Top-Mount Refrigerator: Water under crisper drawers

When the freezer in a top-mount refrigerator defrosts, water drains down through a defrost tube into a drain pan and eventually evaporates. If the defrost drain tube is clogged with ice or gunk, the water can't drain down the tube. Instead, it collects in a puddle under the crisper drawers. Clearing the drain tube usually fixes the problem. Replace the drain tube if it's damaged or you can't clear a clog.

Water leaking from the water dispenser system can also wind up under the crisper drawers, so check water system tubing for leaks and replace any damaged tubes.

top-mount refrigerator

These repairs may help solve your top-mount refrigerator problem

Clean the refrigerator defrost drain tube

Clean the refrigerator defrost drain tube

As part of the refrigerator's defrost cycle, the defrost drain tube transfers condensate from the evaporator drip tray that's under the evaporator to the drain pan in the machine compartment next to the compressor, where the water evaporates. If the evaporator drip tray or top of the drain tube freezes, the condensate water can overflow into the freezer or the refrigerator compartment. This repair involves thawing that drain area so that the condensate properly flows through the defrost drain tube and into the drain pan next to the compressor.

Replace refrigerator water system tubing

Replace refrigerator water system tubing

Many refrigerators have an ice maker and/or water dispenser. The connecting water line between the water components inside the refrigerator can break, resulting in a water leak. This repair involves replacing of water lines inside the refrigerator.

Replace the refrigerator defrost drain tube

Replace the refrigerator defrost drain tube

As part of the refrigerator's defrost cycle, the defrost drain tube transfers water from the evaporator drip tray that's below the evaporator to the drain pan in the machine compartment next to the compressor, where the water then evaporates. If the drain tube is clogged or damaged, the water can't drain from the evaporator drip tray and instead overflows into the freezer or refrigerator compartment. Replace the defrost drain tube if it's damaged or if you can't clear a clog from it.

Symptoms common to all refrigerators

Choose a symptom to see related refrigerator repairs.

Main causes: water valve leaking, frozen or broken defrost drain tube, overflowing drain pan, cracked water system tubing, leaking door seal
Main causes: damaged door seal, faulty defrost sensor or bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer or control board
Main causes: blocked vents, defrost system problems, evaporator fan failure, dirty condenser coils, bad sensors, condenser fan not working
Main causes: jammed ice cubes, broken ice maker assembly, dirty water filter, kinked water line, bad water valve, freezer not cold enough
Main causes: leaky door gasket, defrost system failure, evaporator fan not running, dirty condenser coils, condenser fan not running
Things to do: clean condenser coils, replace the water filter, clean the interior, adjust doors to prevent air leaks, clean the drain pan
Main causes: control board or cold control failure, broken compressor start relay, compressor motor failure, defrost timer problems
Main causes: blocked air vents, compressor problems, condenser or evaporator fan not working, control system failure, sensor problems

Repair guides common to all refrigerators

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your refrigerator.

July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to clean refrigerator condenser coils

Help your refrigerator run more efficiently by cleaning the condenser coils. It's easy and takes just a few minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator water valve

Replace the water valve that feeds water to the ice maker and water dispenser if it no longer controls the flow of water.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a refrigerator temperature control board

If the temperature in your refrigerator doesn't match the temperature you set, the problem could be the temperature control board—a service technician can give you a definite diagnosis. If the board is at fault, follow these steps to replace it yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all refrigerators

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your refrigerator.

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New refrigerator noises

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Find out about the new refrigerator sounds you might not be aware of.

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See how the different components in your refrigerator work together to cool your food.

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Refrigerator common questions

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Benefit from other people's experience by checking on these frequently asked questions about refrigerators.