Appliance companies tend to sell new ice-makers, washing machines, and other appliances with low-quality water lines and valves. You won’t believe how often we here at Ridgeway Mechanical receive calls from clients with flooded kitchens as the result of these inferior materials. What’s a person to do? You need a washing machine and you need an ice maker. We recommend that you replace the inferior plastic water lines with braided steel supply lines.
Replacing your ice-maker water line with a braided steel supply line and installing a quality copper tee fitting and high-quality shut-off takes only half an hour, and you probably won’t have to worry about leaks again. Braided steel is non-kinking and highly durable, especially when compared to 1/4-inch flexible copper or – worse – plastic.
You can either call Ridgeway Mechanical to do it for you, or you can do it for yourself, using the instructions below. We recommend that you only tackle this task if you’re an experienced DIY expert.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- a braided steel water line
- copper solder
- copper flux
- copper repair couplings
- copper tee fitting
- copper shutoff valve
- a wrench set
- a pipe cutter
- a soldering torch
Be sure that you have everything handy before you start.
Replace Your Ice-Maker Supply Line in 5 Simple Steps
Step 1: Turn off the main water supply
Locate your home’s main water supply and turn it off. Now drain the system by opening all the faucets.
Step 2: Remove Saddle Valve
After removing the saddle valve, but the copper underneath it. Depending on how long the water line is, you may need to cut out more in order to create room for additional copper and a repair coupling.
Step 3: Prepare the Fittings & Shutoff Valve
The new shutoff will have a packing nut which you should unscrew. Also remove the core and the handle before you solder it. Jiggle the pipes to remove all the water.
Now clean the copper fittings, before fluxing and assembling them before soldering the joints.
Let the pipe cool for about 10 minutes before reattaching the shutoff handle again.
Step 4: Tighten Water Line to the Shut-Off
Insert the braided steel water line to the compression fitting on the shutoff. You can hand-tighten the water line, but give it a good half-turn with a wrench too.
You can now turn the main water supply back on. Take this opportunity to check for leaks. Allow water to run through the new braided pipe into a bucket for a couple of minutes to remove any solder bits or corrosion.
Step 5: Attach the Water Line to the Fridge
Secure the water line to the water inlet valve at the back of your refrigerator from which you removed the plastic pipe.
That’s it – you have just enhanced the durability of your ice maker by several years. Now you don’t have to worry about a flooded kitchen, and you can rest assured that your ice-maker will function as intended.
Our master plumber warns against using the wrong tools or materials to do this job. Appliances are costly, and the wrong materials can cause damage. We recommend that, unless you have the right materials and plumbing and DIY experience, you rather call Ridgeway Plumbing Atlanta to replace your ice-maker supply line.