I know that there is a drain hole, and then that water is drained through it and then evaporated by the evaporator, and when the fridge does not work - nothing will evaporate the water. So does the fridge maybe have a tray where it is supposed to temporary hold up water until it evaporates it, but because there was a lot of frost and nothing to evaporate it, the tray just overflew hence the water on the floor?

Also, could this overflow damage something, I guess if this is the case the tray should not be close to the electronics - because everyone turns their fridge willingly or not once in a while and some people might even have more frost in their fridge.

I am not linking the mini fridge model because it is a generic one, but they most likely are all the same for the 120L and around - mine has a properly enclosed freezing part, which didn't have any freeze in it.

  • 1
    A full sized fridge will have an automatic defrost cycle, and they also have trays to catch water. A mini-fridge normally doesn't have any of that. Of course I'm going by a typical mini fridge in the US.
    – JPhi1618
    Jul 12, 2019 at 15:08
  • YES, you are correct. Small fridge's usually just have a catch tray underneath. If you had significant frost build up and let it melt then it was more water then the tray could hold.
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


Well you kind of have the idea but not quite. The evaporator is the cooling side of the loop - this is where the frost forms. Depending on the size, it may or may not have a defrost cycle.

My mini-fridge in my shop has a defrost and the water drains into a pan on top of the compressor, the heat from the compressor accelerates the evaporation (some fridges only have a large drip pan). My guess is you have a fridge where the "ice box" is the actual evaporator - this is quite common in small units. When the moisture drains out, there is no pan or drip trays to catch the water, in many cases because these need to be manually defrosted, so all the moisture ends up on the floor.

In the case where there is a pan or tray, it may have been too small to catch all the water and you already guessed that with the fridge off there is no heat from the compressor to aid the evaporation of the water.

The parts of a fridge are the compressor, the condensing coil (many times this is outside the case but in some it can be enclosed) and after the condenser coil there is a metering device sometimes as simple as a small orifice or tube, but on larger high-end fridges it can be a thermally controlled valve. Then the evaporator and back to the compressor to complete the loop.

To answer the last question: will the excess water cause a safety problem with the electrical? My answer is it won't be a problem as even very inexpensive units have the power enclosed and I have never seen more than a slip hazard or damage to the flooring from this moisture.

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    Trying to read that makes me want to poke my eyes out with a hot poker. The etymology and syntax gods insist that you break down all those loooooong sentences into more digestible short ones. ( replace some comma's with periods ) Add some paragraph breaks. The advise is great, the delivery is not up to what we have come to expect from you Ed.
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:35
  • Thank you! I am not sure if the icebox is the actual evaporator, I have an enclosed box not the one that you can actually see the coils if that matters? This is the bottom of my fridge though: imgur.com/a/dOVHb3T. The ground wire is a bit open so I am not sure if this black box thing might be the water evaporating tray.
    – appwizcpl
    Aug 3, 2019 at 20:24

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