GE Water Supply Line Leak


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Old 12-29-10, 02:11 AM
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GE Water Supply Line Leak

Hi all. I've got a GE fridge that has a leak in the water supply line. The copper tubing from the basement connects via a coupler to GE "Smartconnect" tubing hanging on the back of the fridge, then that tubing continues through the back of the fridge to the water filter inside. My problem is with the coupling where the copper tubing connects to the Smartconnect plastic tubing. The Smartconnect tubing, (called "pex" on home depot receipts, accurate or not), extends from the fridge and terminates with a molded, flared cone shape. The cone fits inside a standard brass coupler and tightens up until the cone is wedged tightly, making a waterproof seal, in theory. Mine was leaking, and while attempting to stop the leak I believe I overtightened and messed up the plastic cone. Now I can tighten the coupler until it won't tighten any more, yet it still leaks. I went to Home Depot and purchased a GE Smartconnect tube that resembles the pipe from the fridge in order to just replace it, but I tracked the tube all the way into the fridge to the water filter assembly, and the tube seems to be molded right into the assembly or glued in such a way as to make replacement impossible. Maybe I'm just not evaluating it properly, but to the naked eye it looks like replacement of that tube would require replacement of the entire assembly, and that seems ridiculously wasteful and expensive.
So my question is, for those that know about this tubing, can the Smartconnect line be replaced from the coupler to the water filter assembly? If not, is there a way to fix the cone connector? With this Smartconnect tubing, can the cone on the end just be clipped off and then the tube fit into a tubing connector in the normal way? I wonder about whether that would work because the Smartconnect tube seems harder and more brittle than normal tubing. I'd hate to cut it off and be left with fewer options than I already have. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 12-29-10, 03:51 PM
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Without knowing the exact model it's hard to give a opinion, you should get on the net where they have hundreds of parts that might be what you want, sorry
 
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Old 01-04-11, 06:46 AM
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The model number is GSS22JFMBWW. I'd get the part if I was sure I needed to do so, but it seems like awfully bad design to make somebody do surgery on their fridge and purchase a whole new water filtering assembly just because the miniscule tip on the end of the tube leaks a bit. I'd really like a way to make this work.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 08:04 AM
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I am a plumber and did the same thing to a homeowners refridge. I damaged that end. The trouble is that tubing is not a size we have in America. I could not adapt 1/4-1/4 inch. You know cut that adapter off. This was an LE refridge though. I ended up apologizing to them and had the home store change the refridge out due to my blunder. If the tubing on your refidge is a standard size by all means cut it.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 01-06-11, 08:34 PM
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Well I determined that the cone on the end of the smartconnect tube was useless, so I cut it off tonight. I used a standard 1/4" connector to jury-rig the connection. First, the metal sleeve that keeps the pipe from collapsing was slightly too big in diameter for the hole in the smartconnect tube. I heated the tube for about 2 seconds using a torch and the metal sleeve then slipped right in. Next, I had to slide the ferrule down the outside of the tube to the connector; however, since the diameter of the tube became larger when I inserted the metal sleeve, the ferrule couldn't fit slide all the way down. Solution was to sand the outside of the tube for 85 minutes, and pull the ferrule until the skin on my hand is almost blistered. In the end I got the nut tightened and hooked up the connection with no leaks.

Fixed, right? No, no, no. The metal sleeve I inserted into the already-small smartconnect tubing takes up space, so the fridge now has the equivalent of prostate trouble - the water dispenser's pee stream, (as we lovingly call it) is very small. It takes like a full minute to fill a glass with water. It was always slow, but this is ridiculous.
Possibly I'll try to make the same connection without the inner metal sleeve, but I worry that the ferrule will crush the smartconnect tubing. I fear I'll have to buy a whole new water filter assembly.
Let me just say that I think it is the epitome of bad engineering and taste for GE to force this proprietary stuff on the public, and to force a $50 purchase just to stop a leak at the end of a 6' tube.
 
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Old 01-08-11, 07:54 PM
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I just had the same issue as you, Dordrecht, but I ended up getting the metal sleeve in the tube and was able to force the ferrule down over it. Once I tightened it all down, everything is working fine and so far I have not detected a leak.
 
 

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