Running a water line to a fridge on the opposite side of the sink for an ice maker and drinking dispenser has never been easier. For instance, running a water line to a refrigerator from the opposite side of the sink was mainly done with a 1/4-inch bendable copper line. The copper pipe could be snaked from the fridge to the opposite side of the sink and tapped into the water line with the help of a saddle valve or any type of fitting.
However, there are convenient and less bendable 1/4 –inch flexible water supply lines that come in lengths from 1 to 20 feet and convenient Add-A-Tee adapter fittings that can be installed easily wherever there is an existing shutoff valve. Moreover, this kind of fitting is convenient, easy to install, and less susceptible to leaking compared to a saddle valve.
Ideally, you can run the water line to the fridge on the opposite side of the sink through the kitchen cabinets. But if running the water line through the cabinets is not possible, then consider running it through the floor and up to the fridge.
Note: Before you start, first, check behind your fridge to ensure there is no water pipe and shutoff already installed –either extending out of the wall or simply sticking up through the floor. If it exists, you simply need to connect a 1/4 –by 1/4 –inch flex supply tube to the shutoff valve as well as to the refrigerator.
How to Install a Water Line to Fridge on Opposite Side of the Sink
What You Need
· Tools and Materials
· Two adjustable wrenches
· Two pairs of tongue-and-groove pliers
· 1/4 –inch flexible water supply tubing with compression connectors
· Add-A-Tee adapter
· 1/4 –inch flex water supply tube
Before we move to steps to follow, it helps to be familiar with the items you will be using. So, what is an Add-A-Tee adapter?
An Add-A-Tee adapter is the right plumbing fitting for this purpose because it threads seamlessly onto the outlet of a standard fixture shutoff valve such as the one installed under your kitchen sink. The Add-A-Tee adapter comes with a 3/8 –inch outlet port to connect to the faucet line and a smaller 1/4 –inch port to connect to the bendable refrigerator water line.
The Add-A-Tee adapters come in various sizes and can be connected to either a 3/8 –inch or 1/2 –inch water supply line. However, for a standard kitchen sink shutoff valve, you will require a 3/8-by-3/8-by-1/4 –inch Add-A-Tee.
Also, you require a 1/4 –inch flex water supply pipe with enough length to run from Add-A-Tee on the sink to the fridge. Moreover, it should offer several feet in allowance to allow you to pull out the refrigerator without pulling off the water pipe. So, make sure you get enough length of the water supply line for the job.
The flex water supply tubes are available in either braided steel or tough plastic nylon mesh. While braided steel is relatively more expensive, the strength it offers is worth the investment. Since water leaks can cause significant damage to your kitchen floor, interior wall, and other kitchen structures, it is best to buy the best-quality water supply line for this project.
Step by Step Guide on How to Install Water Line to Fridge on Opposite Side of Sink
Step 1: Turn off the Water
Before you embark on the project, find the water shutoff fixture on the cold water supply line preferably under the kitchen sink, and shut it off. If it has a lever-type handle, turn the lever to a perpendicular position to the pipe. Proceed to turn on the cold water faucet at the kitchen sink to release pressure and remaining water in the water supply pipe.
Step 2: Disconnect the Faucet Water Line
Before you disconnect your faucet water line, place a rag or a small bucket under the supply valve so as to catch any water draining from the supply pipe. Using two pairs of pliers or adjustable wrenches, disconnect the water supply line to your faucet from the valve. One pair should hold the valve body securely to prevent it from moving around when disconnection while the other pair is loosening the compression nut on the water supply line.
Step 3: Connect the Tee Adapter
Connect the Tee adapter by threading it onto the outlet port of the shutoff valve and tightening it by hand. Fasten the adapter with two pairs of pliers with one holding the valve and the other fastening the adapter for secure and leak-free fitting.
Step 4: Connect the Faucet and Refrigerator Supply Tubes
Re-connect the faucet water supply pipe to the 3/8-inch outlet on the Add-A-Tee fixture. Fasten the connection with pliers like you did with the Tee adapter. Attach one end of the 1/4 –inch flexible water supply pipe onto the 1/4-inch outlet on the adapter and fasten it with pliers.
Step 5: Connect the Water Supply Tube to the Fridge
From the sink, run the water line to the fridge. You can run the supply line through the cabinets, under the basement ceiling, tile floor, or concrete slab, whichever is convenient for you. At the fridge, connect the end of the water supply tube to the 1/4 –inch water supply fitting on the fridge. Fasten the connection a bit tighter than hand-tight with pliers to prevent leaks.
Step 6: Turn on the Water
Open the shutoff valve under your kitchen sink by turning the knob counterclockwise all the way or by simply turning the level so that it is parallel to the water supply pipe. Check through all the connections for leaks.
If there is none, push the fridge into place as required, confirm that your water dispense and/or the ice maker is working well.
Note: Flush out several gallons of water from your fridge water dispenser to purge the fridge water line of air and any contaminants that may lurk in the line. For the ice maker, consider throwing away the first two batches of ice.
How Much Does It Cost to Run Water Line to Refrigerator?
To run a typical water line for your fridge on the opposite side of the tank will cost you between $65 and $175. If you hire a plumber to run the water line, most plumbers charge $45-$65 per hour. So this will add up to the overall cost of running the water line to the fridge.
Cross-linked polyethylene tubing (PEX) will cost you about $0.50 – $2 per foot. But if you choose copper tubing, it will cost you about $2 – $4 per foot. However, PEX is the most preferred owing to its flexibility thus can be snaked into the wall and cabinets with minimal damage.
How Do You Install a Water Line Under a Refrigerator Sink?
Find the water supply lines beneath your sink. Ideally, you may have three water supply lines beneath the sink; two lines connected to the faucet while the third line connected to your dishwasher. The valve connected to the right side of the faucet is the cold water supply pipe, so turn it clockwise to close it.
Get your drill and attach a 5/16-inch drill bit. Drill holes in the base cabinet walls to route the water pipe from beneath the sink to the back of your fridge. Ideally, drill as close to the back of the wall of the cabinet as possible so that you don’t lose storage space inside your cabinet.
Thread the water supply pipe from the back of your fridge to under the sink. Leave the excess water line coil behind the refrigerator. Turn on the cold water faucet so as to drain any remaining water in the supply pipe. With the pliers, untwist the faucet’s water supply line from the cold water supply valve.
Wrap threads on the cold water valve with about two wraps of thread-seal tape. Turn the male end of a quick-tee adapter onto the valve. Wrap the female thread on the opposite end of the adapter with thread-seal tape. Twist the faucet supply pip onto the female end of the adapter.
Slip the compression nut, ideally, the one which comes with the kit over the newly installed water supply pipe. Ensure the threads are facing the end of the line. Thread the ferrule from the kit on the new line.
Wrap the remaining male threads on the quick-tee adapter with thread-seal tape. Insert the new supply line into the opening on the tee. Slide the compression nut over the male threads and fasten it on the adapter. Fasten all the nuts on the quick-tee adapter with an adjustable wrench or pliers. However, don’t fasten the nuts too tight since it could damage the valve, the water line, or the adapter.
Before you connect the water supply line to your fridge, point the end of the water supply line into a 5-gallon bucket and turn on the valve. Let at least 1 gallon of water run through the line into the bucket to remove the air. Then turn off the valve.
Slip the remaining compression nut and ferrule over the fridge end of the new water line. Connect the pipe to the water line connector at the back of the fridge. Turn the supply line valve on and check for leaks at all connections. Fasten the connections a bit if there are any leaks.
If it doesn’t stop, turn off the water and remove the connection to add more thread-seal tape before reconnecting the water line. Plug the fridge back into the wall and coil the excess water line behind the fridge. push the fridge to position against the wall.
Why You Should Not Use a Saddle Valve
Saddle valves were commonly used to make water supply line connections to fridges, dishwashers, and other appliances, however, they are no longer permitted by plumbing codes in some states because of their tendency to leak. So, if you have saddle valves, consider replacing them with a standard fixture shutoff valve or a special adapter tee with a shutoff valve to link into the straight run of water line.
If you intend to run a water line to the fridge on the opposite side of the sink and you got some DIY skills, then the steps when have mentioned and explain above can come in handy. however, if you have limitations on how to run water line to fridge on opposite side of sink, consider hiring a professional plumber to help.