Disconnect the wire plugs connected to the valve’s terminals. If your Frigidaire refrigerator has a water dispenser or ice maker, you’ll notice two to four coils.
You need to test them out individually.
- Step 7: Touch each probe to each terminal of the coils. As you do this, the needle on the multimeter should move — or the display should change and signal you with a beep.
An ohms reading of anywhere between 500 to 1500 ohms means that there is no electrical defect on the valve.
If the needle doesn’t move, however — or if the ohms reading falls short of 500 or hardly changes — replace the valve immediately.
- Step 8: Even if the water inlet valve has continuity, you still have to inspect it for any physical damage. Pull the component out of the fridge completely and inspect it for any scratches or similar symptoms.
Inspect also the connected water lines for any loose fitting. If there are any, they will have to be refitted.
To do that, or if you’re replacing one of the water lines, proceed to the next step.
- Step 9: To replace the valve, release the water lines by pushing down on their connectors using an open-ended wrench and pulling the tubes out in the process.
If the tubes are connected to the valve with threaded nuts, you’ll have to cut the lines off at the spot nearest to their nuts.
- Step 10: Measure the water lines and mark them at 11/16 of an inch (0.6875 inches or 1.75 centimeters) from their opening ends.
When you insert them into the ports of the new valve, make sure to push them up to the spots you just marked.
Afterward, you can just retrace your steps back to reinsert the water inlet valve!
The water filter is damaged, inauthentic, or needs to be replaced.
A special feature of your Frigidaire refrigerator that sets it apart in the market is its top-grade water filter that uses a unique 3-step carbon filtration system that brings out the best quality to your household water.
Due to this, the appliance is pretty sensitive to the type of water filter you use with it. In particular, your fridge can only work with authentic Frigidaire filters and will reject counterfeits or generic water filters.
An inappropriate filter — or even an authentic filter that isn’t compatible with your refrigerator model — won’t be able to fit in the filter housing, for one.
In the worst-case scenario, trying to fit an inappropriate filter into the housing can create cracks in both the filter and its housing, which can lead to a water leak inside your appliance.
In general, three things about a water filter can lead to a water leak. They are as follows:
- Incorrect Installation
Solution: Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to the above-listed issues in your Frigidaire water filter that could contribute to a leak:
Frigidaire water filters aren’t a one-size-fits-all component. The kind of filter you’ll need will vary on the model of fridge you’re using.
Filters may vary in size and weight, and as we’ve just mentioned, an ill-fitting filter will pose as much risk to your fridge as an inauthentic one.
Consult your user manual for the exact kind of water filter you need before replacing it.
The risk of using counterfeit filters isn’t just limited to water leaks or physical damage to your refrigerator.
Counterfeits can also compromise the quality of water you’re drinking. Simply put, they don’t have the powerful 3-step carbon filtration that Frigidaire water filters have.
But you don’t have to wait until you’ve accidentally purchased the wrong filter and run a glass of cloudy drink with it to determine the authenticity of the product you’re using.
Here are five elements to look out for in ensuring that you’re purchasing the appropriate product:
- Packaging: Counterfeit water filters may come in boxes with a glossier and flashier finish. They also will be missing trademark designations and logos.
Moreover, counterfeit packaging tends to use grainy or pixelated prints, as well as discolored photos and faded text.
- Certification Symbol: Authentic water filters have NSF Certified marks on both their packaging and the filter body itself.
Counterfeits, on the other hand, may have missing symbols, fake or incorrect logos, or no certification marks at all.
- Weight: The weight of an authentic Frigidaire water filter depends on what type of filter is compatible with your fridge model, but generally speaking counterfeits tend to weigh less than their authentic counterparts.
This is because counterfeits don’t carry the same amount of filtering materials that make an authentic filter’s 3-carbon filtration possible.
To verify the specifications of the water filter that your Frigidaire refrigerator unit needs, consult your user manual.
- Online Content: When purchasing your water filter online, always look for complete specifications and an updated data table.
Counterfeits, on the other hand, will have limited product information and outdated packaging labels.
Always cross-check the data you need via your old water filter packaging, your user manual, or the Frigidaire official site.
- Cost: Counterfeits may be appealing as a cheaper alternative, but remember that authentic Frigidaire filters are designed to meet higher standards, and therefore are priced relative to that.
A lower price may mean you’re paying for lower quality.
Replacing your Frigidaire refrigerator’s water filter isn’t a complicated job, but it can also be easy to overlook some safety measures.
To ensure the quality of your new water filter, follow these steps carefully:
- Step 1: Shut off the water supply to the appliance; no need to power the appliance off.
- Step 2: Locate the water filter housing in the top right corner inside your fridge.
Push the old filter in until you hear a click. When the filter body pops out, pull it out carefully.
- Step 3: Align the new filter’s ridge along the groove of the housing. The nozzle should be facing the opening of the filter housing, while the rear end of the filter should be facing toward you.
- Step 4: Push the new water filter in until you hear it click in place. If the filter doesn’t make a sound, you need to push on it with more force or refit it into the groove.
Once the water filter is secured, it shouldn’t wobble in place or easily slide out of the groove when you try to pull it out casually.
- Step 5: After installing the new water filter, turn the water supply back on and run about two gallons of water in the dispenser.
This will flush out any sediments in your water supply as the new filter takes its time to settle into your fridge.
• Frigidaire water filters have an average lifespan of 3 to 6 months, depending on the volume of your household’s water consumption and the hardness of the water in your area.
• Your fridge will signal you when the filter has to be replaced. But if you’re prone to dispensing large amounts of water, or if you’re using hard water, it’s advisable to change the filter every three months.
The door seal is damaged or loose.
If your Frigidaire refrigerator’s water leak issues are coupled with a noticeable drop in your appliance’s temperature, no matter how much you adjust the temperature, you might want to check on the rubber seal around the fridge’s door.
That door seal — also known as the gasket — plays a significant role in temperature regulation inside your fridge!
The gasket keeps all the cold air inside the appliance and prevents warm air from outside from sidling in. When this seal gets damaged or comes loose, it creates small gaps in the door that will negate its original purpose.
When warm air from outside mixes in with the cold temperature inside the appliance, this creates condensation that later gets frozen into ice and contributes to thicker ice buildup.
Moreover, with the cold air constantly escaping through gaps in a damaged gasket, the evaporator coils will work overtime to keep things cool — and as we’ve established before, this scenario leads to more melting ice that can overfill the drain pan.
This rubber seal typically wears down over time, but can also get damaged if debris or other objects — especially sharp ones — get caught on it as you’re opening and closing the fridge.
Solution: Unplug your refrigerator and inspect the rubber seal around the door. It’s important that you don’t do this while the appliance is running.
Ensure that the gasket is free of scratches, tears, or other damages. Replace it immediately if there are any, or if it’s coming loose off the door frame.
Moreover, don’t forget to clean the door seal when you defrost and clean the appliance.
Use only mild soap and warm water to scrub it down. Stronger chemicals like bleach can break down the material and eventually damage the seal.
You can also use baking soda paste as an alternative. Partner it up with a microfiber cloth for instant absorption, or with a soft-bristled brush for gentle cleansing.
• To keep your Frigidaire refrigerator’s rubber door seal healthy, space out the items inside the compartments and keep an inch of distance between the door and your food.
• Don’t push them so far back into the compartment, either! They might disrupt the evaporator coils, or vice versa — the evaporator coils’ temperature regulation might end up spoiling them sooner.
• As a general rule, place your items an inch away from the fridge’s door, as well as from its rear wall.
Water leaks are always a hassle to deal with, but they’re one of the simplest issues you can fix. Sometimes, all it takes is replacing your filter or cleaning out your fridge.
It’s also important to remember that proper maintenance and preventive measures are the best solution to any issue that your Frigidaire refrigerator might encounter. You can even say that a cleanup once a month keeps the leakage away!