Installing An Ice-Maker Line
Many refrigerators come with ice makers, which need to be attached to a water supply. The most difficult aspect is locating a water supply close to the refrigerator. Most installations involve drilling a hole through the floor and attaching the tubing to a nearby supply line in the basement. An ice maker is one of those luxury’s you cannot live without once you have it. You quickly get used to serving iced drinks whenever you want them, especially when you can enjoy crushed iced or cubes.
Once you have the ice maker, you have to hook it up. Out of the back of the fridge you will see a fitting or small tube you will connect to an ice maker pipe, which in turn connects to a stop valve in a valve housing in the wall or through a hole in the floor to a valve in the basement water line. Parts for ice-maker installation are available separately, or as kits containing saddle valve, tubing, and compression fittings. Appliance stores, Santa Cruz plumbing service centers, and home centers have kits available with copper or plastic tubing.
REMEMBER: The plastic tubing can become brittle over time and possibly break, so most appliance centers recommend using copper tubing.
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Cut in a T-fitting into a cold water line and take a small-diameter line to the valve in the box.
Typically the valve has a 1/2-inch threaded shank that takes 12-inch female fittings.
You can also sweat a copper extension directly to the inside of the shank.
Mount the box, using the 2X spacers called “scabs” to close up the stud opening to the width of the housing flanges.
Connect the pipe to the interface fitting you installed on the threaded shank. Now it is time to connect the tubing.
Connect one end of the supply pipe to the valve.
Connect the other side of the pipe to the fridge.
If the fridge has a cable, connect to it instead.
Tighten all connections, turn the water on at the valve, and check for leaks.
You will have ice in a few hours, once all the air has purged from the line.
PLUMBING TRADE SECRETS: Refrigerator ice makers use water from a nearby supply riser to make ice. When improperly installed, ice makers are notorious for leaking.
WHAT CAN GO WRONG: Make sure to install a high-tower faucet. They are several inches taller than standard faucets.