Have you noticed water spilling in your Samsung refrigerator’s deli drawers lately? And you can’t see where it could be coming from?
Worry no more; we’re here to help you figure it out!
In this article, we’ll be diving into all the possible reasons why water is leaking into your fridge’s deli drawers. Spoiler alert: it’s usually from parts that use a water line — like the dispenser or the filter.
Did that give you a little bit of clarity? Good; we’re in the right direction!
Troubleshooting this problem could take only minutes to a few hours, with the easiest fix only taking 3 minutes and 5 simple steps to do.
Depending on how complex the root cause is, however, your worst-case scenario may require you to take the appliance to the nearest service center for a couple of days.
For more information on them, keep reading below.
Why is my Samsung refrigerator leaking into the deli tray?
Water leakage in your Samsung refrigerator’s deli tray or crisper drawer is often a result of a clogged defrost drain pan, a damaged water filter, or an overflow in the valve assembly.
When any of these water lines are faulty, they can cause water to spill and accumulate in the drawers below.
Deli drawers, also known as crisper drawers, are typically located at the bottom of the fresh food compartment, which means the leaking can be coming from anywhere above it.
From the icemaker or dispenser water line to the drain pan above it, covered with a panel — even the filter beside the deli drawer — all of these pose an equal risk of water spillage.
Turning off the water supply before troubleshooting is a good place to start, as this will help prevent any further leaks.
Moreover, this issue would typically have you replace certain parts that vary in compatibility for each model.
As we’re going through different troubleshooting methods you can try, be sure to have your user manual with you. It will help you be more familiar with the parts you need to replace.
Common Causes of Water Leaks in the Deli Tray and How to Fix Them
As mentioned, the most common causes to look into when a leak happens would require replacing parts of the fridge, particularly those connected to water lines.
In some scenarios, you might also be required to look into your household’s plumbing system.
But don’t worry; in general, fixing a leak wouldn’t require any sort of advanced technical knowledge. You might even be able to patch things up with only a screwdriver!
If the problem turns out to be much more complicated though — especially if you’ll have to fix cross-connected lines — help would be a wise choice; don’t hesitate to call a professional.
|Clogged Defrost Drain||Unplug the refrigerator and remove all the shelves and drawers.|
Remove the cover of the evaporator panel at the back. Clear out the drain pan below the evaporator coils.
Afterward, replace the metal drain clip attached to the evaporator coils with a longer clip.
|Damaged Water Filter||Turn off the fridge’s water supply. Locate the water filter between the deli drawers at the bottom of the compartment.|
Twist the knob of the water filter and pull it outwards. Inspect it for damages and authenticity.
Replace it if necessary.
|Overflowing Water Inlet Valve||Shut off the fridge’s water supply. Unplug the refrigerator and unscrew the condenser panel behind it.|
Disconnect the water pipe from the valve, then the plug from the fridge.
Remove the valve assembly from the fridge to inspect it for any cracks or damages.
Replace it if necessary.
|Cross-connected Water Lines||For models RS27T and RS22T, ensure that the water lines are connected directly to the water supply.|
Call in plumbing service to check the water pressure in your household and for any risks of cross-connections.
|Missing Dispenser Nozzle||For models RF30BB, RF29BB, RF24BB, and RF23BB, if the dispenser keeps dripping water minutes after it’s done dispensing, the nozzle might be missing.|
This could also be the case if the water flows too widely.
To install a nozzle, call Samsung support.
|Hot Weather||Run a fan or lower the temperature on your air conditioning unit to ensure that humidity doesn’t affect the fridge’s cooling process.|
When the temperature gets warmer, check the drain pan for water accumulation.
Empty the drain pan if necessary.
|Unlevel Refrigerator||Check the leveling of the fridge using a spirit ruler.|
From left to right, the legs should be level. But the front legs should be slightly higher than the rear to allow enough airflow inside.
Clogged Defrost Drain
Samsung refrigerators have an auto-defrost function engineered to automatically melt off the ice buildup in regular compartments.
This gets activated when the sensors inside the unit detect that the temperature has dropped significantly from your initial setting.
This can happen several times a day, and would typically last for about 20 minutes.
Once the cycle has finished, the melted ice will exit your fridge through the defrost drain pan located below the evaporator panel and out via the drain tube.
When your refrigerator experiences severe ice buildup, ice can clog the drain pan and block excess water — which can come from defrost cycles, as well as spillage from food items — from exiting the compartment.
As a result, the excess water can spill into the drawers, especially the ones in the lower section.
On a similar note, small enough chunks of ice and food crumbs can fall into the drain pipe and block the passage.
Estimated duration for the fix: 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how bad the clogging is and if you need to defrost the refrigerator first.
Unplug your refrigerator and remove all the shelves inside the compartment. Then unscrew the evaporator panel on the back of the refrigerator.
If the panel cover is frozen in place, you need to defrost the unit first. You can do this by plugging the refrigerator back in and putting it on Force Defrost mode.
Do this by pressing the Fridge and Freezer buttons simultaneously for about 8 seconds.
Once the display goes blank, press any other button until Fd appears on the screen. A beeping sound will indicate that the Force Defrost cycle has started.
When most of the ice in the compartment has melted, try prying the panel cover off without disconnecting the wires attaching it to the unit. Leaving the cover can help melt the ice around the coils faster.
When all the ice has melted, scoop up the excess water from the defrost cycle and wipe the unit dry. Remove the panel cover completely and make sure to clean the evaporator coils as well.
The drain pan is located below the evaporator coils, so if the issue is a clogged drain, you’ll easily notice water pooling in that part. To get rid of it, use a turkey baster or a syringe to suck the water out.
Clear out the drain tube as well using either hot water or a mixture of water and baking soda. You can also use a mixture of water and bleach.
Using the turkey baster or syringe, pump the mixture or hot water into the drain to dislodge any ice or dirt stuck in it.
The drain pipe leads to the back of the unit, next to the condenser coils, where you can later pull it out to clean it.
If you find yourself facing a clogged drainage issue often, it might be time to replace the metal clip right below the evaporator coils.
This metal drain clip is responsible for conducting heat from the cooling system so that it can directly melt any ice buildup that might be blocking the drain pan.
They’re typically designed to be small and convenient. But if your unit is prone to forming thick ice, you might need a larger design to reach a wider area.
To remove the old drain clip, you should first ensure that all the ice around the evaporator coils has melted. If you defrosted the unit via the Force Defrost function, allow it to cool down to room temperature before replacing the clip.
Use a pair of pliers or nippers to cut off the metal clip. Attach the replacement clip with the hook part facing toward you.
The tail of the clip should be inserted into the drain to melt off small chunks of ice that might drop into it.
On the other hand, you might also want to look into overfreezing issues (samsung refrigerator freezing up) that could be contributing to ice buildup in your fridge.
Damaged Water Filter
Some Samsung refrigerators have a water filter housing placed above the deli drawer.
When either the filter or its housing is damaged or — in the case of the water filter — not installed correctly, water from the filter will inevitably spill onto nearby drawers.
Moreover, Samsung refrigerators are particular with their filters. Using a product that isn’t compatible with the model or a counterfeit will cause a leak.
Number of steps: Five
Estimated duration for the fix: Less than 3 minutes
Verify your water filter’s authenticity. You can do this through two means:
- Look for a serial number. Authentic water fillers have a serial number printed on the body, and not towards its nose or head.
Moreover, the type of filter your refrigerator needs depends on its model. You may refer to your user manual for the specification.
Incompatible filters may easily be dislodged from their housing or, in the worst-case scenario, get damaged.
- Check the filter body for a rib. Counterfeit water filters can easily be dislodged from the filter housing — or would have a hard time fitting at all — because filters need a rib to lock into the place.
Some Samsung models use a 2-rib lock for their water filters, while newer models use filters with a 3-rib lock. If the ribs on your water filter don’t match the housing, even if it’s authentic, it can be dislodged or may cause a leak.
Now that you know what to look for in a filter, you can have the old one removed or replaced.
For this, you don’t have to unplug the fridge. Simply follow these five simple steps:
- Step 1: Turn off the water supply in the fridge, then locate the water filter between the deli or crisper drawers at the bottom of the regular compartment.
- Step 2: Turn the knob counterclockwise until you hear a click. The water filter will pop out of its housing so you can pull it out easily.
- Step 3: Inspect the filter for authenticity or any damage or cracks. If you need it replaced, proceed to the next steps.
- Step 4: Install the new water filter with the gasket facing forward towards the housing. Hold it by the knob the way you pulled it out.
- Step 5: Push the water filter in as you’re turning it clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore.
Locking the filter in place won’t make the same clicking sound as popping it off its housing, so make sure to keep applying a bit of pressure as you’re turning it.
Once the new filter is in place, run at least two gallons of water to flush out any impurities that might be in the filter before you can drink the water.
To ensure the quality of drinking water dispensed from your Samsung refrigerator, we advise replacing the water filter every 3 to 6 months. The unit will typically send out a signal when the filter needs to be replaced, but if your household has high water consumption, you might need to replace it sooner.
Overflowing Water Inlet Valve
Samsung refrigerator models that have a water dispenser and/or icemaker make use of an inlet valve assembly that flows water to either feature.
If you notice leaking from the appliance and find that the dispenser is releasing less water, or that the icemaker is having a difficult time making ice, these could be pointing to an issue with the water valve.
The water supply going through the valve might be overflowing and causing a leak down to the drawers.
This happens because the valve is located in the exterior panel behind the unit, which means water travels from below the deli drawer and up toward the icemaker or dispenser.
If your appliance is new or you recently installed a new valve, this could mean that the valve assembly might have been installed loosely.
On the other hand, damaging this part once it’s already installed is unlikely, unless you installed the wrong valve for your fridge or if the placement of the unit isn’t suitable.
Difficulty: Average. Replacing the valve assembly will require you to use tools and be familiar with water line connections.
Number of steps: 10+ (9 steps to remove the valve assembly)
Estimated duration for the fix: Approximately 30 minutes
You can inspect the water valve assembly for damage by following these steps:
- Step 1: Locate the shutoff valve near your fridge’s water supply to close it.
- Step 2: Unplug the refrigerator and unscrew the rear panel behind it.
- Step 3: Disconnect the water pipe from the valve. You can do this using a spanner to loosen the nut near the valve nipple.
Once the nut is loose enough, you can remove the pipe.
- Step 4: Disconnect the plug connecting the valve assembly to the fridge.
- Step 5: Locate the two water hoses connected to the valve—near the bracket—and release them from their clips.
- Step 6: Unscrew the valve bracket to remove it.
- Step 7: Once the valve assembly is off its bracket, you’ll notice the water hoses (which you previously released from their clips) going into two nozzles.
They’re held in place by black clips called hose retainers. Remove the retainers using pin nose pliers.
- Step 8: Lay a towel beneath the valve to catch any water leaks. Afterward, squeeze the tube in as you pull the hose out of the valve assembly.
Do this one hose at a time.
- Step 9: With the valve removed, you can now inspect it for cracks or damages. If you find any, replace it immediately.
If there are none, reinstall the valve assembly.
- Step 10: To return the water valve assembly, simply follow the same steps in reverse. Make sure to reconnect everything tightly in place.
Cross-connected Water Lines
Some Samsung refrigerators, like the RS27T and RS22T, make use of two water line connections. Both of these lines need to be connected properly to the water supply before the dispenser could function properly.
If the lines are cross-connected, there will be a risk of water leakage into the compartments. Cross-connection happens when water lines are connected in a way that risks a backflow.
Backflow happens when water flows in the reverse direction it initially headed — ergo when water flows back into your water supply instead of away from it.
This can happen when the pressure in the piping is higher than the supply of water (especially during hotter days), or vice versa where the pressure is lower than the supply. The latter happens when the supply is abruptly cut off or drained.
As a result, the overflow of water can leak out of the water pipe and into the drawers.
Difficulty: Difficult. Checking the water lines will require you to have technical knowledge about cross-connections and plumbing systems. We recommend calling in a professional to help you with the issue.
Ensure that each water line is connected directly to the water supply and that the connectors are tightly closed around the piping lines.
You would also have to check the water pressure in the system to ensure that it doesn’t go higher or lower than the supply. For this, we recommend calling for a plumbing service.
Missing Dispenser Nozzle
Similar to cross-connected water lines, only a few select models can encounter this problem. In particular, Samsung refrigerators RF30BB, RF29BB, RF24BB, and RF23BB are designed to have a nozzle in their beverage center to dispense water.
These models have their dispenser inside the appliance, so when a leak from the dispenser happens, it could easily drip onto the lower drawers.
While the nozzle on the dispenser can’t easily be detached, some units may come in with a missing one due to factory errors.
You’ll likely face this issue only if your fridge is newly bought.
The nozzle helps regulate the direction of the water the unit dispenses, so if water from the beverage center falls too widely, this means your unit has a missing nozzle.
Difficulty: This will require you to take the unit to a service center.
If you suspect that your unit has a missing nozzle, take it to a Samsung support center. Missing nozzles are rare cases, so Samsung doesn’t sell official spare parts.
If your fridge’s leaking issues coincide with the summer season, there’s a chance that it isn’t a coincidence at all.
The humidity from hot weather carries excessive moisture, which condenses heavily once it enters the refrigerator.
Water vapor from the humid air can cling to the walls of the appliance, which adds to the water already inside the unit.
With enough accumulation of vapors, particularly in the drain pan, water will overflow and leak into the drawers — and even outside the fridge!
On hot and humid days, ensure that the room temperature doesn’t get too warm. We recommend running a fan or lowering the temperature on your air conditioning unit to keep the refrigerator cool.
When the temperature gets warmer, check if the drain pan in the evaporator panel has water accumulation. Empty the drain pan if you find any accumulation.
If none of the above seem to get rid of the leak permanently, the problem may be as simple as an unlevel fridge. If you’ve recently moved the appliance to another spot, you may have overlooked the leveling.
Ideally, the front of the unit has to be slightly higher than its back to create an easier flow for the coolants. If the fridge isn’t leveled this way, it would force its system to work harder, which leads to the production of extra condensation.
Extra condensation runs the risk of water leaking into other parts of the refrigerators, including the drawers and even the floor outside.
Take a spirit ruler to measure the leveling of the fridge. Place the ruler on top of the unit and observe if the bubble inside it rests perfectly between the two black lines.
Adjust the left and right leveling legs of the appliance accordingly. Turning the leg to the left raises the unit while turning to the right lowers it.
Once the fridge is balanced from left to right, raise the front legs a bit higher than the back.
Water leakage from your Samsung refrigerator might seem like an intimidating issue, but most of the time, it’s not worth calling service over.
You can even fix it yourself in under an hour!
We hope this article not only helped you gain insight into which places to check for leaks but also gave you general tips on how to take care of your fridge moving forward.