Help installing a water line to refrigerator

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  #1  
Old 01-25-06, 11:16 AM
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Help installing a water line to refrigerator

My husband and I have purchased a new-fangled refrigerator with built in water and ice, but we do not have an existing water line to connect it to.

Neither one of us has much plumbing experience, but we're not complete idiots, either. We have galvanized steel pipes, and there is a cold water line almost directly below the refrigerator in the basement. Would it be practical for us to attempt to do this ourselves? Even if it is possible to use one with galvanized pipes, we do NOT want to mess with a self-piercing saddle valve. I haven't been able to find any reasonable instructions online. Does anyone know where such a tutorial might exist?

If you don't believe this is a project that can safely be attempted by a couple of novices, can you give me a rough idea of what a plumber would likely charge for something like this? All of the plumbers I have talked to have been unwilling to even provide a ballpark estimate without seeing it, and will charge a $60-$70 trip charge just to come and look. I'd like to avoid this if at all possible.

If there is any more information you would like me to provide, please let me know! I thank you in advance for your time and help. Also, if anyone out there is in Milwaukee, WI and either knows someone who could/would be willing to help us, or if you meet the above criteria and are willing to take the job yourself, I'd love to hear from you!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-25-06, 11:26 AM
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Hi
If your sink is close just get a ice maker kit with the pipe and supply valve included
all you need is to tap into the cold water and run the palstic pipe to the frige from inside the cabinet and connect it to the ice maker supply
 
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Old 01-25-06, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by pgtek
Hi
If your sink is close just get a ice maker kit with the pipe and supply valve included
all you need is to tap into the cold water and run the palstic pipe to the frige from inside the cabinet and connect it to the ice maker supply
Well, the sink is probably about 7-10 feet away. Is that too far? Would it work to run it from the sink down to the basement and back up through the floor again? Or would that create problems? Thanks!
 
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Old 01-25-06, 11:42 AM
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Well, the sink is probably about 7-10 feet away. Is that too far? Would it work to run it from the sink down to the basement and back up through the floor again?
No problem -- 25' is the standard length in a connector kit.
 
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Old 01-25-06, 11:47 AM
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Do they sell connection kits that DON'T have the self-piercing saddle valves? That's all I've been able to find in my few half-hearted searches. If so, will I need to go to an actual plumbing supply store, or would they have it at a nationwide chain like Ace, Home Depot, Menards, etc?
 
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Old 01-25-06, 12:27 PM
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Do they sell connection kits that DON'T have the self-piercing saddle valves?
What do you want? You can get how ever much poly tubing or copper tubing that you want.
The compression fittings, valve, etc., can be purchased individually.
 
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Old 01-25-06, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bolide
What do you want? You can get how ever much poly tubing or copper tubing that you want.
The compression fittings, valve, etc., can be purchased individually.
I am not sure what the best way to do it is. I have just heard many, many horror stories about self-piercing saddle valves.

Basically, I would like to somehow add a tee into the cold water line in either the basement or below the sink so I can run the appropriate line from its own supply line. If I'm able to do it below the sink, cool. If not, I suppose I should probably put in a shutoff valve at the start of the line, as well, unless I'm able to just add in a three way shutoff valve in place of the standard tee. My big problem is that I know nothing about cutting galvanized steel pipes, or what supplies and steps I need to take to help ensure that I will not have leaking down the line.
 
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Old 01-25-06, 01:32 PM
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They make a double cut-off valve which is normally used for dishwashers. If you have a threaded shut-off valve for your kitchen sink, you may be able to replace it with the double valve and run the tubing through the floor and over to your frig. Most icemaker connections are 1/4" so you may have to reduce the tubing at the unit. Just a thought.
 
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Old 01-25-06, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by majakdragon
They make a double cut-off valve which is normally used for dishwashers. If you have a threaded shut-off valve for your kitchen sink, you may be able to replace it with the double valve and run the tubing through the floor and over to your frig. Most icemaker connections are 1/4" so you may have to reduce the tubing at the unit. Just a thought.
Now THAT sounds pretty easy! I will have to check the situation under the sink to see if that would be a possibility. Unfortunately, the pipes under the sink are a little bit ummm, cramped. How hard is it to reduce the tubing? Is there a connector specifically for that purpose?
 
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Old 01-25-06, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by evilkitty
I have just heard many, many horror stories about self-piercing saddle valves.
I suppose that depends on the installer and perhaps the quality of the valve and the condition of the pipe to which it is attached. They are not for steel pipe any way.



Basically, I would like to somehow add a tee into the cold water line in either the basement or below the sink so I can run the appropriate line from its own supply line.
As Majak said, there are options. What do you have now?



... unless I'm able to just add in a three way shutoff valve in place of the standard tee.
I don't have a picture of what you mean, but I doubt that there is such a fitting.


My big problem is that I know nothing about cutting galvanized steel pipes
A high-speed grinder with a cut-off wheel or a hacksaw is used to cut it up into pieces 5' long or less so you can throw it into the dumpster or scrap steel heap.

Anyway, you can't really cut into it, especially it it is very old.
If you do cut it, it's pretty complicated. There is no way to predict in advance how much you'll end up replacing, could be 100%. But you are wanting to reduce the risks of leaks in the future. So I would just replace it all.

If you insist on splicing into it, find a union, if you are lucky, and take it apart there.



what supplies and steps I need to take to help ensure that I will not have leaking down the line.
If you don't want leaks, you need to replace it with something new.

CPVC is inexpensive and will avoid leaks (and rust from the pipes).
 
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Old 01-25-06, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by evilkitty
I will have to check the situation under the sink to see if that would be a possibility. Unfortunately, the pipes under the sink are a little bit ummm, cramped. How hard is it to reduce the tubing? Is there a connector specifically for that purpose?
It would be good to know exactly what you have as pipe and fittings under your sink.

Changing to another fitting size is usually done by converting to male threads with a male thread adapter and then downsizing with a reducer coupling, or by converting to female threads and inserting a threaded bushing.

So yes, it can be done. It's no problem provided that you can get hooked in at all. There is a way to get from pretty much every size or material to any other size or material that is used for water.
 
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Old 03-15-06, 08:28 AM
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There is no problem of you doing this yourself, if you don't mind the aggravation of learning something new. But I'd recommend you get a plumbing book that addresses the general stuff. The one I've used is 'Plumbing a House' by Peter Hemp.

If you do decide to tee into the steel pipe - this isn't an insurmountable task, but you will need some tools. The tool you may not think of is a propane torch, as heat is the best way to loosen old pipe threads. Grab a little wire brush for cleaning the old threads your going to tap into. Either a sawzaw or a jig saw can be used for cutting pipe, but if you have DIY ambitions, get at least a cheap sawzaw - you can get bigger blades for it that are useful for cutting drain pipes. Don't forget to plan for a valve between the tee and the 1/4" tubing. And tap into the hot water

Anyhow, don't expect to save money on your first DIY job - you'll spend it in tools. BUT, if you have a house full of galvanized piping like I do, you'll definitely have more plumbing work ahead of you.
 
  #13  
Old 03-15-06, 01:52 PM
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And tap into the hot water
For an ice maker???

Doug M.
 
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