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Question DetailsAsked on 4/22/2017


I had a refrigerator repair guy come out to repair my refrigerator that was clumping ice up in ice bin. He said that it was an old water line that didn't have an adjustment on it. Told me to find a handyman/plumber to replace line. He also said, my old line was cooper and could release lead in my water.

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OK - someone may come in here and rightly say I am crazy, but I have NEVER seen a control valve on the reefer water line - a shutoff valve yes (usually where the line to the reefer taps off the water line, commonly under the sink), but the water line to the reefer provides a gallon or so per minute flow capacity at full household pressure and just connects directly to the reefer inlet valve - and is always on (unless you shut off the manual shutoff valve due to a leak or for maintenance). Is it possible he meant there was no water shutoff valve (though one could do the service job by turning off the main valve for the whole house) - and he wants a shutoff valve put on the reefer water line ? You might check on that, though sometimes the reefer line comes off the cold water fitting for the sink, so the sink shutoff valve also turns that off.

The reefer inlet water valve is part of the refrigerator and electrically (with solenoids) controls the water flow to the reefer - typically two solenoids, one for the drinking water supply andn one for the icemaker. Here is a link to a sample replacement instruction at Sears - different machines are different, but should look about the same on most -

Clumping ice could mean your freezer is running too warm or defrosting too much so the icecubes are partly melting in the bin, or that water is dripping into the icemaker when it does not need it and coating the ice cubes with water, which then makes then clump and stick together. Or that the icemaker is turning them out into the bin prematurely while there is only a thinfrozen coating rather than basically fully frozen - so a sensor on the icemaker could be the issue, causing it to eject the cubes prematurely, if it has a temperature sensor on it.

I would say you need a new Appliance Repair - Large (your Search the List category) technician who knows what he is doing.

Also, on the lead issue - unless your tubing to the reefer is older than about 1970, I would not worry. The leads issue with copper pipes is predominately with lead solder, not the small (usually less than 1% or so) lead content in the pipe itself - especially since lead-copper alloy leaches out the lead much less than lead-tin solder does. And the normal reefer supply tubing would have zero solder joints - are almost always compression fittings.

In fact, the recent health data indicates the plastic tubing that would replace it is probably a whole lot more dangerous than even old copper pipe. And the last reefer I saw put in had a coiled copper tubing in the line kit - not plastic, so evidently the manufacturers are not concerned about the lead issue - though a new EPA standard does reduce the allowable amount of lead in the piping/fixtures to 0.25% - about the same as the 0.2% allowed in copper pipe solder joints.

Anyway - I can't see any need to replace the tubing or put any sort of an adjustment capability on it - the electric control valve on the reefer should be doing that, and is easy to replace if it is leaking.

Note - some icemakers have a separate water shutoff valve at the icemaker - to provide a positive shutoff once the reefer control lvalve has shut - so if it is leaking that could be the cause too.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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