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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Folks,

Few days ago I was tying to run and install an ice maker/refrigerator water line from basement to kitchen right above. Using reference points above and below it is possible to pinpoint a spot with maybe 1 feet accuracy. So, I was trying to drill a small hole from basement and this hole should go through a wall plate and end up somewhere inside a wall (back of drywall) at the back of the refrigerator.

Already drilled a 5 inches hole and there is still a blockage. Whenever more drilling is required some white/grey powder (maybe white cement, drywall) comes out of the hole, so I would believe that I am not hitting a beam or whatnot.

Below are some pics depicting the situation:

Wood Electrical wiring Electricity Gas Flooring


Brown Wood Building Floor Flooring


Any insights and inputs would be appreciated.
 

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I’ve drawn a red line in the first graphic below that is parallel to the wall. Assuming that the white pipe to the left is in the middle of a 2x4 wall, it appears that you might be drilling into the drywall on the kitchen side of the wall. Even if you move the drill back a bit you’re not going to have good confirmation that you’ve drilled into the stud cavity, since you can’t see that. In order to get a definitive reference between above and below, I suggest to do the reverse of what you’re doing. As shown in the second graphic, drill down from above. Start the drill bit at the top of the baseboard with as shallow an angle as you can manage. You’ll miss the edge of the tiles, then from below you’ll just need to move the drill bit back a bit to drill up into the stud cavity. If you do the drilling where that existing hole in the drywall is you’ll be assured that there is no stud in the wall.

Brown Wood Floor Flooring Building material


Electricity Electrical wiring Cable Gas Wire
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’ve drawn a red line in the first graphic below that is parallel to the wall. Assuming that the white pipe to the left is in the middle of a 2x4 wall, it appears that you might be drilling into the drywall on the kitchen side of the wall. Even if you move the drill back a bit you’re not going to have good confirmation that you’ve drilled into the stud cavity, since you can’t see that. In order to get a definitive reference between above and below, I suggest to do the reverse of what you’re doing. As shown in the second graphic, drill down from above. Start the drill bit at the top of the baseboard with as shallow an angle as you can manage. You’ll miss the edge of the tiles, then from below you’ll just need to move the drill bit back a bit to drill up into the stud cavity. If you do the drilling where that existing hole in the drywall is you’ll be assured that there is no stud in the wall.

View attachment 711873

View attachment 711874

Thanks for making these points. Yeah, it would be more precise, straightforward and safe to start from above. At first I was trying to unnecessarily cut drywall, but it is not a big deal.

The pic below shows a more panoramic view, showing the power outlet above which then indicates a stud. Measurements and a stud finder indicates the presence of a stud there too. Since there the horizontal distance between the outlet and countertop is less than 16 inches, there should not be no stud in between. I was a little bit concerned about the wire behind the wall too, but there is always a little bit of a risk anyways.

Amber Wood Lighting Electricity Wall


The rectangle indicates the area in which the plastic box+water valve+arrestor will be installed. The baseboard was pried out and removed. I probably will cut a small rectangle in the drywall and then use an angle drill adapter to drill a hole through the wall plate below. Hopefully, it is going to work out this time around.
 

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I was a little bit concerned about the wire behind the wall too, but there is always a little bit of a risk anyways.
If you have high certainty that you are in approximately the correct location, you know that the cable(s) to the outlet don't run down the stud and through the sill plate (since they aren't visible below), so there is little danger that there is a cable in the area that you plan to cut. There is the possibility that you're completely wrong about being in the same place above and below, so before cutting the drywall I'd still do my suggestion of drilling a small "locator" hole down from above just outside of the tile to confirm that you're in the right place.

If you don't already have one, an oscillating tool is nice to have for this job. It allows to make a more precise cut that a manual saw, with the advantage that you can make the cut and have the blade barely exit the back side of the drywall, unlike a manual saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you have high certainty that you are in approximately the correct location, you know that the cable(s) to the outlet don't run down the stud and through the sill plate (since they aren't visible below), so there is little danger that there is a cable in the area that you plan to cut. There is the possibility that you're completely wrong about being in the same place above and below, so before cutting the drywall I'd still do my suggestion of drilling a small "locator" hole down from above just outside of the tile to confirm that you're in the right place.

If you don't already have one, an oscillating tool is nice to have for this job. It allows to make a more precise cut that a manual saw, with the advantage that you can make the cut and have the blade barely exit the back side of the drywall, unlike a manual saw.

Yeah, I followed your suggestion and used a small locator hole bored from a above and it did work wonders. I was indeed very close to the right spot in my first hole drilled from below, and was literally hitting the drywall (the drywall there is rather thick, with two sheets of drywall together). Had I drilled it 1 inch closer to the header joist, it would be almost perfect. Now, I drilled another hole 2.5 inches from the first one and 2 inch closer to the header joist; it is all good. (Arrow no. 1 points to my first hole drilled from below)
Rectangle Wood Stairs Flooring Floor


I had lots of tool of all possible varieties, but due to a broken in my other house when I was travelling and I lost almost everything. Slowly, I am building up my tool arsenal back. Had 3 oscillating tools (cordelss, corded); and they are very handy for these situation. I got a cheap one at harborfreight few weeks ago and it did cut through the drywall with easy, precision and mastery.

Below is the drywall cut out made, but the plastic box has a 3/4 inch brass fitting protruding out from below of it which makes it difficult for the box to fit, so I carved a notch below to accommodate the fitting but it sill not fitting properly. Also, I was wondering if it would be good enough to anchor the box in the drywall using drywall anchors or whether it would be needed to be attached to a lumber (studs). Below is a pic of the current state of affairs:
Hood Wood Tints and shades Gas Automotive exterior


A view from below:
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I'm afraid that I can't advise without seeing a picture of the box. Do you have a link to the item from the store where you bought it? Usually those boxes fit flush to the surface of the drywall, so I don't understand why you're having difficulty fitting it if you've notched the drywall out. Considering that you've got double thickness drywall there, I think that you'd be able to anchor the box to the drywall alone, without needing to have wood framing (as long as the drywall anchors are far enough from the cutout that they don't just break through the edge). There isn't much force involved in supporting a plastic box.
 

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It's my understanding those boxes are built for houses built on crawlspaces. The valve for your refrigerator should be in the easiest accessible area you can make it. That is usually in the basement if you have one. Or running water supply from an adjacent cabinet, like it appears you have. Also it’s been my experience to drill a very small hole from the top down and running a small piece of wire or a garbage bag tie, down the hole to indicate it’s location. You don't want water in an exterior wall, unless you are sure it is well insulated or you are living in a warm climate.
 

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As evidenced by one of your photos, the box isn’t required in order to connect the fridge (there should be an accessible valve downstairs). The boxes are common in new construction to allow all the rough plumbing to be done (ie. piping to the box), then installation of the finish plumbing later during kitchen construction (ie. piping from the box to the fridge).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
As evidenced by one of your photos, the box isn’t required in order to connect the fridge (there should be an accessible valve downstairs). The boxes are common in new construction to allow all the rough plumbing to be done (ie. piping to the box), then installation of the finish plumbing later during kitchen construction (ie. piping from the box to the fridge).
Yeah, I realize the pastic box is not really necessary; but it a nice touch. Beside it adds a proper valve (not a saddle piercing one) and it is right next to the refrigerator (you don't have to go down to the basement to shut it off), and on top of that it also has a water arrestor to protect the refrigerator's water valve solenoid and etc.

The following is a pic of the plastic box+valve+arrestor with an adapter that I added in order to connect it to the 1/4 OD line coming from the basement:
Fluid Gas Cylinder Font Machine



As you pointed out it should be ok to install it using beefed up drywall anchors, but the lips used to attach the screws are recessed and not flushed with the box. It seems that this type of box was designed to be used in a rough-in plumbing situation whereas the drywalls were not even in place yet. Moreover, even with the notch that I carved in the drywall to compensate for the large pipe fitting coming from the bottom of the box is not enough to accommodate the box in place (maybe more drywall will need to be carved out from that notch): the 1/2 ntp thread fitting coming from the box plus the adapter is bumping on the surface of the drywall itself and thus not allowing the box to be properly and squared installed. On the other hand, also, maybe carving notches on the drywall for the box's screw plastic lips will do the trick.
 

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Yeah, I realize the pastic box is not really necessary; but it a nice touch. Beside it adds a proper valve (not a saddle piercing one) and it is right next to the refrigerator (you don't have to go down to the basement to shut it off), and on top of that it also has a water arrestor to protect the refrigerator's water valve solenoid and etc.

The following is a pic of the plastic box+valve+arrestor with an adapter, that I added in order to connect it to the 1/4 OD line coming from the basement:
View attachment 712814


As you pointed out it should be ok to install it using beefed up drywall anchors, but the lips used to attach the screws are recessed and not flushed with the box. It seems that this type of box was designed to be used in a rough-in plumbing situation whereas the drywalls were not even in place yet. Moreover, even with the notch that I carved in the drywall to compensate for the large pipe fitting coming from the bottom of the box is not enough to accommodate the box in place (maybe more drywall will need to be carved out from that notch): the 1/2 ntp thread fitting coming from the box plus the adapter is bumping on the surface of the drywall itself and thus not allowing the box to be properly and squared installed. Maybe carving notches on the drywall for the box's screw plastic lips will do the trick.
Yes that is supposed to be mounted behind the drywall. You might be able to find one for a retro-fit. Not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's my understanding those boxes are built for houses built on crawlspaces. The valve for your refrigerator should be in the easiest accessible area you can make it. That is usually in the basement if you have one. Or running water supply from an adjacent cabinet, like it appears you have. Also it’s been my experience to drill a very small hole from the top down and running a small piece of wire or a garbage bag tie, down the hole to indicate it’s location. You don't want water in an exterior wall, unless you are sure it is well insulated or you are living in a warm climate.
The water supply line (where the sink and dishwasher are) is on the opposite side of the kitchen, so it would be difficult to route a water from there to the refrigerator.

Yeah, I did run a small (low volt) red wire from the kitchen to the basement (see pic #1 of post #5) in order to pinpoint the location.

On the other side of the wall is not really the exterior, it is a garage. But it is Michigan, so the more insulation the merrier.
 

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The water supply line (where the sink and dishwasher are) is on the opposite side of the kitchen, so it would be difficult to route a water from there to the refrigerator.

Yeah, I did run a small (low volt) red wire from the kitchen to the basement (see pic #1 of post #5) in order to pinpoint the location.

On the other side of the wall is not really the exterior, it is a garage. But it is Michigan, so the more insulation the merrier.
My post was mostly just general information for others looking to install a water supply to there refrigerator. I’m sorry, I looked at this picture and assumed these pipes, were going up into the cabinet right next to the refrigerator. Your valve looks great, good luck getting it installed.
Wood Beam Electrical wiring Electricity Gas
 
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