Our fridge does exactly the same thing.  Actually, it's our old fridge, which we keep out in the garage, mostly to keep soda and extra milk cold, so I tend to let it go a while.  This is what I discovered the cause to be:  When the freezer defrosts, the melted frost drains down a narrow tube, to an evaporation pan underneath the fridge.  But what happens is that this little tube will start to freeze over itself, and so the melt pools in the base of the freezer (under the floor of the freezer) and eventually leaks into the refrigeration area.  A complete manual defrost, where the whole thing is allowed to reach, and sit at, room temperature, will completely cure it, at least temporarily.  Remember that you've got about a 1/3 inch layer of ice that's probably formed in the area between your freezer and fridge area that has to melt, so give it plenty of time.

Now, I don't know what the root cause of this is, if it's that the freezer's set too cold, or if there's some little heater for the drain tube that's on the fritz.  But assuming you have the same problem we do, that's at least a temporary solution (it's usually about 6 months before it happens again, for us).



I googled "condensate in refrigerator" and found a number of possible causes.  The following rings true for me based on actual experience.


Good luck!



Read about your puddling problem in your fridge.  The most likely source of your problem is a blocked drain hose.  The good news is that most of the time they just get frozen, and if you leave the fridge off and open for a few hours for a total defrost, the blockage should clear.  If that doesn't do it, you'll probably need to hose replaced.


I was reading your blog (fanatic follower) and I have had the same thing happen as you have with your fridge. With mine it was a case of a good defrosting that did the trick.

I unplugged the machine, got all the food and drinks in there to a cold spot (actually I had a small party to get rid of most of it lol) and then wait a day or so until it's entirely defrosted/

This method uses up time and cleaning of the machine but with mine it seemed that that was just it. It was leaking because it wasn't defrosted properly in a year or 2 (my mother later explained how 'good housewives' do this once a month, lol).

I sincerely hope that something as trite as this is causing the defect. In any other case it might be more serious and it would probably be cheapest to replace the thing entirely.

Hope it helps out, kind regards from a reader / listener from the



Given Max and Monk have already had a look at it, this may be sonny teaching grandma how to suck eggs. But 90% of the problems I have ever had with my fridges have been either bad/dirty gaskets around the doors letting air in even when the door was 'closed' and clogged drain holes.

I'm not a 'word' person and if this isn't something you knew about I'd be terrible at explaining it. So if you haven't already checked for that, you might want to just visit the link below. They give a fairly good overview of what to be checking for plus a short (if not very detailed) explanation video.


The other 10% of the problems I've had with fridges unfortunately have been 'freak' issues like a roommate being stupid enough to puncture the inside wall of the fridge and other stuff that you'd probably have already noticed if they were happening to you.

When I sold my house a few years ago, after I moved out but before the next people moved in, I had a similar sounding refrigerator leak that was caused by their not being enough food mass in the refrigerator to help it keep itself
cold. Because the condenser had to work over time, water ended up pooling on the floor beneath it, but the thing wasn't actually broken. The fix was free - keep more food in the fridge or drain it and turn it off - but I had to pay to fix the floors. Alas. Anyway, this may or may not be what is wrong with your refrigerator, but testing the theory is the cost of food, or the effort of moving food/soda/small children over from your other refrigerator as "mass" to help the
condenser work less. Unless, of course, the thing is pretty full already, in which case you should ignore this e-mail entirely because I have no clue.



There is a tube in some, perhaps all refrigerators, that runs from the freezer to the bottom of the refrigerator.


With this system, when water is produced by the automatically defrosting mechanism of the refrigerator, that water flows down to a tray at the bottom, and is evaporated by the heat of the motor.


If that tube becomes blocked, the water can end up on the floor.




my guess: sounds like whatever regulates the compressor, so it kicks on when necessary to maintain desired coldness, might not be functioning smoothly and you're getting condensation buildup, and hence that ponding.


bite the bullet, get rid of it, and i say that as a person who fixes things first, and if this is a full-size fridge, double that 400 bucks; a new one is more like 800.



A little research yielded this as the most probable cause of your chill chest's incontinence:


"The most common problem when this happens is the drain or drain line is stopped up..... The water that comes from self defrosting refrigerator/ freezers drains down to the compressor where is is evaporated... Depending on the age, brand, of the unit, it can drain down the inside back of the fridge and drain out the bottom, it can drain out the back of the freezer into a tube down the back of the box, thru the middle of the freezer into a tube in the fridge top to the back and out or down thru the back wall.....


If you do not want to call a repairman for the drain, the thing to try is empty the unit, unplug it, and leave the door open overnight.... Then pour a cup of hot water into the fan blades and see if it comes down into the refrigerator. If it does not, then the drain was frozen and it should be fixed. If it does run, then you need to locate the drain and clean it. Food particles, hair, mold from the frost water can ALL be a cause of the drain stopping up....."


I hope this is helpful to you.



It sounds like the drip line is clogged.  Some drip lines will leak into the fridge when they get clogged.  A full drip pan is a possible cause.  The drip pan is below the fridge; moisture removed from the air of the freezer ends up there, via the drip line.  The drip pan can stay wet in humid climates, and also, it collects lots of dust and lint and such.

The drip line might be visible in your fridge, and you might be able to see a drop of water forming on the bottom of it.  .If so, a quick fix is to set a bowl or cup right beneath that line.  However, you're going to need to clean that pan eventually.  I hear that it's a really nasty job, so this is probably something you want your housekeeper to do.

Good luck!




Hey there Matisse!

I have a bit of a background in appliance repair from my dad.

The most likely issue that your fridge might be facing is that your overflow valve/drip pan is leaking.  Most refrigerators have a valve that drips into a pan when condensation gets too high in the innards of the fridge (where the pipes and stuff are).  This tends to happen when the freon (the fluid that lets the fridge get cold) starts to loose it's ability to work properly.  More often than not, people first notice this when the weather gets hot and extra humid (causing the fridge to work harder).

As for options, you have the following:
1) if you can access the drip pan (usually under and behind the fridge at the very bottom), you could empty it with a turkey baster once a  week or so
2) you could get the freon changed - cheap if you have a refrigeration expert that owes you a favor, very expensive if not (the machine to recycle the freon is not cheap)
3) buy a new fridge.

My recommendation?  For someone for whom "money is time" like yourself, get the new fridge.  In the last few years, fridges have improved a LOT anyway, and you will probably find you make up the extra cost in power-bill savings very quickly.



Has it been unseasonably humid in your area? Our fridge will create water when it gets humid and condensation appears everywhere. Also, the cooling coils might need to be cleaned off (they collect dust like a magnet)

Have you tried kicking it? Of course that normally only works on TVs.




Try vacuuming underneath the fridge and cleaning off the coils on the back - mime was making some peculiar noises and frosting over irregularly and that cleared it right up. 


It sounds like your drain is plugged.  Here's a link that includes solutions to the two most common problems.


Good luck.




Hello, Mistress Matisse,

I too have dealt with such a problem...only mine manifested itself in a nasty rank scent like unto that of pond slime. Stagnant, heavy. I couldn't see a foodstuff that could cause it, and in a fridge that has held Durian fruit, that is quite a point. Eventually I reached to the back of the fridge, and saw that the draining valve had something...um...growing in it. No, don't ask.
But I suspect it had been a loosely packaged cut of meat that had leaked and blocked the valve, hence the smell, and more importantly, pools of *fresh* water that apparently came from nowhere in the fridge.
I realise that I may have been no help, but at least there's one possibility to check. Blocked hidden valve?

I have a sub who is a general contractor and also a pretty handy fellow to have around :)  He tells me that your problem is, and I quote because I have NO idea what he's talking about:
"Her drainage line from the defrosting unit is clogged - this is why her 'floods' only happen periodically...it's when her refrigerator goes into frost free mode.  She needs to get someone to take off the panel and defrost the line and flush it to make sure it's clear"
There you have it!




99% chance the magnetic rubber seal is bad in one spot.   Humid air leaks in, gets cold, and condenses water.   Voila.

I had this happen once, and the seal just came off its track- just kinda go around it and check, even feel for cold spots when it is closed, it should be pretty apparent.   Hopefully you can just pop it back into place.



I hope by now your refrigerator problem has been solved. But if not:

Down at the bottom of the inside of the fridge are probably where the vegetable crispers are. Remove the crisper drawers. On the inside floor of the refrigerator, you will probably see a puddle with a lot of disgusting stuff in it. In the center of said disgusting stuff is a hole that may or may not have a plug. Remove plug and then remove all the gunk & ick that is clogging up the drain.

You may have to pull the drain pans out from under the fridge. To do this: on the outside of the fridge at the very bottom front should be a sort of decorative panel that snaps into locks on either side. Remove this panel, being careful not to break it (they're plastic). Under the fridge will be one or two cheap plastic pans, which is what the condensation from the fridge drains into. They are likely to be even more disgusting than the gunk at the bottom of the fridge. If necessary, drain them, wash them, and replace them under the refrigerator.




As to the refrigerator question, I'm just a girl that hates to pay repair men, so when I started getting fridge puddles, I did some sleuthing. Your problem could be similar, but the workings of your fridge may be better hidden, and therefore harder to fix.

If you have a top freezer, it continuously melts and refreezes in such a way that you never notice. It emits a little trickle of water, but there is usually some sort of tube that carries the water from the freezer to a pan under the fridge. It just sits there and evaporates, and you never know anything about it.

If somehow the entrance to the tube, or the tube itself, gets clogged, then the melted water finds its way into the fridge and makes a huge mess.

I was able to baby my fridge along for several years by cleaning the lines regularly. It is a messy process, however, because the water that goes into the lines is very slimy and gross. My water dripped down a metal plate at the back of the fridge, and into a little trough. There was a small reservoir, and a hole that went into the back of the fridge. Emptying the fridge and cleaning that system  every few months did the trick for me. In a newer fridge, that stuff may be hidden and harder to access - you'll have to look and yours and see what you can find.

Overall, it was a nasty job that put off the inevitable for a couple of years. You'll have to decide for yourself (if that is in fact the problem) if its worth the effort.



  I would imagine that your door seal has failed on your refrigerator.  The biggest seal is the door seal so when something of this magnitude shows up, it's usually the door seal.  Not sure what that looks like with this model, but you could see if it has folded anywhere.  The problem with any house call is the upfront arrival charge.  If you have to have the door seal replaced it might be worth getting a new one.  Reefer that is.


  You should be able to evaluate the seal by pushing on it with a thumbnail.  If it returns to it's un-deflected state in a very short time, it's OK and may just be twisted. If you can't deflect it or it doesn't return to it's original condition, it is time to replace it.  It should feel rubbery.


  If the door seal is OK then you have some other major leak, you are seeing condensation from external air entering the cold box.