Fridge drip, floor damaged.
June 16, 2010 9:15 PM   Subscribe

Our new fridge is leaking water and has begun to damage the floor. What should we do?

Okay, to get the obvious out of the way... we've disconnected the water supply and the leak has stopped. It was coming from the middle of the bottom of the fridge (probably under the freezer), not where the water hookup was. It's not a leak from that connection. Also, it's fairly humid in these parts, and the drips seemed worse when we had the ice maker on turbo mode. Last, a repair person will be here in the not too distant future to check it out.

The damage to the floor is mostly confined to the part directly under the fridge and while the floor has warped a bit there the peripheral damage is mostly just discoloration.

We've had the fridge about a week and a half. It's a whirlpool brand bought from sears.

So assuming this isn't all user error from the water hookup (and since that point is bone dry and the leak seems from elsewhere, I'm hoping that's the case) what else could it be? The warranty isn't clear about what kind of financial assistance we can expect for repairing the floor. Are appliance manufacturers responsible when a product defect causes damage like this (we're in Minnesota if that helps)?
posted by roue to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
There is some key information missing here: do you own or rent?, who did the installation?, who delivered it?, what kind of floor?, how bad really is the damage?
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 9:26 PM on June 16, 2010

Is the drip tray properly installed underneath the fridge? The cold coils inside condense water from the air, which is caught by the drip tray, where it is held to evaporate. A missing or incorrectly installed drip tray would allow the condensation water to drip right onto the floor.
posted by 6550 at 10:31 PM on June 16, 2010

The cold water line usually connects to the fridge at a solenoid that controls the water flow. After that there is a line that goes up to the ice maker (and goes through a cold plate if the fridge also has a shilled water dispenser. That line can leak any where along it or at the connections to any of the components.

An ice maker does introduce humidity into your freezer. If the drain pan (usually under the fridge but some times it's more of a pot at the back) isn't installed properly or is damaged this may cause ice maker use related leak without actually being a leak in the cold water supply.

Also if your fridge has a dry/humid or humid/energy save switch make sure it is set at the humid setting. This switch turns on elements surrounding the door to prevent condensation that can drip onto the floor.

As far as covering the damage, I doubt it. The warranty will probably limit warranty coverage to repairing defects on the fridge itself. Don't rail the technician about it though, he doesn't have any power in this regard. Instead contact Sears directly once the defect has been repaired.
posted by Mitheral at 12:15 AM on June 17, 2010

We own the place (well, some small percentage of it anyway). Sears did the delivery and install, though not the water line. It's a parquet wood floor. The damage isn't too bad, so it won't be terrible if they don't cover a repair, but the floor that used to be smooth and flat now is more bumpy than I'd like. Eh. If I can get them to cover a repair I would.

Thanks for the insights into what it could be. Definitely won't be angry with the tech, I just want to get it fixed and know what to expect.
posted by roue at 8:48 AM on June 17, 2010

What do you mean "Sears did the delivery and install, though not the water line." Did you connect the water line yourself? If so, I think that you will have difficulty getting them to cover your damage.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 9:30 AM on June 17, 2010

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