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How to Connect a Refrigerator Water and Ice Dispenser

Tapping into a water-supply line with This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey

In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey taps into a water-supply line.


1. If necessary, drill a ⅝-inch-diameter hole through the floor directly behind the refrigerator.

2. Turn off the water to a nearby cold-water supply line.

3. Use a strip of emery cloth to buff-clean a section of the copper water line.

4. Cut into the cold-water line using a tubing cutter.

5. Brush flux onto a ½-inch copper transition fitting and onto the pipe end.

6. Push the fitting onto the pipe, then heat the fitting with a propane torch.

7. When the flux starts to bubble, solder the fitting onto the pipe.

8. Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of a ¼-in. compression tubing connector.

9. Thread the connector into the transition fitting; tighten the connector with pliers and an adjustable wrench.

10. Take the flexible water-supply tubing from the back of the refrigerator and feed it down through the hole in the floor.

11. Brush pipe dope onto the cone-shaped ground joint connection.

12. Thread the nut on the tubing end onto the compression connector soldered to the cold-water supply line. Tighten the nut with pliers and an adjustable wrench.

13. Turn the water back on and test the water dispenser in the refrigerator door.