What to Do When Your Fridge Water Line Fails?

It should go without saying that your fridge water line should work with no disruptions, all the time. Without water, the connected ice maker couldn’t make the ice. Now, the water can’t get to your fridge if the adequate line has failed.

When your fridge’s water line fails, you’ll also likely have a leak that may spread throughout your room. In case that goes unchecked, that water can quickly soak up your carpet and other furniture, all the while providing an ideal environment for mold to grow in.

If you’re struggling with a refrigerator water line failure, this post is perfect for you. We’ll go over what caused that, how to clean up and repair everything, and some prevention tips for the future.

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fridge leak

How to Detect a Fridge Water Line Issue

First, let’s figure out exactly what happened and why.

Check the water dispenser and ice maker for inconsistencies. These indicate a problem with the water line and it’s the first step you should take. 

Examine the connections at both ends of the water line. Loose or improperly connected fittings are a red flag. 

Also, look for wear and tear – cracks, kinks, and other visible damage. Check for clogs and leaks. Look around the fridge and see if there’s any water. If the floor around your fridge has started bubbling, it’s a sign of moisture buildup that may have come from the fridge.

If you’ve noticed a lot of ice, more than usual at least, outside the designated area for such, there’s likely a problem with your water line.

Sometimes there might be some weird sounds coming out of the fridge, like hissing or dripping. Try placing a towel on your water line to see if it gets wet or checking the drip pan under the fridge for excessive water.

This is a great inspection to take to be 100% sure you’ve indeed got a leaking water line in your fridge. Now, once you’ve done that, it’s time to deal with it.

Before You Start Repairing Your Fridge Water Line Leak

Let’s not get shocked, okay? Disconnect the power supply to your refrigerator by unplugging it from the electrical outlet.

Also, locate the water shut-off valve connected to the fridge water line. Turn that valve clockwise to shut off the water supply.

These steps are some nice precautions to take that will make the repair process safer, easier, and less time-consuming.

You can also get the food and drinks out of the fridge and then place them in an ice cooler. Leaving them at room temperature shouldn’t be done for more than 2 hours.


Because the bacteria can quickly build up at that temperature. You may not even know that one bacteria can turn into over 2 million in just 7 hours. 

Therefore, you should avoid leaving the food out for too long.

How to Repair a Leaking Fridge Water Line

Time for the fun stuff. Here’s a step by step outline for fixing your leak.

  1. Fix the actual water line: You may have read our DIY water restoration post. It’s pretty universal, as it applies to all water damage causes. The first step we’ve outlined is to fix the moisture source before beginning any cleanup. The same goes here with refrigerator water line leaks. Mitigate the actual moisture source: 
    • Tighten the connection between the line and the valve. 
    • If the problem is with the hose, remove the damaged part or replace the entire hose altogether.
    • In case the problem is with the filter or defrost drain, you’ll need to remove the accumulated debris to unclog either of them and allow water to flow smoothly.
  2. Clean the water up: Use a mop and a bucket. Again, make sure the electricity is off.
  3. Dry out the room: In case you live in a warmer area and some water has evaporated, place a dehumidifier in the room to bring the humidity levels down. Got a particularly wet spot? Place an air mover there to dry it out.
  4. Remove the excessive ice: Found more ice than needed? Remove it out of the fridge, as that ice, when it melts, can cause a mess in the fridge.
  5. Take care of the floors and carpets: Sometimes, a lot of water can leak quickly from your appliances, including your fridge. If there are wooden floors or carpets nearby, those can absorb that water. Floors can start warping or bubbling, while a carpet can get soaked up. You’ll need to dry those out too. It’s hard for them to get damaged to the point of needing replacement but it’s possible if given enough time. This is why you need to react quickly to any leaks.
  6. Check the walls: This is also assuming you got an extensive leak. Sometimes, water can reach your drywall. The solution is the same – use the drying equipment to dry them out.

And there you go!

Now, this is a lot of work. You may struggle along the way, and at that point, you may want to consider professional appliance repair and water damage repair assistance.

When to Use Professionals and How to Do It

Appliance repair technicians would deal with the actual fridge water line problems, while restoration technicians would be working on cleaning up the water and drying out your room.

The room HAS to be dried out quickly. 

If not, mold could start growing. And no, it would not grow just on your bread but also on all organic materials that got damp, even walls and carpets.

You may notice some white mold on your food at first, but then, over time, dark spots and patches could start popping up on your walls and your paint could start peeling off. 

At this point, you’d definitely need a professional water restoration team to properly clean up and fix or replace the damaged items.

The good news is that in case there’s extensive water damage caused by a fridge water line leak that happened suddenly, you can get insurance to pay for professional restoration costs.

The thing to keep in mind with insurance is that they’ll cover only the water restoration itself, not the appliance repair costs you’ve paid for the repair of the actual fridge.

Get a Professional Water Damage Restoration Quote Nationwide!

As soon as you call the number below, you’ll be connected with a professional restoration company in your area. Free, with no advertising or commitment.

Fridge Water Line Failure Prevention Tips

Any issues you’ve checked for and had to fix are the same ones you’ll never have to ensure don’t happen again. This includes:

  • Inspecting the water filter for clogs
  • Making sure the installation and the connections between the fittings, connectors, and valves are tight
  • Water line damage should be dealt with right away – replace the damaged line to prevent leaks
  • Occasionally clean the valve to prevent the debris from building up. The same goes for filters.

So that’s it. 

You’ve done it! You repaired your fridge’s water line and cleaned up the water like a pro. You also now know the causes of these types of issues, allowing you to easily prevent them in the future.

Wrapping up

Great job! This was a lot to take in, but hopefully you’ll be able to resolve your leak quickly and prevent any further damage to the items around your fridge. If you need more help with leak repair and drying out your room, use RepairSprout to find a top-rated restoration pro in your area.

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