If You Hear Water Dripping Behind Your Fridge, This Is What It Means

There's a perfectly normal explanation for it.

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Before you call a plumber, know that the steady drip, drip, drip of water coming from behind your refrigerator is probably nothing to worry about. It likely means everything is working normally. Here’s why.

What is the Noise, and Where is it Coming From?

A dripping noise from the back of your fridge is probably your drain pan, or drip tray. A drain pan collects excess condensation or moisture created by the refrigerator. They’re featured on lots of major household appliances, all with the same purpose — preventing puddles of water outside or around the unit.

The heat of the fridge compressor normally causes the water to evaporate. If that’s not happening, there might be a clog or a leak.

What Should You Do?

It’s worth noting that drain pans are not limitless and can overfill. It’s important to periodically check if it is overflowing. Sometimes, moisture leaking from a crack in the icemaker water line or evaporator drain line adds to the condensation in the pan, causing an overflow. You’ll know because you’ll see water on the floor near the base of the fridge.

First, check your owner’s manual to learn how to access your drain pain. On most models, it means removing the kick panel or access panel at the bottom front or back of the refrigerator. Once you locate the drain pan, carefully remove it to avoid spilling more water. Then clean it off to prevent odors or bacteria from forming.

Should You Still Check for Leaks?

Yes, absolutely. Check for any pools of water inside, underneath or behind your refrigerator just to be safe. If you can’t find any, there’s no reason to fret. And if you do, locate the source of the leak or call a handyman.

Alex Shoemaker
Alex Shoemaker is the Digital Newsletter Editor of Family Handyman.