Water or ice on your refrigerator’s interior wall?

Do you get water trickling down the rear interior wall of your refrigerator, or even a layer of ice? Today we explain why this happens and what you can do about it.

The first thing to mention is that water or a layer of ice on the rear interior wall of a fridge is not unusual – in fact, water formation on a fridge’s back wall is a completely normal physical process. Water will always condense and collect at the coldest point because cold air can hold less moisture than warm air. In fridges, water condenses on the rear interior wall because this is where the evaporator is located – and it’s the evaporator that extracts the “warmth” from the interior.

Which appliances are affected?

Moisture and ice appear on the rear walls of fridges that feature a rear wall evaporator with no vertical partition plate. In appliances with vertical partition plates, although condensation still takes place, the formation of moisture droplets is concealed by the partition, and is therefore not visible.

Do water and ice indicate a problem with the appliance?

Certainly not. As we have already mentioned, water accumulation on the rear wall is completely normal, but there should only be a few drops or a thin film of water. If water accumulates in the condensation drainage channel, it could be that the drainage channel is blocked. In this case, it is advisable to carefully clean the channel to allow the condensate to drain freely.

How can you prevent ice and condensation on the rear interior wall?

Whether and how much water or ice forms on the inner wall is determined by the following factors:

  • High ambient temperatures
    If the ambient temperature is high, the compressor has to run for longer to maintain the required temperature in the fridge. Occasionally, this may result in ice formation.
  • Low thermostat setting
    If the temperature thermostat is set too low, the air in the fridge can absorb less moisture, increasing moisture formation at the coldest point (the rear wall). In addition, for the refrigerator to provide more cooling power, the compressor has to run for longer. This reduces the time when the fridge is not actively refrigerating in relation to the compressor running time, leaving less time for the condensate on the rear wall to drain into the drainage channel.
  • Wet foodstuffs
    If you store water-rich foods (e.g. fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, dairy products) or still-warm dishes in the main refrigerator compartment, they will release a lot of moisture into the interior atmosphere. This moisture will collect on the rear wall as condensate. So, don’t put warm food in the fridge; wait until it has cooled down completely. And, if you have one, use your BioFresh safe to store fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products.
  • Opening the door
    Frequent opening and closing of the door allows warmth and moisture to get into the fridge, and the compressor has to work long and hard to return the interior temperature to its desired level. If the compressor has to run for a long time, ice may form on the inner wall of the fridge.
  • Door seal is not airtight
    If the water is draining correctly and yet the rear wall is still icy or puddles of water are forming, it might be that the door seal is not airtight. Warm air outside the fridge can absorb more moisture than the cold air inside the fridge; a small hole in the door seal will continually allow warm air and moisture into the fridge, which will condense or form as ice on the inner wall.

To conclude:

Within Liebherr’s wide range of appliances there are models with which you will never experience wet or icy inner walls: namely, our BioFresh refrigerators, which feature a vertical partition plate in front of the actual inner wall. Not only this but, with BioFresh, foods stay fresh for much longer and dry out far less.