How to Hook Up a Water Line to a Refrigerator?

The refrigerator requires a separate water hookup to supply water for the ice maker and also to dispense ice-cold water from its dispenser. Traditionally, it is done with the help of a ¼-inch bendable copper tubing. This tube will generally be combined with the refrigerator, into the nearest source of water.

This tubing will get saddled into the water line, with the help of a saddle valve or other type of fitting. But at recent times, this technique has improved to many folds and there are convenient ¼-inch flexible water supply tubes available in different lengths. The water line hook-ups vary in length from one to twenty feet and come with a convenient Add-A-Tee adapter fitting. We can install this water line, almost anywhere even in the presence of an existing shutoff valve. 

The water hooks-up line, that supplies the refrigerator can at times run from the kitchen faucet, through the kitchen cabinets, and over to the refrigerator. If at all, running the water line through the cabinets is not possible, then we may have to run them through the floor, until it reaches the refrigerator. But before, you hook up a water line to the refrigerator, make sure to check the refrigerator. Ensure that there is no existing shutoff valve and water line, either sticking through the floor or extending out of the valve. 

Equipment required for hooking up the water line with the refrigerator

Before hooking up the water line to the refrigerator, gather all the needed supplies. The items that you will require for hooking up the water line in the refrigerator are,

  • Add-A-Tee adapter –3/8” x 3/8” x ¼”
  • 3/8” outlet port
  • ¼” port for connecting the flexible water line
  • ¼” flex water supply tube – calculate the distance between the waterline and refrigerator and choose the water tube accordingly. 

The flex water supply tubes are available either in braided steel or tough plastic nylon mesh. Braided steel material is very expensive. But their extra strength is worth the investment. 

Step-by-step instructions for hooking the water line

It is easy to hook the water in the refrigerator with the water line as a DIY project. Though it takes patience, it is still possible to hook up the water line to the refrigerator following these step-by-step instructions.

1. Shut off the water supply

water supply

Place the fixture shutoff valve at the cold water supply line, present under the kitchen sink. Close the shutoff valve by taking it clockwise. If the value has a lever-type handle, turn the lever, so it is perpendicular to the water pipe. You can also turn on the cold water at the kitchen faucet, to release the water line’s pressure.

2. Disconnect the faucet water line

Keep a rag or a small bucket under the water supply valve, to collect water draining from the supply tube. Disconnect the faucet supply tube from the value using pliers. You can also use two wrenches, use one pair to secure the value and the other to loosen the compression nut at the supply tube. 

3. Place the Tee Adapter

Tee Adapter
Note: Image for Example Purpose Only.

Place the Adapter at the outlet port of the shutoff valve and tighten it by hand. Complete tightening the adapter using two pairs of pliers. Use one pair to hold the value and another to tighten the adapter.

4. Connect the refrigerator supply tubes and faucet

Attach the faucet supply tube with the 3/8” outlet of the Add-A-Tee adapter. Use the pliers to tighten the connection. Fix one end of the ¼-inch flexible supply tube with the ¼” outlet on the adapter. Tighten it with pliers. 

5. Connect the supply to the refrigerator

Run the supply tube back to the back of the refrigerator. Connect one end of the tube to the ¼-inch water supply fitting that exists on the refrigerator. Use pliers to tighten the connection, and ensure that it is more than slightly hand tight.

6. Turn on the water

Open the shutoff valve in the counterclockwise direction, until it lies parallel to the water pipe. Check it thoroughly for leaks. Keep the refrigerator in place and ensure that the ice maker and the water dispenser are working appropriately. 

Bottom Line

Connecting the water line to the refrigerator is a simple task and can be completed as a DIY project by self. Make sure that you clamp the entire water tubing, inside the cabinets along the back, to secure them in place. Also, move the refrigerator back to its position. After fixing the connections, flush out several gallons of water from the dispenser to flush out the water line of contaminants and air, that might occupy the line. If you are using the water to make ice cubes in the ice maker, it is important to throw away the two batches of ice.

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Hi, I'm Douglas Cassius, I have worked with many brands that manufacture freezers and refrigerators, so here I will be sharing that knowledge and helping HomeyCart readers.

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