Mini Fridge Leaking Water? (this is why)

A mini fridge is a great way to keep things fresh and cool without taking up too much room. Which makes them great for dorm rooms, game rooms or any other location where space is at a premium. A mini fridge is just that, a mini fridge, a small fridge and like any fridge, the mini fridge can develop faults and problems.

Why Is My Mini Fridge Leaking Water?

There are a number of reasons why your mini fridge could be leaking water. Let’s look at the most common causes of the mini fridge leaking water.


This is the usual cause of a leaking mini fridge and almost always caused by improper use of the fridge. Like any fridge, the mini fridge builds up frost as it cools down the temperature inside the fridge. If your mini fridge is over full, airflow is restricted which can lead to condensation which will leak out of the fridge as water.

Ice Build Up


Most mini fridges have a small freezer section at the top of the fridge but don’t include a self defrost facility. This means the ice is constantly building up around the freezer compartment and just like the fridge, if the freezer is over full, it can cause more ice to build up as the moisture forms around the edges of the freezer and then expands.

To solve this problem, completely defrost the mini fridge and remove all the ice that has built up. Then restart the fridge and never over stock the fridge or the freezer again.

Fridge Door Not Closed Correctly

There are a few reasons for this which are either there is too much in the fridge and the door cannot physically be closed. Or the fridge is not sitting on an even surface and gravity is pulling the door open. Or maybe you are just not shutting it correctly. Or finally the door catch is faulty. 

Whatever the reason is for the door not closing properly, the result is the same. Warm, moist air enters the fridge and condensates on the back and sides of the fridge and turns into water which then leaks out of the fridge.

Defrost Drain Is Blocked

This is a common fault with all types of fridges and mini fridges in particular. What happens is small particles of food or other debris drops into the defrost drain and accumulates and eventually blocks the drain hose. This causes ice to gather and then melt which causes the fridge to leak.

How To Fix A Blocked Defrost Drain

Fixing a blocked defrost drain is usually quite a simple task to perform with the minimum in the way of tools or equipment. All you need to do is;

  1. Flush The Drain Inside The Freezer
    Using warm water in a turkey baster gently flush the freezer drain. If you don’t have a turkey baster, a small funnel will often do the trick.
  2. Use A Pipe Cleaner
    If the drain is still blocked, push a pipe cleaner or wooden skewer into the blockage to help remove it.
  3. Clean The Drain Hose
    If all else fails, turn the mini fridge around and locate the drain hose. Remove the hose from the check valve and clear any debris. Then clean the check hose before reassembling the pipe.

Mini Fridge Not Cooling Correctly

It’s possible to catch the dial on the fridge when moving stuff around and setting it on a setting that doesn’t allow it to cool sufficiently. Or the door isn’t shut correctly which prevents the fridge from cooling as it should, this is especially prevalent in an over-stocked mini fridge.

No Power

If the mini fridge loses power any ice inside will eventually melt and cause the fridge to leak. This could be due to a power cut, power outage or simply the plug is turned off or is not plugged into the socket correctly.

A Word Of Caution

As with all electrical appliances, a mini fridge could potentially cause serious harm or even death unless due care is taken. Never attempt to dismantle any part of the mini fridge until the power has been disconnected and you are certain of your level of competence and ability.

If for any reason you are not sure you can tackle the task, call in an expert engineer to assess and repair your mini fridge. Or replace the old one if necessary.

It can be tempting to start taking the mini fridge apart and try to fix it yourself, but unless you know what you’re doing, you could do more harm than good.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my mini fridge leaking water?

If your mini fridge is leaking water it is probably because the drain hose has become blocked. Small particles of food and other debris can clog the drain hose which leads to a buildup of ice which eventually melts and leaks out of the fridge. Try flushing the drain hose with warm water or use a pipe cleaner to remove any debris.

Will a mini fridge leak if unplugged?

Like any fridge, a mini fridge will leak if it is unplugged as the ice inside the fridge melts and has to go somewhere. If you intend to turn off your mini fridge it might be a good idea to place a towel inside to capture any water.

What happens if you don’t defrost the mini fridge?

If you don’t defrost a mini fridge, the ice can build up to such a point that airflow is compromised within the fridge which will cause the temperature inside the fridge to rise and eventually cause your food to spoil.

How often should you defrost a mini fridge?

You should defrost your mini fridge around 4 times per year or every 3 months.

How long will a mini fridge last?

A mini fridge should last around 10 years on average as long as it is regularly maintained.

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