Installing a Water Line to a Refrigerator

My new fridge has an ice maker. My house doesn’t have a dedicated water line for this pupose, so I bought a 5-foot extension and settled down to an afternoon of drilling through cabinets.

However, before even plugging in the drill, I noticed what I think is going to be a problem: The only source of cold water in my kitchen goes to my sink. So either I have to disable the cold water to my sink and re-route it to my fridge (not a big deal in the long run, I don’t guess), or I have to purchase and install some kind of gizmo that will split the one source of cold water into two sources. Do such things even exist?

Or is there some aspect of this installation that I’m missing?

installation kits will give you some amount of small diameter tubing like maybe 25 ft. of plastic or copper. it includes a device to attach that tubing anywhere into a copper water line with just hand tools and no cutting or soldering of the water line.

Sounds like you’ll need a tee to split the water flow - easily findable at any home center - install the tee above the cold-water cutoff valve to your sink (i.e. between the cutoff and the facet - if you don’t have a cutoff value - cut the water flow at the main, and then install a cutoff-valve and a tee to the refrigerator). You may need more info on installing pipes properly…

The fridge doesn’t need a lot of flow. A cheap saddle valve (sometimes simply called a needle valve) is all you need, and super easy to install without much in the way of tools.

What johnpost said.

When I did this many years ago, it was a valve-type thing that pierced the cold-water pipe.

Also, if your piping kit is copper, I’d suggest you return it for the easier-for-a-non-plumber to use plastic hose.

I thought that saddle valves were a big no-no anymore? As in something that will be called out in any home inspection or plumbing inspection and known to fail with great regularity? Installing a T joint is really the way to go- any Ace, Home Depot, or Lowes employee can make sure you have the necessary tools and understanding to do the job. And it is cheap too.

Piercing saddle valves are Bad with a capitol B. They are pressurized 24/7 and the only seal is a little rubber washer, probably made in China.

No offence meant to the OP, but someone unfamiliar with a plumbing tee probably should not be plumbing at all.

Hire a pro, Homie.

a T, valve and reducer are the best installation.

the kits with saddle valves are still being sold.

your local plumbing code should be followed.

I hope this is not true. FWIW, I use a saddle valve that I installed around 15 years ago, no problems so far.

This is most definitely bad advice. Use a slightly more expensive braided hose; it will not spring a leak like the cheap plastic lines will. This I learned the hard way.


1st does then sink have shut off valves? And do they work?
If not I would suggest getting a pro.

Chech the hardware stores. you nee an adaptor that will connect to the shut off and “T” out.

Don’t touch it, don’t look at it, pretend it doesn’t exist. They are prone to leak if you mess with them.

It’s worth the time it takes to sweat in a “T” fitting and reducer, particularly if it’s in a place where a leak would go unnoticed and create damage.


Piercing saddle valves seem like a great idea, but they are not. My neighbor had to have all of his carpeting, flooring, and sheetrock replaced due to a saddle valve that decided to start leaking (of course, when he was on vacation for a week).

it is not a bad idea to shut the water off at the service when gone for such long periods. washing machine and its supply hoses are another common failure point.

The project is done. The guy at Lowe’s helped me with a gizmo to split the water line in two, and all the doohickeys needed to connect the new lines to the sink and ice maker. Still waiting on my first batch of ice (water was turned on about 45 minutes ago).

BTW, when I bought a fridge from Lowe’s, they would only connect it if it was plastic, not copper. I had to replace my existing copper with plastic or connect it myself. I replaced it, so that it would be their problem if the fitting at the fridge end leaked. Wasn’t terribly difficult. In my case, rather than using the sink pipe, somebody had drilled a hole through the wall in back of the fridge, which leads out to the garage and connects to the washer pipes. At least if that leaks it will just flood the garage.

throw out the first bunch of batches of cubes or don’t consume them (can use for nonconsuming cooling). the water they are made of is flushing out the new plumbing and ice maker.

As a sidebar, I hate saddle valves. I wish they would be banned by code.

Interesting. We just purchased a new Whirlpool refrigerator and the user manual says to use a saddle valve to connect to the water supply. ???

Hooking up the ice maker for the new frig would be quite a project. The kitchen faucet connects to pipes sticking straight out of the wall; there are no supply lines leading to it. Only way I see to do this would be to drill a hole in the floor near the frig and run the water line into the crawl space under the house to water pipes found there.

But then my wife is adamant about not wanting the ice maker at all. I’d kind of like to see how convenient it turns out to be. So I’m wondering if I could set a five gallon jug of water on the top of the frig and bring a siphon tube to the ice maker. Would this provide enough pressure for the ice maker to operate?

I’ve done a great deal of plumbing. I have yet to see a problem with a saddle valve myself. While I will agree that they are less then best, I wouldn’t worry about using one. As long as you do it right.

The water dispenser on my fridge is really slow. The other day I took out the crisper drawer and noticed that there was about 6 feet of plastic tubing neatly coiled up in the back. Could that be why the water is so slow?