What to Do When Your Refrigerator Water Line Leaks
The refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances around the home, so when one breaks down or suffers a leak, the experience can have consequences. If you find that your fridge’s water line has a leak, there are a few simple steps you can follow to troubleshoot the problem and have it running again in no time.
What To Do When Your Refrigerator Water Line Leaks
The first step is to identify the leak. The refrigerator water line connects the household water supply to a refrigerator with an ice maker or water dispenser. The water line typically runs at the back of the fridge. Once the leak has been identified, here is what you can do to fix the problem.
- Turn off the valve that supplies water to the refrigerator and then unplug the refrigerator to turn off the appliance. You will likely find the water shut off valve located beneath the kitchen sink or in some cases, behind the refrigerator itself.
If the valve is located behind the fridge, carefully pull the appliance away from the wall and turn off the valve.
You will now have to loosen the compression nut that secures the supply line to the water intake valve. This can be done with the assistance of an adjustable wrench by turning the nut counter clockwise and then disconnecting the supply line.
Once loosened, remove the compression nut to disconnect the supply line from the valve.
If the supply line is broken or torn in places, replace the old line with a new one making sure that its length and dimensions are the same as the original water line. Material choices range between copper, plastic and stainless steel water lines.
- To fix the new water line in place, thread one end of the supply line to the shut off valve under the sink and tighten until it is snug in place. When using a copper or plastic line, make sure to first slide on a compression nut secured with a compression sleeve or ring onto the end of the line. A stainless steel water line comes with a built in rubber gasket that stops the connection from leaking.
- Thread the other end of the supply line to the water intake valve and tighten it until snug.
- Turn on water and check for any leaks. If there is still a drip, tighten the nuts a bit more.
Purchasing a new water line
When the line is badly damaged and needs replacement there are a few things to keep in mind. For instance, one of the factors at this point would be to choose a line material that will offer durability and long lasting utility. Another is the price tag attached to the new purchase.
Plastic water lines
In terms of materials, plastic lines are the most cost effective but also least durable. The biggest threat lies in these lines cracking, clogging or leaking, causing water damage. While plastic lines may seem to work well in terms of flexibility, especially where space behind the fridge is tight, many people do not prefer this type of line material.
Copper water lines
Another option is to go with copper water lines that yield superior sturdiness but are also more prone to kinkiness. A more flexible version of copper lines is available to allow pushing the tubing into position giving it some flexibility to work well in cramped spaces.
Stainless steel water lines
As an alternative stainless steel braided lines can be considered. Braided steel is a tough, non-kinking option to the more pliable plastic and the ¼ in flexible copper lines. Stainless steel also happens to be the most durable option but will tend to be the most expensive as well.
Whether the leak in your refrigerator water line is caused by a plastic, copper or stainless steel water line, remember that you can always access the professional service of our experts at Tidal Wave in Atlanta to come and resolve all water damage concerns at your home.