Ice maker line to fridge tore. Repair? Or get a new one?

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Old 10-22-14, 07:37 AM
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Ice maker line to fridge tore. Repair? Or get a new one?

(A quick word of warning... I'm not much of a DIY-er, so please be gentle with the explanations. I need layman's terms)

We just bought a new Kenmore fridge with water/ice maker. The previous fridge didn't have one, but there is a water line.

The guys from Sears put in the fridge and tried to hook the water line to the fridge, but the plastic tubing was torn. Both pieces were there, but they were separated into two. The Sears team said they couldn't install it, and recommended I patch the two tubes back together. They briefly explained how to do so, and I wrote as much of it down as I could, but upon attempting the repairs myself, I got stuck and could use your help.

Here's what the guys told me to write down:

1. Buy compression fitting for plastic waterline... male to male adaptor.
2. Buy ferrules.
3. Give clean cut.

So I moseyed on down to Home Depot and talked with a plumber working there. I showed him the Sears guys' suggestions. He gave me a lot of options, and I didn't follow all of what he was saying. Per his advice, I purchased a pack of compression nuts, plus brass inserts w/Delrin Sleeves (he said these were ferrules).

I tried patching the two together with these, the way he told me to. I got the nuts, ferrules + brass inlets onto the tubing, but there's no way to join them together. I get the feeling that the plumber either sold me the wrong item, or I'm missing a piece that I should have bought. I get the feeling that it has something to do with the male-to-male adaptor part, but I'm not sure. I'm sure the solution is simple once I know what I need, but I wasn't able to find a good youtube video on repairing plastic water lines.

Anyways, here's a pic of the two separated lengths of tubing, then a pic of one of the lengths up-close:

http://imgur.com/qWdNaH3
http://imgur.com/87GHxhn

Also, I've got one more question... I was thinking of replacing the line with a more durable non-plastic water line, but the plastic line is threaded behind a cabinet which is pretty darn tough to get to. It would probably be much easier to join the two plastic sections together and call it a day.

Do you think it would be worth it to replace the tubing, or should I be fine with what I have? I'm assuming running water through the line would clean out the gunk that's in it since it's old, but I'm concerned as to its reliability. I'd like the simplest possible way to do this, but would also like it to be durable enough to last.

Thanks in advance. Please help this poor guy who has no clue what he's doing
 
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Old 10-22-14, 08:09 AM
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This is the line that connects the house water to the fridge? Yes, you need the nuts, but they normally come with the correct fitting. You need the part in the center of this fitting. You can use the nuts since they are already on the line.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]40496[/ATTACH]



Btw, the HD guy wasn't a plumber. This is a simple repair and all the parts needed would come in one baggie if he knew what he was doing.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 09:49 AM
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Your assembly is wrong. You have the ferrules (plastic rings) reversed. Small tapered end of ring goes towards cut end of tube.

You also need the part Vic pictured, it's called a 1/4" compression coupler (or union).

Here's a little more info:
1) Tube was probably cut to install an in-line refrigerator water filter.
2) I would seriously consider running new line to water source, 1/4" copper tubing.

If you do want to repair tube:
Cut back both tubes a little to get a fresh end.
On each tube, assemble parts in this order:
Nut, plastic ferrule (with tapered end towards union), plastic insert.
Insert tubes in union until they bottom out.
Tighten nuts hand tight plus 1 to 1 1/2 turns. Hold union with pliers while turning nuts with wrench.
Check for leaks.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 10:16 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far. So I need to turn the ferrules around? (On that note - if I do have to turn them around, is there an easy way to get the brass inlets out + in again? They were harder to get in than I thought they would be).

Also, my friend suggested this part to link them together:

Watts 1/2 in. Lead-Free Brass Hex Nipple-LF A833 at The Home Depot

It looks like a different part from the one Gunguy45 linked. Would this work?

Handyone: I'll think about putting new tubing in. When you mention copper tubing, do you mean something like this?

Amazon.com: LASCO 17-0953 Copper Tubing Ice Maker Installation Kit with 1/4-Inch x 20-Feet Copper Tubing 1/4-Inch Compression Self Tapping Saddle Valve: Home Improvement

That's a lot more expensive than the plastic tubing... so it's worth it in your opinion? Thanks again.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 10:32 AM
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You can buy just the copper tube and a few fittings, you don't need the kit. It is still quite a bit more expensive though.
The plastic tubing, while approved for use, could burst. Not good. With a flood, you're talking major expense.
The hex nipple is wrong. That's 1/2" pipe threads. You need what I stated above (1/4" union)
 
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Old 10-22-14, 10:33 AM
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Sorry, I didn't look at the pics. I should have been more thorough.

Your friend is wrong. See how the threads taper? Thats for pipe threads, which seal due to the "crush" as they are tightened down. Compression fittings have straight threads and seal via a washer in the nut or the nylon ferrule.

As to the inserts...they can be tough on the harder plastic. Spit helps but still a pain. If you get the right part, it will have what you need or you can get a pack of four inserts for cheap. I normally twist them out with needlenose pliers and replace them.

Here's a hint for a newbie. When you get a fitting, be it electrical, conduit, plumbing or whatever. Look closely at all the parts, and see what makes sense. How are nuts tapered inside compared to washers or fittings? The teeny tiny instruction sheets in most fittings are useless.

Sorry you are having to make so many trips to the store. Let this be a lesson....ask here first...lol!
 
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Old 10-22-14, 10:37 AM
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Attachment 40514

They also make push in connectors if you want a quick, temporary fix.

These fitting are reliable IMO. They are used on under-sink water filters.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 10:37 AM
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Watts 1/2 in. Lead-Free Brass Hex Nipple
A part that has nothing to do with what you need to do. In your case a braided stainless steel line might be best though a plumber would probably recommend the copper line.

Shop Watts 20-ft 125-PSI Braided Stainless Steel Ice Maker Connector at Lowes.com
 
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Old 10-22-14, 11:19 AM
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Thanks everyone, you're all so helpful! I'm learning a lot. I think I'll just try repairing the tube for now, then replace it later. (I have a cervical hernia which is getting pretty aggravated from trying to stick my head inside a particularly tricky cabinet; there's a carousel apparatus inside, and it's torture to get behind it to be able to view the tubing in place.)

Also... I took another picture, this time one in which the tube attaches to a water line:

http://imgur.com/WP2KNTl

I tried turning the blue handle (the one below the plastic tubing on the opposite side. It's almost hidden.) to test the current tubing, but no water came out. Does this have anything to do with that contraption that the tubing goes into - the narrow vertical cylindrical piece? Is there something I have to do with this first before turning the water on?

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Last edited by ray2047; 10-22-14 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Add image.
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Old 10-22-14, 11:44 AM
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The last picture shows a major problem. The use of a saddle valve voids the warning on many icemakers and even if the refrigerator is out of warning is a problem waiting to happen. Often those valves partially or completely clog and you need a unrestricted flow to the icemaker.

As you say very strange set up. Does that copper line go anywhere above the saddle valve?
 
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Old 10-22-14, 12:00 PM
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ray2047: The copper line goes straight into the wall you see there, just out of sight of the picture.

And that is a major bummer to hear regarding the saddle valve... first I've heard of that type. Looked them up on wikipedia and yeah, it seems that they're against code in many areas. In any case, it's quite old, I'm sure. I'm wondering if I should just hire a plumber to sort things out, and not use the icemaker for now.

Any other opinions/suggestions? I appreciate the help.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 12:13 PM
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Ray is correct, manufacturers specifically call for a full port valve on new icemakers.

I would hold off on ice line.

To be honest, you could do this yourself with some guidance from here, but installing an ice line is not a good place to start learning.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 12:40 PM
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Roger that - thanks for the tip. Any idea how much a plumber would charge for that kind of job? (port valve installation + hook up ice line to fridge).

Maybe I'm asking on the wrong kind of forum, since this one's for DIY'ers
 
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Old 10-22-14, 01:04 PM
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No idea. I could tell you what they might charge here in CA, but you may fall over.
I would stay away from the big name companies and hire a licensed and insured plumber that makes an honest living. It will still be expensive, but not 3 times the going rate as some companies may do.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 01:11 PM
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Actually not that hard. You would remove the cold water valve to the sink and replace with a 1/4"x3/8" dual valve.

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I'm guessing the copper supply pipe is 5/8" so it is an easy swap out. No soldering needed. Valve example: Dual Outlet Stop Valve, 5/8-In. x 3/8-In. x 1/4-In.

I'd leave the saddle valve and cap it off. Example: http://www.amazon.com/Watts-LFA-5-Co.../dp/B004VT2Z0O
 
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Old 10-22-14, 01:11 PM
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Okay. I'll update this thread when I get the plumber over here, to let you guys know how it turned out.

Thanks for being such an understanding and helpful bunch. I'll be sure to check in on this forum next time with whatever DIY-related activity I'm stuck on.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 01:18 PM
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You don't need a plumber but bummer you posted as I was typing.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 01:25 PM
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Ray's right, if it's not too late:
You started by asking how to join 2 plastic lines. It turned to more issues.
We can guide you through this and you can save money.
 
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