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Question DetailsAsked on 6/13/2016

How do i run a new water line to a refrigerator?

We have a fridge with installed ice maker on one wall, but want to place a new fridge with ice & water dispenser on another wall. On the other side of the new wall is a pantry are, which houses the washer dryer (on the far wall) and about 5-7' away is a powder room with sink & commode. This is in a townhome, on the center level, above & over from the water heater.
We are semi-diy'ers, with access to someone who is very handy but not necessarily able to be there to help us.

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1 Answer


Where it is easiest to come from depends on your house layout of course and a plumber would figure that out in quick order if he were doing that, but unless you are able to extend the existing line from the existing tap, you will likely have a bit of wall and/or ceiling drywall holes to run a line to the new location.

Easiest if the existing reefer is on an adjacent wall to the new location (i.e. a line would not have to cross a walkway) is usually to replace the existing line (I do not like couplings behind cabinets in case of leak so it recommend a seamless line end-to-end) - pull a rope/cord through as you pull the old line out and back to the shutoff valve, if you can. Many or most brands of cabinets have a chase behind them at the bottom - about a 3-4" overhang on the back of the cabient that leaves a gap behind them for easy close-to-wall installation without removing baseboards, ventilation, and running lines like this. Use the rope to pull another long enough piece of water supply tubing (may be copper coil or plastic depending on local code amendments) from the shutoff valve to the new reefer location - may take a bit of flashlight and fishing work, and commonly involves pulling a stove or dishwasher out to shorten the fishing or reaching distance.

If no chase behind the cabinets, some code areas let you run it through holes in the back of the walls of the cabinets (be sure to caulk up after tubing is in for prevention of insect/vermin access to the interior of the cabinets). If installed at the bottom of the cabinet rather than the top back (and be sure drawers won't smash into it), I recommend putting a rabbeted strip of wood or angled/beveled piece of crown molding trim like below which leaves a gap behind it over the tubing to protect against things being shoved against and kinking/puncturing it, or incompatible metals contacting it (if copper) and causing a spot corrosion leak -

One thing to remember - because the water dispenser / icemaker typically has a fairly positive action valve, you want the line to be restrained along its route - not free to whip and kick around like if you run it without fasteners in floor joist bay for instance. I have heard of a few tearouts to fix whipping/thumping reefer water supply lines. That might affect where you pull the water from.

And don't forget - if in an area with cold winters - do not lay it against an exterior wall without insulation between it and the wall - fiberglass batting or regular slip-on pipe insulation tubing cut in half so the water tubing is protected to the "outside" but exposed on the "inside" to house heat works well, because it can get quite cold behind cabinets when it is around or below 15-20 degrees outside - commonly below freezing behind cabinets if subzero outside, so if in severe cold area don't run along outside walls at all.

One other thing - remember this has to hook up to reefer as it goes in, and future reefers may have connection high or lower, so leave adequate slack behind reefer for easy connect/disconnect with the reefer pulled out from the wall.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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