Things you will need
Put these tools in your checklist and make sure you’ve got everything that you need before you start working on your refrigerator water line.
- Tape measure
- Soldering torch
- Tube cutter
- ½ inch copper pipe
- Copper tee
- ½ inch copper tubing
- Water supply stop valve
The process to install a refrigerator water line
Step 1: Always protect yourself first. Don’t forget your PPE or Personal Protective Equipment kit handy at all times. Make sure that the area is clear and free from any obstructions.
Step 2: Double-check if all your tools are complete. Save yourself from running around for last-minute hardware shopping and get the job done as quickly as possible.
Step 3: Start with accessing the cold water outlet, which you can usually find near your refrigerator. You can also check the water outlet near the kitchen sink, under the floor panels, near the walls, or in some parts of the ceiling.
Step 4: Check if the tubing is well secured to prevent any tube damages.
Step 5: Drill the location where the water source is. Upon doing so, always check for any electrical wiring, air ducts, plumbing, and other sensitive areas that you can’t mess with.
Step 6: Do some measurements on how much copper for the tube that you would need to start the set-up. Ensure that you would give extra coil for the tubing behind the fridge to pull it out when cleaning or during maintenance checks easily.
Step 7: Pick on which type of refrigerator water line connection you will use:
- Soldered regular tee fitting – If you have CPVC (plastic) or steel pipes, most plumbers would suggest adding tee fittings made from the same material
- Compression tee fitting or saddle valve – If you don’t feel like soldering the fittings, you can always cut the water pipe and attach a compression tee. Just don’t use them inside the walls since it’s unsafe, and it violates the Standard Plumbing Code. Pipes must be added as well to the threads to have an easier way of tightening the compression joints.
Step 8: Stop the water connection from the main valve and let the sink faucet work. Open the lower faucet as well to drain all the water from the pipes.
Step 9: Cut a small piece of pipe for the cold water and solder in some of the copper tees. Cut a 4-inch piece of copper for the pipe and solder it into the tee, which is located under the sink. Solder the water outlet, too. This will stop the valve on the other end.
Step 10: Cooldown the whole assembly first, then close the new valve and open the main water to check if there are any leaks from the fittings. If there’s a leak discovered, fix the leak immediately before you continue working with it. If you have a pipe sealant or tape, seal the affected area and make sure there’s no water dripping.
Step 11: Start constructing the routes for the tubes that go through all the existing cabinets and drill at least ½ inch sized holes in between it. Be concise with your spacing so you won’t have any problems with your installation later on.
Step 12: Grab a work partner and ask him to hold the end of the tube from the floor to straighten the coiled tubings. Then push the roll against the floor while continuously unrolling the length you need to cover the whole cabinets.
Step 13: Flow the tubing backward and start at where the refrigerator is so the coiled area shall remain intact.
Step 14: Then start attaching the ¼ inch sized water line and bring the valve into a stop using the compression joint. Attach the tubes as well at the back of the cabinets every 3-4 feet using the cable clamps. As soon as you reach the last cabinet, do not attach any clamps. Instead, run the tubes to the floor where the water line is hooked up on the fridge then clamp the tubing on it.
Step 15: Run some water through the newly constructed line to eliminate all the tubes before you connect it to your fridge. Refer to the product manual for proper guidance.
Step 16: Take at least 7-8 feet of coil wrapped tubes and store it behind your fridge upon attaching it back to its place. Do not forget to cut the end of the tubing square.
Step 17: Slip the compression fittings making sure that it’s well attached. Make sure that you nicely lubricate the threads of the refrigerator fitting. Then, tighten all the fittings using both of your hands. Use a wrench to secure all sides of the fittings.
Step 18: Open the new valve stopper and check the water line for any leaks. If there’s a leak, do not start using the water line and fix the leaks first. If it can be remedied with a pipe sealant or tape, then do so. Otherwise, you need to call for professional help.