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Why Is My Freezer Leaking Water? – Causes & Solutions

A leaking freezer can be incredibly inconvenient, especially if you don’t catch the leak in time. The reason for the leak can be down to a number of factors, including a faulty door seal, an issue with the ice maker, or a blocked drain hole.

In this post, I’ll go over the most common reasons why your freezer might be leaking water and how to fix them as well as answer some popular questions about the topic.

Let’s get into it!

Why Is My Freezer Leaking Water Underneath?

There are a number of possible causes for water leaking out of your freezer or fridge freezer combination.

The most likely culprits are:

  • Damaged or Cracked Evaporator Tray
  • Appliance Not Level
  • Clogged Drain Hole
  • Damaged Door Seal
  • Issue With The Ice Maker
  • Faulty Thermostat
  • Food Not Stored Correctly

The great news is that most of the fixes are easy and inexpensive.

Before you grab the phone to call in a repair technician, take a few minutes to see if you can’t stop the leak with a little know-how and one or two common tools.

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1. Damaged or Cracked Evaporator Tray

Freezer evaporator tray - freezer leaking water

When your freezer goes into a defrost cycle, it drains the melted ice down a tube at the back of the appliance and into an evaporator tray (sometimes called a drip pan or drain pan) that sits at the back or under your freezer.

If the tray gets cracked due to age or damage, water could leak out of it and across your floor. 

How To Fix It:

You can either replace the tray or use some waterproof tape to seal the leak. The tray is hidden behind the bottom grate on the front or back of the freezer.

Depending on your model, you may need to remove a few screws or just cut a piece of tape that holds the tray in place.

If you are doing a quick repair on the tray, make sure to test the fix before putting the tray back in place. By ordering a replacement tray, you are guaranteed a proper fix.

But in reality, the tray is just catching a bit of water and letting it sit until it evaporates. Any plastic or metal bucket that fits into the tray space will do the job.

A replacement tray will cost anywhere from £15 to £50.

2. Appliance Not Level

Your freezer must be level for water from both compartments to drain properly towards the back and down into the evaporator tray.

If the freezer is tipped forward, the door might not seal all the way which can lead to ice build-up around the door and ultimately puddles in front of the door.

How To Fix It:

You don’t need a spirit level, but it makes the job easier. You can just fill up a glass or jar halfway with water and place it on the top of the unit to see if the water is level.

To raise the front of the freezer, turn the bottom feet of the appliance. They are located behind the bottom trim piece on either corner. Spin them clockwise to raise the front of the freezer. You don’t need to lift the freezer to get them to turn. Use a spanner to twist the feet.

Check the level and the door seal again for proper function.

3. Clogged Drain Hole

Drain hole at the back of a fridge freezer and a drain hole plunger tool to unblock it

A clogged drain is the most common reason homeowners notice a leak under their freezer. Whether it is the defrost drain or the fridge drain, it is a small plastic tube that runs out the back of the unit and down into the evaporator tray.

The clog usually happens as crumbs of food particles settle over the drain hole and then become iced over.

How To Fix It:

Try pouring hot water down the drain if it appears to be completely iced over.

If it is not clogged with ice or food debris, clean it out at the top with a drain hole plunger (Amazon), cotton bud or one of your kid’s pipe cleaners.

The clog is not likely to be at the bottom by the tray, but if cleaning out the top didn’t work, you may need to try swabbing it out from below.

Finally, if the drain hose is cracked, it can be replaced.

A replacement drain tube kit costs around £10.

4. Damaged Door Seal

Your freezer uses magnets and a wide rubber seal to keep the door closed. If the rubber seal cracks or falls apart, warm air will constantly get into the freezer causing condensation. This leads to ice buildup around the seal.

The ice melts and ends up in a puddle by your freezer. The magnets never require replacing, but the rubber seal around the freezer door is a common replacement part and an easy DIY project.

How To Fix It:

Order a replacement seal (sometimes called door gaskets) designed to fit your model freezer.

Some seals simply snap into place. Others are installed using a combination of adhesive and screws. Both can be replaced in about 30 minutes. You may need to empty your freezer while you are working on it to prevent spoilage.

A new door seal costs between £15 and £100.

5. Issue With The Ice Maker

While your ice maker usually lives inside the refrigerator section, problems with the maker can look like your freezer is leaking out the bottom.

If the lever is stuck in the On position, the ice maker is constantly creating cubes. This can lead to the unit icing over at the back. Water then runs down inside the fridge and out the front.

When the pressure lever on the front starts to fail, it may always drip water down the front of the fridge.

How To Fix It:

If resetting the ice maker by turning off the lever inside does not stop your leak, you may need a professional to come out to troubleshoot the unit.

Replacing the ice maker is not complicated, but a new unit will run between £300 and £500.

You can disconnect the ice maker to stop the leak.

6. Faulty Thermostat

Freezer Thermostat

When the thermostat goes bad in your freezer, it can cause the unit to constantly run in defrost. This causes your evaporator tray to overflow as it is continually filled with water.

If you notice that your food is never frozen or has ice building up on the boxes, the thermostat may be to blame.

How To Fix It:

Unfortunately, this is not an easy or inexpensive repair. It is best to call in a fridge freezer technician. Expect to pay between £200 and £500 for the parts and labour. But when you compare that to £1,000 or more for a whole new fridge freezer, it can be worth your money.

However, it is best to look for some of the more common problems and fix those before calling in the big guns.

7. Food Not Stored Correctly

If you have food stacked at the back of your freezer, it can block the circulation of cold air. This results in ice buildup around the vents and your drains, which are all in the same area.

How To Fix It:

Make sure to leave 2 to 3 cm between the food and the back of your freezer. This can help to maintain good air circulation and prevent any ice buildup on the back wall of the freezer.

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FAQs

Is it normal for a freezer to leak water?

No, your freezer should not be leaking water. If you find water underneath your freezer or collecting in a puddle nearby check some of the common causes of a freezer leaking water (above) to see if you can find a simple cause and solution.

Your freezer should only be creating water when it is in defrost mode and when any ice build-up is melting. It can be normal to get a bit of water around your freezer while it is defrosting. However, it shouldn’t be lots and there shouldn’t be water leaking when not in defrost mode.

Is a Freezer Leaking Water Dangerous?

It can be. Depending on where the water is leaking and collecting, it could interfere with the electrics of your home and may cause a circuit to trip.

If the water is leaking on the floor in front of your freezer this could create a slip hazard. It may also cause damage to the floor or any cabinets around the area.

If you notice water leaking from your freezer it’s best to identify the problem and fix it as quickly as you can to help prevent any long-term damage or danger.

Where is the defrost drain in a Freezer?

The defrost drain hole is usually located on the back wall or at the bottom of the freezer towards the back. On some models, a plastic panel covers the drain hole. You may need to remove the screws and the panel to access the drain hole.

Final Thoughts…

There you have it! The most common causes and solutions as to why your freezer is leaking water.

If you’re noticing some puddles appearing underneath your freezer, don’t panic and call out an expensive repair technician right away.

Check through these common causes and fixes first to see if it’s something simple. You might just save yourself some time and money!

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Author

Michael from Kitchinsider.com

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.