Installing A Water Line For Your Refrigerator: A Complete How-To Guide


Let’s be honest: we, like most people, take running water’s convenience for granted. But what happens if your refrigerator‘s water line suddenly breaks? Having a cool and refreshing drink on a hot summer day could quickly become a hassle. 

On the plus side, dealing with this kind of problem is easy. So today, we, DaDongNy, will discuss everything you need to know about refrigerator water lines and how to install them. We’ll also go through the best water line materials for long-term durability and ease of installation on your end. Let’s get started now without further ado.

Water Line For A Refrigerator: What Is It?

The water line in your Whirlpool refrigerator is a plumbing tube that supplies water to the appliance. This tube is often made of copper or plastic, and it’s important to have a properly fitted water line to prevent leaks.

These water lines are often located behind the refrigerators and connected to a water source that includes the main water line and a water filter. The water line size is usually determined by the measurement of the refrigerator you have in your household, and it is important to pick a water line material that is both too small and too big. Water lines could be installed by either a professional plumber or if you are a do-it-yourselfer. In most cases, installation involves drilling a hole through the rear of your LG refrigerator and then connecting the water line to a water supply.

A properly fitted refrigerator water line is necessary to ensure that your refrigerator has a steady water supply. A defective water valve can result in a drop in water pressure, which could also lead to leaks. On the other hand, a large water line can potentially waste water and raise your utility bill for water.

Symptoms Of A Broken Water Supply Line

If your refrigerator suddenly isn’t generating enough water, it might be because of an issue with the water line. There are a few indicators you can inspect to see whether that is the case:

  • The Water Line Is Generating A Loud Noise

If you hear a rattling sound from your fridge, it might be due to a clogged water line. The strange sounds you’ve heard might result from a water line that is too narrow, as it may cause the water pressure to fluctuate.

If you see any of these indicators, you should get your water line replaced to prevent more harm from occurring to your refrigerator.

  • A Sudden Drop In Water Pressure

A sudden decline in water pressure is among the most obvious indicators of a faulty water line. An issue with the water line is almost certainly to blame if the water pressure flowing to your refrigerator unexpectedly drops.

  • You have A Saddle Or T-Valve Installed In Your Fridge

Most appliance retail installers often use a saddle valve or a t-valve upon setting up a water line on a refrigerator, which are known to break down often. This is due to them being unreliable when stopping the water flow. They are also frequently installed underneath the fridge, making it difficult to shut off.  An experienced handyman installing an inline shut-off valve would be considerably more efficient and, therefore, will avoid any difficulties that a saddle valve might bring.

  • Ice Cubes Are Produced In Smaller Portions

Your water line may also need to be fixed if the size of the ice cubes produced by your LG refrigerator is smaller than usual. Smaller ice cubes sometimes result from the ice maker working more tirelessly than required due to a water line leak.

  • There’s a Refrigerator Leak

A leaking refrigerator is an indication of a defective water line. It’s a good idea to look for leaks in the water line if you see water piling up inside your counter-depth refrigerator. To check for leaks, disconnect the water line from the water source and turn it on. If indeed the water line leaks, it has to be replaced.

The following are the most typical reasons of leaky refrigerator water lines:

  • Mold accumulation in the water line
  • Plastic lines develop minuscule cracks that eventually tear
  • The line is kinked after you relocate your refrigerator
  • Parts of the line’s inlet and output valves are loosened
  • The water line’s operation is interrupted by ice inside the collection bin
  • The food you stored in the freezer has obstructed the defrost drain tube
  • Age-related settling and strain on valve connections occur in refrigerators

Water Line Repair Guides

You can try a handful of things to repair a faulty water line if you’re a do-it-yourselfer. However, it is important to remember that you can repair them with a simple fix, especially if it is leaking or has holes. But even so, here is a step-by-step instruction for repairing your defective water line:

  1. Look Into The Problem

Work safely on your fridge’s water line by slowly pulling the appliance away from the wall, ensuring you’re not sitting in water, and unhooking it.

While working, always leave your refrigerator unplugged. Assess the plastic water line on the back of your appliance. If you don’t see any tears or breaks, look for tiny holes throughout the refrigerator water line with your fingers.

  1. Measure And Purchase A New Water Line

Close the refrigerator water lines’ shut-off valve after measuring the length of the pipe that must be replaced. Visit a local hardware store near you to get quarter-inch plastic tubing. You’ll also need to buy a coupling connection.

You can buy a new kit with tubing and connectors available on the marketplace, but keep in mind to buy the appropriate length of your water line.   

  1. Put The Line And Connectors In Place

Check your measurements again, then trim the replacement water line to size. Place either end of the line firmly into a coupling connection. The connection should fit the line and establish a tight seal when you push.

If the line has to be disconnected, press into the connection to release it before dragging it out.

  1. Remove The Bad And Reconnect The Good Water Line

Remove the faulty plastic tubing and mount the tip of the old tubing you trimmed to the coupling connectors on the new tubing using the same technique mentioned above.

Examine the refrigerator’s water shut-off and inlet valves to ensure your work hasn’t compromised the connections.

  1. Turn On The Water Source

After turning on the water, wait for a brief time. Keep tabs on the old and replacement water lines for any signs of leaking, specifically around the coupling connectors.

Check the shut-off and inlet valves again, then turn the refrigerator on. Keep an eye out for your fridge now and then if the leaking persists.

Six Easy Steps In Installing A New Refrigerator Water Line

If the water line from your refrigerator continues to leak despite the preventive measure, you’ll have to replace it. And given that there are multiple ways for an installation of this kind to go wrong, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step tutorial on the best way to replace your old water line with a new one so that you feel more confident in doing it yourself knowing that it won’t leak after the work is done.

You’ll need to get the following tools:

What you should purchase:

  1. Turn Off The Water Supply

Find the shut-off valve of your water supply’s cold line located underneath the sink and rotate it around until it comes to a complete stop. If it has a lever-style handle, turn it opposite towards the water pipe. To relieve the pressure in the water line, turn on the cold water at the kitchen faucet.

  1. Unplug The Faucet Water Line

Place a drop cloth underneath the water inlet valve to catch any drips from the pipe. Next, remove the water supply tube from the valve using pliers or adjustable wrenches. To prevent the valve body from shifting, use the wrench to hold it in place while removing the compression nut from the supply tube with a plier.

  1. Attach The Add-A-Tee Adapter

Tighten the Add-A-Tee adapter onto the water cutoff valve outlet port using your hand. Then tighten the adapter even further by holding the valve with a wrench and tightening the adapter with a plier.

  1. Connect The Faucet And Refrigerator Supply Tubes

As you did in the last step, fasten the water supply tube with the Add-A-Tee and secure the attachment with pliers. After that, t Using pliers, connect one end of a ¼-inch water line to the adapter’s ¼ -inch outlet.

  1. Attach The Supply Tube To The Refrigerator

Connect the new water line to the refrigerator’s back panel. After that attach the tube’s other end to the refrigerator’s 1/4-inch water supply socket. With pliers, secure the connection.

  1. Turn On The Water Supply 

Rotate the knob or crank up the lever opposite towards the water line to open the shut-off valve underneath the sink. Thoroughly check for leaks throughout all connections before returning the refrigerator to its original place. Lastly, assess whether the ice maker and water dispenser are in good working order.

How Often Should You Change The Water Line

Although there isn’t a specific timetable for when your refrigerator water line should be replaced, it’s a good idea to have it evaluated once every year. But, if you see any or all of the above signs, you should get the water line checked and fixed as soon as possible to avoid damaging your fridge.

Several Ways To Extend The Life Of A Refrigerator Water Line

To avoid malfunctions and costly repairs, you may do a few things to improve the lifespan of your refrigerator water line, such as:

  • Set Up A Water Filter

With a water filter, any harmful pollutants are cleansed, preventing corrosion. Scaling and rust are major problems for your refrigerator’s water line because they can lead to leaks.

  • Clean The Water Line

Clean the water line to boost the lifespan of your refrigerator’s water line. Flushing the water line helps remove any sediment that has accumulated over time in your refrigerator. Sediment can lead to problems as it may clog water lines and limit water flow.

  • Examine The Water Line

Inspect the water line regularly for any indications of wear and tear as well. It’s a good idea to replace your water line immediately if you notice any cracks or leaks.

Picking The Ideal Material For A Refrigerator Water Line

When buying a new water line for your refrigerator, the most important aspects to take into account are its longevity and the likelihood of leakage. There are several types of refrigerator water lines available on the market, but the three most popular materials are copper, plastic, and stainless steel tubes, thanks to their durability and simplicity of installation. These are the distinctions between the three materials:

  • Pvc Or Plastic Tubing

These PVC or plastic-made tubings for your refrigerator are cheap and easy to install. However, plastic-made water lines are less durable and more susceptible to damage. They also often leave a strange taste in your water and ice.

These materials resemble the braided stainless steel water lines that usually connect your sink to the hot and cold water lines. The only difference between the two is their diameter. Depending on where you attach the water line, the length of tubing necessary for a fridge supply might range from 10 to 25 inches, whereas toilets and sinks usually require a 12-inch water line.

  • Copper Tubing

Copper tubing is an ideal replacement for your old water line since they are cheap and do not influence the water’s flavor. Copper, however, frequently bends and hinders the flow of water, which is its main issue. Nevertheless, copper lines are unlikely to rust despite being metal and regardless of having been submerged in water for a lengthy period.

Although copper tubings are better than plastic refrigerator water lines, installation can cost between $4 and $12 per linear foot. Despite several households favoring plastic tubing because of its affordability and simplicity, copper is the ideal water line material for your fridge.

  • Braided Stainless Steel Tubing

Unlike the previous materials mentioned above, braided stainless steel tubing is a very reliable and durable refrigerator water line material that does not break or bend easily, and there haven’t been any reports of foul-tasting water.

There are fittings on both ends of this stainless steel tube, so you only need to clamp them on your refrigerator, making it the quickest and easiest waterline material to work with.

Which Is The Ideal Choice?

No matter how small the diameter of your water supply line is, small damage could entail severe repercussions. Both plastic and copper have benefits and drawbacks. But you must make sure that you get the one that’s most suited to your needs.

Plastic pipe is much more elastic than copper pipes, yet it’s also the most prone to crack and leakage. On the other hand, copper does not break, but it might kink over time and cause your water to stop flowing all of a sudden.

Plastic is just less challenging to handle and work with. However, copper is more durable and long-lasting. There’s also the odd taste in your water. Many plastic line users have experienced a plastic taste in their drinking water or ice cubes. It is unlikely to be an issue with copper pipe.

What is the ideal option? It’s water line tubing made of braided stainless steel material. This water line with a copper shut-off valve should withstand any condition for several years. They are made from durable materials that are almost mold-resistant and rarely clog. 


  • How Much Water Can A Refrigerator Leak?

It is dependent on the model of the refrigerator. An average American refrigerator usually consumes approximately 300 gallons of water per day. And if there are issues with the water line, the leaking might rise quickly.

  • What Is The Reason For An Ice Machine Leaking?

Check the ice maker’s fill cup if the leak has nothing to do with the water line. It might leak if the ice maker is not fixed in a level position. A rusty inlet valve or malfunctioning inlet valve could be the source of the problem.

Related Article: How To Identify The Root Cause Of A Faulty Refrigerator Water Inlet Valve

  • What Is The Cost Of Replacing A New Refrigerator Water Line?

A plumber will charge between $200 and $300 to replace a refrigerator water line. On the other hand, if you have the knick-knacks for refrigerator repair, you can repair the line for $10 to $50 to acquire new water line materials.

  • How Can I Tell If The Refrigerator Water Line Is Leaking?

To access the water line and check for any leaks, gently pull the refrigerator away from the wall and slide your fingers to the line to see if there’s any indication of dampness. You can also look for traces of puddling water by placing newspapers underneath the bottom of the fridge or the crisper drawers.


A faulty refrigerator water line makes it difficult to enjoy a cool drink on a sweltering summer day. Although fixing or replacing your water line will help you fix the issue, it might be intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with your refrigerator. Nonetheless, we hope that the information and instructions provided in this post have assisted you in resolving the issue without needing professional assistance, which would have cost you more money than you should have spent.

To learn more about refrigerators and how this valuable piece of equipment chills the food and beverages inside, check out the post here.

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