Most people don't have any idea about how to hook up an ice maker on a refrigerator. I'm here to tell you that this is probably one of the simplest plumbing job you will ever have to do.
How to Hook Up Your Refrigerator Ice Maker - Quick Start
In this chapter we will cover how to hook up your ice maker to the cold water line beneath your sink. Make sure you hook up your ice maker to the COLD water line, you would be surprised about how many people do the opposite.
First, lets talk about the different type of tubing and valves you might use for this operation. The older method of installing a water line to your refrigerator is with a one quarter inch (1/4") copper tubing. Some people still prefer this method, but some of us have moved on. The problem with copper tubing is that it's a little difficult to work with, requires its own fittings and it does not bend readily like plastic , braided nylon or stainless steel lines that come with attached fittings. Let take a look at what these look like.
My personal preference is the braided stainless steel line. It comes with factory attached 1/4" fittings ready for most refrigerator hook up. It's the most reliable and quickest to install. Let's begin by showing you this method since it's the fastest, and I know how anxious people are to get the ice maker going.
First, you will need to locate your primary source of cold water or the cold water line that you want to hook your refrigerator up to. From my experience, I can say, that most people hook their refrigerator, to the COLD water line, that goes to their kitchen sink faucet, under their kitchen countertop. If this is feasible, this would be a good place to start.
Locating The Water Source
Kitchen Faucet Supply Line
Here we see a very basic example of the HOT and COLD water lines under the kitchen counter. If you have a problem trying to identify which one is the COLD and which one is HOT, just turn the facets on, and wait 30 seconds, you should then be able to feel, which one is HOT and which one is COLD. For a refrigerator ice maker, we will be using a COLD water line hook up.
Remember that this is a very basic quick installation to get you started. A more detailed article will follow in the future.
Selecting The Correct Fitting
This is an Ice Maker Push Fitting with a shut off valve. It's good to have a shut off valve in case you ever have to disconnect the water line from your refrigerator for service, you will be able to shut off the water to your refrigerator only and not the entire house.
This type of fitting is available at most retail home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot.
Compression Ice Maker Connector With Shut Water Shut Off
Here we can see a 1/2" Brass Compression with a shut off valve designed to take a 1/4" plastic or copper tube. This is a good alternative to the Push Fitting shown above, if you are not able to get a push fitting or if you prefer a compression type fitting. This fitting comes with a 1/4" shut off valve, which is standard on most ice maker.
This type of fitting is easy to install, just don't over tighten.
Stainless Steel Refrigerator Ice Maker Water Line
Hooking Up The Water
Attaching The Water Line To The Refrigerator
The last thing to do is to hook the water line directly to the back of the refrigerator and then turn on the water at the shut off that you installed under the kitchen sink. It can take up to a few hours for the ice maker to produce its first batch of ice, be patient.