Water in base of fridge

Sometimes water may appear in the bottom of the fridge. This is usually caused when water created by automatic defrosting cannot run away through the hole in the channel at the back. So it runs into the base of the fridge instead.

If you open the door, at the back of many fridges and fridge freezers is a sloping channel (or two smaller sloping channels leading into a hole).

fridge tool

During normal operation the back wall gets covered in ice, or beads of ice. It needs regularly defrosting. Automatic defrosting slowly warms up the back wall at regular intervals and the ice melts. The water then runs down the back wall into the channel and out through the hole.


Evaporation tray This water then runs out to the back of the fridge and is directed into a small evaporation tray sitting on top of the main compressor. Heat from the compressor should evaporate it away. See the photo to the right which shows a compressor. The water should run into a plastic tray on top of it.

Plastic tool

plastic fridge tool Fridges like this should come with a small plastic tool for clearing the hole. Sometimes the tool might be supplied as an accessory. Or it may come already fitted inside the hole. If the plastic tool is already in the hole (see red tool in photos) then it’s clearly been designed to be there. Lift it out occasionally, push it up and down inside the hole and remove and clean it.


If the tool was supplied in a separate bag keep it somewhere handy and use it occasionally to ensure the hole is nice and clear. Ideally, read the user manual to see what it says about it. Sometimes a blockage is made up of solid ice, which can be melted, but if it returns then something is clearly going wrong because this water should not be freezing. Call an engineer.

Can’t find the drain hole?

As described above it should be right at the back, and bottom of the fridge inside. If you can’t see a drain hole, check that it isn’t hidden – as it is on my own (Neff) fridge. Mine is hidden underneath a plastic shelf that covers the salad compartment. (see photo)

hidden drain hole Sliding forward this cover reveals two sloping channels plus an extra channel leading to the drain hole. The photo accompanying this paragraph shows the base of my fridge with the plastic shelf removed.

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12 thoughts on “Water in base of fridge”

  1. My Hoover drip tray freezes up every few days. I’ve tried adjusting the temperature but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. The drainage hole isn’t blocked. Any suggestions?

  2. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Vicky. If by any chance the fridge is in the garage or outbuilding that may explain it not working properly. But if it’s in a normal kitchen and on its lowest setting but freezing up then there is a fault that needs an engineer to fix. Possibly a sensor or PCB.

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