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MatChup's avatar

How do you connect the cold water to a refrigerator?

Asked by MatChup (204 points ) February 3rd, 2011

I purchased a new fridge more than 6 months ago and I still haven’t hooked up the cold water line. Do you have any experience doing these type of connections? The house I am living in was built so long ago back when the city was just being built maybe right after WWII. At the moment there is a ¼” copper line connected to a lead water pipe behind the fridge. It has an old needle valve connected to it, but the whole thing doesn’t work. I don’t have the resources to pay a plumber now. What can I do to best tackle this job?

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5 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

The existing valve is probably a self-piercing saddle valve (like this). It clamps onto the pipe, then turning the handle drives a pin into the pipe to make a hole. If that valve no longer works, you should be able to turn off the pressure to that lead pipe and remove the valve by undoing the screws that hold the clamp together.

Then you can take that valve over to the Home Desperate and buy a replacement, unless your kit came with a new valve. If you line up the pin in the new saddle valve with the hole that the other one made (crank the handle of the new valve in before installing and seat it into the old hole to make sure they’re aligned), you should be in good shape.

MatChup's avatar

@thorninmud, thanks for the answer. This is exactly the kind of valve I have. Are these types of valves reliable? or would it be better to install a different kind of valve where I may have to replace the lead pipe sticking out of the wall. I was thinking to install a small faucet like valve

thorninmud's avatar

No, they’re not at all reliable. They’re crap. But they’re easy, which is why they’re so widely used.

You say that this is a pipe sticking out of the wall—so is it just a short length of pipe, like a few inches long, that ties into another pipe behind the wall? Or is it a longer pipe that goes on to supply some other fixtures? If it’s just a short stub coming through the wall, then replacing it and installing a better valve wouldn’t be a big deal (although messing with old pipes is always an adventure; it may not unscrew from the tee without damaging the tee, and then you’ve got a problem.

MatChup's avatar

Yeah, it’s just a piece of pipe sticking out of the wall. I was planning on removing the saddle valve and seal that hole with some kind of plumbing tape then use the existing thread, clean it first, to connect on that end of the pipe a faucet type valve then hook up the cold water line to the fridge. Thanks for your advice dude!

thorninmud's avatar

Sounds like a good plan. A good way to patch the old valve’s hole is to cut a small piece of rubber from an old inner tube and clamp that over the hole with a hose clamp

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