How to Replace the Refrigerator Ice Maker Copper Supply Line
Dec 07, 2016
Refrigerator ice makers are attached to the main water supply pipe that leads to the kitchen. The copper supply line or copper tubing can corrode over time and create pin-size holes that leak. Replacing the copper supply line ensures your kitchen floor and wall do not become water damaged.
Unplug the refrigerator. Turn off the water supply to the ice maker at the main water pipe shutoff valve. Most copper supply lines, commonly called copper tubing, are attached to pipes with a saddle-type shutoff valve or a compression tee. Turn off the water supply to the copper tubing at the shutoff valve.
Place a bucket under the copper tubing shutoff valve to catch the excess water that may be in the pipe. If your shutoff valve is leaking, unscrew the shutoff valve and pull it off the main water supply pipe. Remove the copper tubing from the back of the refrigerator by unscrewing the nut on the tubing with a wrench.
Calculate the length of copper tubing needed by measuring from the copper supply line connection location on the back of the refrigerator to the main water pipe where the old copper tubing was connected. Add 7 feet to this length to find the total length needed for the copper tubing. This provides you with enough slack to move the refrigerator out from the wall to clean the floor.
Route the copper tubing from the water supply over to the refrigerator through the access hole through which the old copper water tubing was routed. Pull up enough slack in the copper tubing to allow the refrigerator to be moved out from the wall. Slide the compression sleeve and compression nut from the copper supply line replacement kit onto the end of the new copper tubing.
Place the new shutoff valve onto the cold-water pipe, over the preexisting hole in the pipe if you are replacing a leaking valve. Hand-tighten the valve.
Insert the copper tubing end with the compression sleeve and nut into the outlet of the shutoff valve. Push it in as far as it goes, then screw on the compression nut until it is hand-tight. Tighten the compression nut with an adjustable wrench.
Slide the other compression sleeve and nut onto the free end of the copper tubing. Insert the copper tubing into the compression fitting on the back of the refrigerator and push it in as far as it goes. Screw the compression nut onto the fitting and tighten it with an adjustable wrench.
Turn on the water supply and run water through the copper tubing until the water runs clear. Press and hold the water dispenser lever on the refrigerator for five seconds, then release it. Keep pressing and holding the lever for five seconds intervals, then releasing the lever until water flows through it. Place a bucket or large pitcher underneath the dispenser and flush a total of 3 gallons of water through the refrigerator to eliminate any debris from the copper tubing.