Replace plastic water line
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Photo 1: Turn off the water and cut the water line
Unscrew the valve and slide it aside.
Cut the water line to make room for
a new tee fitting.
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Close-up of braided steel water line
Braided steel is a tough and better alternative than plastic water line.
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Photo 2: Clean and assemble copper fittings
Clean, flux and assemble the copper
fittings and the shutoff valve,
then solder the joints.
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Photo 3: Tighten the water line
Hand-tighten the water line to
the shutoff, then turn the nut
another half-turn with a wrench.
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Photo 4: Attach water line to fridge
Attach the water line to the water
inlet valve at the back of the
Inexpensive plastic water lines and
saddle valves sold for icemakers can
eventually clog or leak, causing
You can replace your plastic water
line with a copper tee fitting, a high-quality
shutoff and a braided steel supply
line in a half hour—and never have to worry about leaks
again. Braided steel is a tough, non-kinking
alternative to 1/4-in. flexible
copper or plastic.
Turn off the house water supply and
drain the water from the entire system.
Remove the saddle valve and
cut out the copper underneath it (Photo 1). You may need
to cut more, depending on how much
play you have in the water line, to make
room for a repair coupling and additional
copper if needed.
Unscrew the packing nut from the
shutoff and remove the handle and core
before soldering. Jiggle the water lines
to get all the water out, then clean and
flux the fittings and solder everything
together (Photo 2).
Allow the pipe to cool for several
minutes, then reattach the shutoff handle.
Close the shutoff and turn the
house water back on to check for leaks.
Attach the braided water line (Photo 3),
then run the water into a bucket or sink
for a few minutes to flush out any corrosion
or bits of solder. Finally, fish the
water line through the floor or wall to
the back of the refrigerator (Photo 4).