How to Repair Refrigerator with Water in the Bottom

Most modern refrigerators are self-defrosting. This means that the refrigerator is able to automatically eliminate any frost that may accumulate during a given cycle. Self-defrosting refrigerators contain a defrost timer, which allows the refrigerator to self-defrost every 6 to 8 hours. When the timer turns on, the defrost heater is activated, and any excess frost is melted away. The water drips down through a tube and into a pan at the bottom of the refrigerator, where it is evaporated by a fan. If you notice water collecting in the bottom of your fridge, it probably means that there is a problem with the drainage or evaporation system.

How to Clean the Defrost Drain

Step 1

Find the defrost drain.  It is usually located under the vegetable bin and looks like a small hole in the bottom of the fridge.

Step 2

Remove anything that might be obstructing the drain. 

Step 3

Pour hot water down the drain to unclog any additional buildup. 

Step 4

Observe the water.  If it goes down the drain, you probably fixed the problem.

If not, go on to Section 2. 

How to Clean the Drain Pan

Step 1

Find the drain pan.  It is usually located at the bottom of the fridge, and looks like a tray.

There will probably be buildup of water in the drain pan. 

Step 2

Remove the drain pan and clean it in the sink with warm soapy water. 

Step 3

Inspect the pan for any cracks or damage.  If the drain pan is damaged, it may be draining the water too quickly, which is causing the water buildup in the bottom of the fridge.

Step 4

Replace the drain pan if necessary. 

Things You Will Need

  • Cleaning towel


  • Dust the refrigerator coils on a regular basis in order to encourage proper drainage.

About the Author

Nicole Crawford is a NASM-certified personal trainer, doula and pre/post-natal fitness specialist. She is studying to be a nutrition coach and RYT 200 yoga teacher. Nicole contributes regularly at Breaking Muscle and has also written for "Paleo Magazine," The Bump and Fit Bottomed Mamas.

Photo Credits

  • David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images