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Refrigerator Water Line Options
When hooking up a water line to a fridge ice maker or a door water supply, you want to use the correct materials to ensure the water flows well and everything is hooked up correctly with minimal chance of leaks.
Many refrigerators these days supply a source for drinking water (inside or on the door) and will make ice cubes for you. To have a water dispenser or ice maker in your fridge, you need to be able to get water from your cold water supply over to your fridge in an efficient way.
Something that you might not have considered is what types of plumbing material you are going to use. Even if you are hiring a plumber, you should be aware of the different options available and what they mean to you.
Choices of Refrigerator Tubing
Copper tubing is a great, affordable choice. Copper is durable, and you won’t get a bad taste in your water or ice (as reported when using plastic or PVC tubing). The only problem I see with using copper is that it can kink easily. You will have extra tubing behind your fridge to enable you to pull your fridge out for cleaning purposes, and it is quite possible that the line could get caught and kink, causing the water flow to be blocked or worse.
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PVC or Plastic Tubing
PVC or plastic tubing is also an option. Plastic is very cheap. Some have reported noticing a bad taste in their fridge water and ice with a plastic water line. Another possible problem is that plastic is not a very strong product and cuts quite easily. For insurance purposes, you might want to stay away from using PVC or plastic.
Braided Stainless Steel Tubing
Braided tubing is a very strong and durable product that will not cut easily, kink easily, and to my knowledge, there are no foul-tasting water reports. It looks the same as the braided water supply lines you use to hook up a toilet or a sink to your hot and cold water lines. The only difference is the diameter, which is only a 1/4” versus a 1/2” for toilets and sinks. The other notable difference is the length of tubing as a fridge supply can use 10’ to 25’ depending on where you are connecting from, whereas toilets or sinks are usually 12” or so. Braided tubing is fitted at both ends with the proper fittings, so all you have to do is tighten the line to your connections. It is also the easiest to work with.
Which Refrigerator Tubing Material Is the Best?
Braided stainless steel tubing is the option I recommend. It might cost you a few dollars more, but it will last longer and, like I said, is very easy to work with.
A Valuable Tip: Make sure you leave extra tubing behind your fridge so you can pull it out to clean behind it. Give yourself an extra 5 or 6’ of line. So if the distance from the refrigerator hook up to the water line you are tapping into is 10’ make sure the line you are installing is at least 15’ so you have room to pull your fridge out.
The Best Choice: Stainless Steel Tubing
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Grant Handford