Connecting your water line to your refrigerator is usually done so that you can take advantage of its ice maker and clean water dispenser. The process over time has become a lot easier with new technological advancements and in many cases, you can simply run the water supply from your kitchen faucet to your refrigerator. If this isn’t doable, then you will need to run a line through your cabinets or floor to where your refrigerator is located. We cannot stress how crucial it is for you to obtain the proper parts and equipment to connect your refrigerator and water line successfully.
Plan the Path for Your Water Line.
You will need to do some prep-work before you begin to the line through your home. You will need to check if your kitchen already has the proper plumbing to hook up your water supply to your refrigerator. If the line is there, then simply use a ¼ inch water line supply tubing to establish the connection. If the line isn’t there, then you will need to use the feed connected to your kitchen sink.
We recommend that you run it through your cabinets, but if this is not feasible, then run it through your floor. Plan to install an additional six to eight feet of tubing that will coil behind your refrigerator. You will also need to decide on the tubing material that you will use to connect your water line and refrigerator; it can be a copper line, braided steel line, or plastic tubing and it must have a diameter of ¼ inch.
Cut Off Your Water
Any time you are working on your plumbing, you should always shut off your water beforehand from the source in which you are connecting your refrigerator. If you do plan on connecting your refrigerator to your sink water line, there should be shut-off valves located underneath your kitchen sink. If they are not there, then you should shut off your home water supply. Next, you will need to turn on your sink to flush out any standing water.
Tapping into the Water Supply
If you’re tapping a sink with a valve then you will need a wrench to disconnect the water supply from the cold water shut-off valve. There will be standing water and you will need to drain it. You then want to attach a tee fitting (an adaptor used to connect separate pipes) to the shut-off valve and tightly fit it into place using pliers. Next, you to connect the sink water supply to the tee fitting and then connect your refrigerator to the third outlet of the tee fitting.
If you’re tapping a sink without a valve then you will need to use either a self-tap saddle valve or a tee stop valve. Make sure the diameter of the inlets matches that of your pipes. With a self-tap saddle valve, you will simply attach the valve to the pipe, and with a tee stop valve, you will have to remove the section of the sinks water supply line that you plan to cut. After cutting out a section of the water supply pipe, you will deburr the interior and exterior of the pipe. Finally, you will securely attach the valve to both ends of the piping.
Adding a water line will require you to run a line through your cabinets or flooring so that you can tap into the nearest water supply pipe. You will need to locate the water supply line and drill a hole into it. You want to ensure that the path you use will not disrupt any wiring or separate plumbing fixtures. The hole must ¼ inch in diameter through which you will run the tubing. Then you will follow the same steps we listed when installing either a self-tap saddle valve or a tee stop valve.
Run the Tubing
With the flex tubing that you decide you use, you will then begin to feed it through the path that you chose. This will require you to drill strategic holes in different areas of your cabinets of flooring. When you run the tubing through the predetermined path, you want to prevent the material from forming sharp coils and kinking. We suggest that at every three feet of running the line through its path, use a cable clamp to secure the tubing to the back of your cabinet or along a support beam.
Connecting the Water Line to Your Refrigerator
The water line will always go into the connection point located in the back of your refrigerator. You will need to use a wrench to tighten the nut that secures the connection between your refrigerator and your water line. We advise that you wrap the threads on the water line connection at the back of the refrigerator. This will prevent leaks in the tubing. Also, when moving your refrigerator, you can place a piece of cardboard on the floor where you need to move it this will prevent your refrigerator from scratching the floor.
Attach Water Line to the Supply Valve and Check Connections
Now you need to attach the water line to the water supply valve and tighten the nut that secures the connection. You can then inspect the connections and tighten anything that is loosened.
Preparing Your Refrigerator for Usage
For refrigerators that contain a water dispenser, we recommended that you flush out the first two gallons of water through the new water line. You can dispose of the water or use it for cleaning if you don’t want to waste it. Your water line will also likely supply an ice maker. If so, We recommend that you dispose of the first three batches of ice that your refrigerator produces.
Connecting your water line to your refrigerator is certainly a viable DIY project, but we recommend that you have basic knowledge and experience with performing plumbing repairs and installations. In many cases, the water line to your refrigerator has become faulty and will require you to perform repair or replacement services. It can be difficult to diagnose the issue and if you should never move forward with any repairs on your own if you are unsure of what is wrong in the first place. Installation services are extremely affordable and you strongly recommend that you hire a professional to set up your water dispenser and ice maker in your refrigerator if you are unsure of anything.