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Old 10-11-2006, 12:33 PM   #1
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Tapping a water line for fridge

Hi guys,

I'm a first time home buyer and will be closing on our house in two weeks. We have to buy a fridge, and want a ice maker and water dispenser. I will have to add a water line for this connection, and the closest thing to the "fridge wall" is the sink. We have a basement so routing pipe underneath shouldnt be a problem.

My question is, how should I go about tapping into the sink line, and how big of pipe should I uise to supply the fridge? I've heard self tapping valves are a good way to go, do you agree? In addition, should I just run the line through the floor or try and tap it out of the wall somehow?


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Old 10-11-2006, 01:33 PM   #2
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There is more than one way to do this, but just keep it simple. By considering a self-tapping valve (which I don't recommend), I assume that you have copper pipes.
If it were me, I would keep everything within the kitchen and just go through the side of the sink base to the refrigerator with the 1/4" tubing water line. No need to go down into the basement and up through the floor or wall.
If you don't know how to sweat copper fittings, You can use a 1/2" compression (wrenches, no soldering) "T" fitting to tap into the cold water line under the sink. You have to cut the main water supply off to the house first of course.
Then you can use a shortpiece of 1/2" copper pipe out of the compression "T" and install a 1/2"-to-1/4" compression shut-off valve on it.
The refrigerator water hook-up kits have 1/4" tubing that go from the valve to the refrigerator.
Keep the tubing coiled behind the refrigerator for when you need to pull it out in the future. Copper tubing kits are best, but plastic tubing is O.K. too.
Good luck!


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Old 10-11-2006, 02:37 PM   #3
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Hi, as mike suggested a better way would be to use actual fittings. If you are not comfortable with that, saddle Ts can still work fine, my father has had one since I can remember with never a problem. If you do use copper line, which I suggest you do, be careful not to kink the line and definitley as mike suggested DO NOT forget to coil up a fair amount of slack behind the fridge for pulling out the unit into the room. If you plan to become a regular handy man around the house, this may be a good opportunity for you to jump into the pool and learn how to sweat copper. Its a usefull skill and this is a pretty safe, non demanding environment to learn. Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2006, 05:57 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I will have to go look up sweating copper, because I have no idea what that means. Thanks for the tips.
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Old 10-11-2006, 06:07 PM   #5
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You can just replace the existing cold shut off valve under the sink with a duel shut off valve, 3/8" outlet one side and 1/4" on the other side, no soldering needed, now connect it and turn it on.

Self tapping valves are no good and there not code approved where I'm at.

Last edited by Ron The Plumber; 10-11-2006 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:05 PM   #6
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sweating a copper pipe is this. Take a blow torch heat the copper pipe conection until the soder (spelling) draws around it. If its not hot enough it wont draw around it. Ron the P has a good point about just changing out the cold to a dual shut off. Just make sure its 3/8 and 1/4 and make sure you install it so the connection line up to the current cold water contection to the sink. Especially if its a copper water line suppling the cold water . If its the flex waterline there more forgiving..
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:45 AM   #7
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The brass colored thingy is the Add-aTee Made by B&K called EZ-Connect

Made by Brasscraft, Wolverine Brass and others.

Disconnect cold water at stop to kitchen faucet, install add-a-tee and then the stop on the branch to run to ice maker. Reconnect the cold water lint to the new outlet (run) of the tee.

Use a 3/8"x1/4" compression union or a SS overbraid line to make final adaptations/connections.

Much easier and faster than cutting in new copper fittings and lets you turn off the water to the icemaker from in the kitchen.

One drawback, if you shut off the water to the sink, you've turned off the water to the icemaker. Use two Add-a-stops to allow independant control of water to sink and 'frige.


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