Fridge Leaking Brown Liquid? (here’s why & what to do)

Did you go to take something from your fridge only to notice that it’s leaking brown liquid?

If so, don’t panic. Take a deep breath, and we’ll go over the main reasons why this happens, and how to fix them.

Reasons why there’s brown liquid leaking from your fridge

Looking at your fridge that’s leaking brown liquid can be scary. Is it dangerous? Will it mean that you’ll have to buy another appliance soon?

Fortunately, the issue may just be something minor that can easily be fixed with a damp cloth or a simple cleaning session.

Here are the common causes why your refrigerator may be leaking brown liquid, and what you should do to stop it from happening.

Food items are rotting or spilling in your fridge

Do you notice a brownish liquid leaking or dripping from your refrigerator? Does the liquid look sludgy or smell foul?

In this case, it is possible that the leak is caused by food spills or spoilage that is happening inside your fridge.

A person opening a refrigerator

For example, you may have not noticed it yet, but your condiments or drinks weren’t sealed completely. Or maybe there are rotting organic types of food that are already starting to decompose.

Once the organic material breaks down or the liquids from the spills drop, they will start to mix together and turn into a brownish colour. Usually, the leak has a bad smell too.

What to do to stop the leak

To determine whether spoilage or spillage is causing your fridge to leak, do an inspection.

Check each seal and container in your refrigerator to see if something is spilling or placed lopsidedly. Check your vegetables and fruit if they are still in good condition.

Once you find where the spills or rotting food originate, resolve the issue by closing the lids properly or disposing of rotten food in the bin. Then, get a clean, damp, cloth to wipe the areas and get rid of the excess moisture and foul smell.

TIP: Not a fan of commercial soaps? Use a combination of white vinegar and water to clean the compartments of your fridge. Do so by soaking a clean cloth in the solution and wiping the dirtied areas thoroughly.

There are issues with your fridge’s drain pan

If there is any brown liquid leaking from your fridge and there’s no spillage, the next thing you need to check is its drain pan.

The purpose of your fridge’s drain pan is to catch any ice or condensation from its compartments. That’s exactly why it’s called a condensation or drip pan, as it serves to collect the liquids and keep them from leaking directly onto your floor.

When there are issues with the part that’s supposed to collect the liquids, then this can result in the leaks you’re seeing from your fridge.

What to do to stop the leak

Before anything else, check your fridge’s manual to make sure where and how to remove the drip pan properly. After all, doing so haphazardly can cause you to spill condensation everywhere.

Once you’ve located the tray, slowly remove it from your fridge and pour the collected moisture and debris on your sink. Then, get to the root of the problem by checking the condition of the pan.

Is it only overflowing and needs draining? If so, once you’re done emptying the tray, clean it with a damp cloth and soapy water, rinse it with clean tap water, wipe the excess liquid, and then put it back in its compartment.

Is there a crack, or damage to the tray? This means that it’ll need to be replaced. Check out service areas near you to see if they have one for sale.

NOTE: Not all drip pans are removable. If your fridge is one of the models where a drain pan is directly installed in the appliance, the options you have is cleaning it right there with a damp cloth or contacting a professional to fix or replace it.

SEE ALSO: How To Fix A Blocked Defrost Drain

There is a compressor oil leak on your fridge

Sadly, if there’s no spillage and no issues with the drain pan in your fridge, the brown or almost black liquid seeping through may be caused by a leaking compressor oil.

In this case, the compressor, which is responsible for pushing refrigerant on your fridge’s cooling system, may have been broken. This could happen due to several reasons: age, not having enough refrigerant, blockages, and more.

Once the compressor breaks, the oil that lubricates it is bound to leak everywhere – which is what you’re probably seeing pooling under your fridge.

What to do to stop the leak

Oil leaks have to be fixed immediately as they can cause the ultimate failure of your fridge’s compressor.

The first thing you need to do in this situation is turn off your refrigerator. Make sure that you take off the plug to avoid damaging your compressor further.

Next, call on a professional to diagnose the issue. Although it may seem like a simple problem to fix, compressor issues are dangerous as the chemicals that can leak from them can be detrimental to your health.

NOTE: While waiting for your repairman, you can wipe the oil off with a mop, especially if you have kids and pets, as this could be an accident waiting to happen for your little ones[1].

Keep safe, call a pro!

If you are unsure of your repair and DIY skills, do not attempt to fix your fridge on your own. Chances are, you may damage the appliance or even put yourself in danger.

Like other things, prevention is still better than cure! Call an expert repair specialist in your area to inspect and fix your appliance.

Have you ever experienced a similar situation before? Feel free to share them below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the oily substance leaking from my refrigerator?

The oily substance leaking from your fridge can be the lubricant that’s in its condenser, compressor, or evaporator coil.

Is it bad if my fridge is leaking water?

A fridge that’s leaking water can be dangerous as it can be a safety issue and a possible slipping hazard. Make sure to troubleshoot the problem before it gets worse.

Is it worth fixing a leaking fridge?

As long as the appliance is not too old and the maintenance work is not too expensive, a leaking fridge is still worth fixing.  

How do I stop my fridge from leaking?

To stop the fridge from leaking, the best thing to do is determine why it’s doing so in the first place. The most common reasons why a refrigerator may be faulty can be due to a blocked defrost drain, a faulty drain pan, or a loose door gasket.

Can a clogged water filter cause the fridge to leak?

Yes, a clogged water filter may cause a fridge to leak, as it will not be able to connect to the refrigerator’s system properly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *