Modern plumbing normally conjures images of sinks, tubs and drains. However, increasingly today’s fridges require plumbing attention as well. Due to the water filtration system included in American style fridges, homeowners need to add fridge plumbing to their checklist.
Thankfully, this checklist can incorporate do-it-yourself projects that aren’t too tough.
From installing a fridge water hose to replacing a water filter, you can learn how to do these items yourself in a few simple steps.
Installing Fridge Plumbing
Running a water line for the automatic ice maker and water dispenser can have your fridge’s plumbing ready to go. According to The Family Handyman, this project will require a tape measure, soldering torch and a tube cutter along with a copper tee, water supply stop valve, 1/2-inch copper pipe and 1/4-inch flexible copper tubing.
Running the copper tubing into the cold water pipe is the most difficult challenge. Locate a cold water source near the fridge and decide how much 1/4-inch copper tubing you’ll need. Six to eight additional feet of coiled tubing will be required for behind the fridge.
After you decide which water line connection options you’ll use, you can begin the process. Shut off the water, open the sink faucet and the lower-level faucet to drain the pipe and solder a copper tee after you cut out a small section of the cold water pipe. Solder copper pipe into the tee under the sink and close the valve and open the water main to check for leaks once it has cooled.
Next, plan a tubing route through all the cabinets, straightening coiled tubing as needed. Starting at the fridge, snake the tubing in backwards to leave the coiled portion remaining in place. Then, attach the 1/4-inch water line to the stop valve with a compression joint; attach tubing to the back of cabinets every two to four feet; then run the tubing to the floor near the water hookup. Clamp tubing to fridge.
Following the instruction manual, flush out the tubing before attaching it to the refrigerator. Cut the tubing to final length after giving yourself six to eight feet of tubing for behind the fridge.
Finally, cut the end of the tubing square, slide on the compression fittings and lubricate threads on the fitting with pipe compound and screw on the tubing. Tighten using a wrench. Open the stop valve and check the system for leaks.
Other Maintenance Tasks
Replace a Gasket – According to Plumbing Networks, washing gaskets with soapy water is sufficient for cleaning. To determine whether a gasket needs to be replaced, slide a piece of paper between the wall and the seal of the refrigerator. If it the seal isn’t tight enough, replace the gasket.
Replace a Water Filter – Follow instructions to replace a water filter. Removing the current filter according to design (i.e. push-button, housings, etc.) is an easy DIY task. Make sure you flush a few gallons of water through the new filter before installing it.
Clean a Drip Pan – Simply pull out the drip pan, located beneath the refrigerator, clean the item thoroughly and replace.
Home improvement and maintenance don’t have to be difficult. By paying attention to your owner’s manual, how refrigerators work and a few other items, you can turn perceived, tough repairs into relatively simple tasks. Save money and time by following some of these simple DIY repairs and maintenance.