If you plan to buy a new refrigerator with an ice maker and water dispenser, you may need to have a water hookup installed. If your house is fairly new, there might already be a hookup behind your current refrigerator. If you live in an old house and you've never hooked up an ice maker before, call a plumber to have the connection ready to go before your new refrigerator is delivered. Here's an overview of the installation process.
Choose Where To Hook Into The Water Line
The plumber has to locate a cold water line to hook the refrigerator to. They might connect under the kitchen sink, but if the refrigerator isn't close, they may choose a water line above the ceiling or behind the wall.
The location makes a difference when it comes to choosing the valve, so if the plumber wants to use a T-valve, they may hook the line up under the sink and run a long line to the refrigerator. A shorter line can be used if the connection is made right behind the wall next to the refrigerator.
Select The Valve Type
Different valves can hook the refrigerator line to the cold water line. A saddle valve is one choice, but it may not be allowed by your local codes since it has a high risk of leaking. Since this valve can leak, your plumber probably won't install it behind a wall where it is out of sight and easy to forget about.
The saddle valve clamps over a pipe. It has a sharp rod that is screwed in the pipe to allow water to come up the refrigerant line. The plumber might opt for a more permanent solution instead by soldering a T-valve in a copper supply line. They can also choose a T-adapter that screws to the shut-off valve under the sink. This works with all kinds of water supply lines, and it doesn't require cutting the pipe.
Choose And Install The Line
The plumber uses flexible lines to connect the valve to the refrigerator. The lines can be plastic or braided steel. Steel costs more, but it's more durable and a better choice. The plumber might need to run the line behind a wall or above the ceiling. They may need to run it through upper or lower cabinets.
When the line reaches the refrigerator, it can be hooked directly to the refrigerator or the plumber can install a shut-off valve first. Having a shut-off valve could come in handy, but it may not be necessary if the line is connected to the shut-off valve under the sink.