How To Properly Drain Water Reservoir In Your Refrigerator?

The water reservoir in your refrigerator is an important appliance component, as it helps ensure that the compressor can operate properly and efficiently. The water reservoir collects condensate from the evaporator, which keeps the temperature inside the fridge cool. Without a properly functioning water reservoir, you may experience problems with your refrigerator, such as warm temperatures or frost buildup. To keep your refrigerator running smoothly, it is essential to properly maintain the water reservoir by draining and cleaning it regularly.

How Does The Water Reservoir Works?

How Does The Water Reservoir Works
The Water Reservoir Works

Your refrigerator’s water reservoir is connected to your home’s water supply and allows you to access cold drinking water. The device works by collecting the water from the home’s water supply and cooling it for consumption. A small float valve with a tube attached allows the refrigerator to fill with the correct amount of water. The water reservoir is generally built into the refrigerator and is easily accessible by opening the freezer door.

Signs That Your Water Reservoir Needs Draining

  • Strange noises from the refrigerator: If you hear strange noises from the refrigerator, it could indicate a clog in your water reservoir. A clogged water reservoir can cause noise and poor performance in the refrigerator.
  • Formation of ice on the freezer floor: If the water reservoir in your refrigerator is not draining correctly, it can cause ice buildup on the bottom. This can occur when a clogged or frozen drain line causes melted water to accumulate and freeze at the bottom of the cabinet. In some cases, an overflowing drain pan may also be a factor. If your refrigerator has a drain line that frequently clogs, or if the drain pan is not installed correctly and allows water to overflow, it is essential to address these issues as soon as possible.
  • Foul odour from the refrigerator: It indicates that the water reservoir needs to be emptied and cleaned. Here are some tips on how to properly drain the water reservoir in your refrigerator:
    Foul odour from the refrigerator
    Foul odour from the refrigerator
  • Reduced ice production: If you notice that your ice maker isn’t producing as much ice as it used to, or if it’s not working, chances are that the water reservoir needs to be drained.

How To Properly Drain Water Reservoir In Your Refrigerator?

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools and materials: A shallow bucket, old towels, and a flathead screwdriver.

Step2: Turn off the refrigerator: Unplug it from the electrical outlet and shut off any water valves connected to the appliance.

Step 3: Locate the water reservoir: Locate the water reservoir on your refrigerator’s inside wall near the top of the unit. It is usually located behind a panel, requiring the removal of one or two screws with the flathead screwdriver.

Step 5: Disconnect the refrigerator from the power source: unplug the unit from the wall outlet and turn off any water valves connected to it.

Step 6: Empty the refrigerator’s contents: remove all the food, drinks and other items stored inside.

Step 7:Place a bucket: Place the bucket directly beneath the water reservoir. Place old towels around the area to catch spills when draining the reservoir.

Step 8: Remove the water:  Remove as much standing water from the reservoir as possible using a small cup or bowl. This will make the draining process easier.

Step 9: Loosen the screws: Once the standing water has been removed, use your flathead screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws that hold the reservoir. Carefully slide out the reservoir and empty any remaining water into your bucket or sink.

Step 10: Tighten the screws: Use a damp cloth to clean the reservoir before putting it back in place. Ensure all the screws are tightened and replaced, as a loose or missing screw could leak your refrigerator.

Step 11: Disinfect the container: Once the reservoir is back in place, pour two cups of bleach into it and fill it with approximately two gallons of water. Let this solution sit for fifteen to twenty minutes to disinfect the container before draining and replacing it with fresh water.

Step 12: Drain the water:  After disinfecting, disconnect the water line and allow any remaining solution to drain out into a shallow bucket or sink. Once this is complete, reconnect the water line and check for leaks.


  • If water is not draining properly, ensure the reservoir is installed correctly, and the drain tube is firmly connected.
  • Ensure the drain outlet hose is securely attached to the back or side of your fridge.
  • If there’s a kink in the hose, it may be preventing water from flowing out. Straighten out the hose and secure it back into place.
  • If you have a filter in the water line, ensure it’s clean and free from any debris or sediment buildup that might block the water flow.
  • Check to see if your refrigerator has an ice maker, as this can be a source of blockage if the water line becomes too frozen. If it does, ensure the ice maker is turned off for at least 24 hours before draining the reservoir.

Tips For Preventing The Water Reservoir From Getting Clogged

  • Routinely inspect the refrigerator for water leaks or signs of condensation.
  • Clean any debris that might have accumulated in the reservoir, such as dirt or food particles.
  • Replace the water filter every six months to ensure proper filtration and cleanliness of your drinking water supply.
  • Check the lines and tubes for clogs, blockages, or kinks.
  • Ensure that the water reservoir is free from any stones, leaves, and other debris before refilling it with fresh water after draining it.
  • Regularly clean the reservoir to avoid bacterial and fungal growth inside it.
  • Avoid over-filling the reservoir, as this can cause water to overflow.
  • Ensure the drain hose is connected correctly and securely fastened so that it does not become disconnected or damaged during draining.
  • If you notice any clogs in the drain hose, use a wire hanger to remove them gently.
  • When draining the water, turn off the water supply before disconnecting the reservoir from the drainage hose.

How Often Should You Drain And Clean The Water Reservoir?

It is recommended to clean and drain the water reservoir every 3-6 months or when you notice a change in taste or smell. Always make sure to follow manufacturer instructions for your particular model as well.

Benefits Of Draining Your Water Reservoir

  • Improved refrigerator performance: Draining the water reservoir regularly can help keep your refrigerator running efficiently. This prevents sediment, rust, or debris from clogging and blocking essential system components.
  • Reduced energy bills: By keeping your fridge running more smoothly and efficiently, you can also save money on your energy bills. Furthermore, if there is any blockage in the water lines due to sediment or other debris, your fridge won’t have to work as hard, resulting in lower energy consumption.
    Reduced energy bills
    Reduced energy bills
  • Reduction of bacteria and unpleasant odours: Draining your water reservoir regularly is essential in reducing bacteria and unpleasant odours. After the initial draining of the reservoir, one should repeat this process every three months or so to keep the water clean and odor-free. Be sure to flush out any dirt, debris, or food particles that might have gathered in the filter.
  • Increased lifespan of the refrigerator: Draining the water reservoir periodically helps to prevent the buildup of sediment, minerals, and other residues that can clog the drain line or filter over time. This, in turn, prolongs the life span of your refrigerator by helping it work more efficiently.


What do I do if my refrigerator still produces a foul odour after draining the water reservoir?

If your refrigerator still produces an unpleasant odour after draining the water reservoir, it may be caused by bacteria or mould accumulated over time. To help eliminate any potential odours, you will need to clean and disinfect the interior of your refrigerator.

Can I drink water from the refrigerator’s water reservoir?

No, it is not recommended to drink water from the refrigerator’s water reservoir. The water stored in the reservoir may contain too many impurities and other contaminants that can make you ill if consumed. Additionally, over time, bacteria and algae may grow in the water reservoir leading to a sour taste and smell, which could make your drinking water undesirable.

Will drain the water reservoir cause any damage to my refrigerator?

No, draining the water reservoir will not cause any damage to your refrigerator. However, it would be best to use caution when disconnecting or to unplug the line so that the refrigerator does not become damaged due to a leak in the system.

Is it necessary to clean the water reservoir after draining it?

Yes, it is essential to clean the water reservoir after draining it. This will help remove any sediment that may have accumulated in the reservoir. It can also help prevent bacterial and algae growth in the future. To clean the water reservoir, use a soft cloth or brush dipped in warm soapy water to scrub any buildup.


Draining and cleaning the water reservoir in your refrigerator is an essential part of regular home maintenance. It helps keep your refrigerator running properly and efficiently and ensures your ice maker or water dispenser works correctly. You can easily clean the water reservoir with a simple vinegar and water solution, then flush it out using clear tap water for a thorough clean. After the reservoir is emptied and cleaned, you can fill it with fresh water for your refrigerator.

Properly draining and cleaning your refrigerator’s water reservoir is an easy way to prolong its life. Not only does it make sure all the parts are functioning correctly, but it also helps keep your refrigerator clean and odour-free.

Leave a Comment