Getting An Appliance Plan For Your Home

2 Potential Causes Of Dark Fluid Leaking Out From Under Your Fridge

Have you noticed a dark liquid leaking out from under your fridge? Your first guess might be a food spill inside, but if nothing inside the fridge looks amiss, you might have a more substantial problem at hand. Don't worry – the problem is still likely repairable and won't impede your refrigerator's long-term function. But you might need to call in an appliance repair technician.

Here are a couple of potential causes of dark fluid leaking out from under your fridge – and how you or a tech can repair the problem.

Leaking Condensate or Drain Pan

Refrigerators have a condensate pan or drain pan under the unit that catches moisture that naturally develops during the cooling process. The normal operation of the cooling system also typically helps the condensate evaporate from the pan so that the water doesn't overflow from under your refrigerator. If you do start to see water leaking, and the water has a dark color, you might have a dirty drain pan that is overflowing.

There are a couple of potential causes of a drain pan overflowing. The refrigerator could be set to too low of a temperature, causing it to produce an excess amount of condensation in the process that can't easily evaporate. Or your refrigerator could be low on refrigerant, which is the fuel that powers the cooling system.

For now, you can manually remove and drain the pan and then clean the pan with your sink sprayer and a kitchen sponge. Place the pan back under the fridge and call an appliance repair services technician to diagnose the root of the problem.

Leaking Compressor Oil

Has your refrigerator suddenly stopped cooling at the same time that the dark leak under the unit occurred? The liquid could be oil leaking out of the compressor. The compressor is what pushes the refrigerant through the cooling system within your refrigerator. A leak suggests that the compressor has broken or become otherwise compromised.

You want to unplug your refrigerator immediately and call in an appliance repair service like A-1 Appliance Service to fix the problem. Keep any small children or pets away from the spill, as you are dealing with potentially dangerous chemicals and not simply dirty water like with the drain pan leak.  

Note that while it is theoretically possible for the tech to replace or repair the compressor, you might find it more cost efficient to simply buy a new refrigerator if a compressor leak is the problem.