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Running a water line to a refrigerator to supply its ice maker and drinking water dispenser has never been easier. This type of fitting is easy to install and is less prone to leaking than a saddle valve. In most cases, the water line can be run from a kitchen faucet water supply line through the kitchen cabinets and over to the refrigerator.


Last Updated: May 13, This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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This article has been viewed 12, times. Learn more An ice maker is a great addition to any kitchen and can be simple to install with the right materials. Attach copper tubing to your cold water pipe to create a dedicated cold water line for your new appliance. Run this line to the back of your refrigerator or under-counter ice maker and secure it with a compression t. Be careful during the installation process to prevent water damage, contact with electric wiring, or damage to other plumbing.

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Portable ice makers

Edit this Article. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article methods. Things You'll Need. Related Articles. Method 1.

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All rights reserved. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc. Locate the closest cold water source. To install an ice maker you will have to tap into the closest-located cold water pipe. Find this cold water source, which may be found under a sink, below the floor, or in a wall.

What you'll need

If you need to drill through the floor or wall to reach the pipe, it is best to hire a professional who will know how to avoid wires, ducts, or other plumbing. You will need to install a cold water line for either a refrigerator ice maker or an under-counter ice maker. Shut off the water and drain the pipe. Turn off the main water valve before starting your project by turning it clockwise.

This valve will likely be located on a perimeter wall of your home, in your basement, or near an outdoor water meter. Open the cold water faucet to let water drain out of the pipe. Attach a saddle valve to a clean spot on the cold water pipe. A saddle valve is a valve that hugs a water line on both sides and supplies a low pressure stream from it. Wipe the area of your cold water pipe that you will attach the valve onto with a clean, wet cloth. Place a saddle valve onto the pipe and tighten its clamps so that it grips the pipe.

You can purchase a saddle valve at any hardware store.

Built-in & undercounter ice makers

Screw the valve in to pierce a hole in the pipe. Slowly turn the handle of the valve in a clockwise direction. When you meet resistance, keep turning the valve firmly.

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Continue until the needle pierces through the pipe. You will feel less resistance once the needle pierces through the pipe. Attach 0. Place 1 end of your copper tubing into the valve opening. Screw on a small compression t to secure the connection. Measure the distance between your ice maker and the cold water pipe before purchasing the copper tubing to get the appropriate length.

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Turn the water back on. Once you have attached the saddle valve and copper piping, you can turn your water back on. First, make sure all of your connections are secure. Turn the main water valve counterclockwise to turn the water back on. Open the saddle valve to rinse through the copper piping into a large bucket. Gently turn the handle on your saddle valve counter-clockwise to open the valve. Direct the end of your copper tubing unto a large bucket.

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Let enough water flow through to fill the bucket, then close the valve. Method 2.

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Locate the ice maker on your refrigerator. If you are hooking up a refrigerator ice maker, find where it is located on the appliance. If you have a model of refrigerator that is 10 years old or older, the ice maker, including the part that hooks up to the copper tubing, is likely to be located in the freezer. If you have a newer model, it may be located in the refrigerator door. Run the tubing to your refrigerator.

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Pull your fridge out to access the back of it. Depending on where you accessed your cold water pipe, carefully run the water line towards the back of your fridge.

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Avoid leaving the tubing somewhere it might get damaged, stepped on, or crushed. Try to run it flush against the bottom of your walls or cabinets where it is most likely to be safe. Use a compression fitting to attach the piping to the ice maker. Compression fittings are fittings comprised of an outer nut and inner ring that 2 pipes together. Ice makers will often come with the appropriate compression fitting for the cold water outlet. Follow the instructions on your manual to attach the piping properly, as refrigerator and ice maker models vary.

Use nylon cable clamps to attach the tubing to your fridge. Avoid leaving the Hook up ice maker tubing hanging behind your fridge. Clip it firmly to the side of the fridge using 0. Use a screwdriver to secure the clamps with standard No. Method 3. Measure the space you have available to install the ice maker. Using a tape measure, find out the height, length, and width of the space you have chosen to install your ice maker. This will help you narrow down what model of ice maker to purchase. To allow for proper ventilation, plan to leave a clearance of at least 5 inches 13 cm between the back of the cupboard and the machine.

You should also leave a clearance of 2—3 inches 5. An ice maker would be well-located under your kitchen cabinet to the side of your sink or refrigerator. Choose an ice maker that best fits your needs.

How to replace a refrigerator water line

Under-counter ice makers are available in a large range of sizes with different production and storage capacities. Smaller models generally yield less ice and are less expensive. Shop for a model of ice maker with a drain pump. A drain pump is a pump that pulls waste water away from different sources, including ice makers, and brings it to a kitchen drain.

Most models of ice maker come with a drain pump installed, which makes the installation of an extra, gravity drain unnecessary. Invest a bit more money in your ice maker to make sure it has a drain pump installed, which will ensure that it functions better, requires less installation work, and is less likely to leak.

You can purchase an ice maker at a hardware store or department store. Attach the ice maker to your cold water line with a compression fitting.

New users


If your refrigerator has copper piping for for the icemaker line, do not connect your RO system to the fridge.


Follow the information below to properly connect the water line to the refrigerator.


At first glance, it might seem like portable ice makers are simply smaller versions of undercounter ice makers.