How to connect a water line to a refrigerator

Written by denise sullivan
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How to connect a water line to a refrigerator
Connect a water line to your refrigerator so you can use the ice maker. (ice cubes in water image by MAXFX from

If your refrigerator has an automatic ice maker, you must connect a cold water line to supply it before you will get any ice. Most ice makers are sold with a hardware kit that includes a saddle valve you can attach to your existing water line to create a new connection for the refrigerator. The connection hardware can also be found at home improvement or plumbing stores if you did not get a kit with your ice maker.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Water supply line
  • Saddle valve
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Electric drill
  • Teflon tape (if needed)

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  1. 1

    Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and cabinets so you have room to work with the plumbing connection in the back of the unit.

  2. 2

    Locate the cold water supply pipe closest to your refrigerator. In most homes, this will be near the kitchen sink or water heater or in the basement below the refrigerator.

  3. 3

    Use an electric drill to make a hole through the cabinet or floor so you have a path to run the water line from the pipe to the refrigerator.

  4. 4

    Connect one end of the water line to the inlet valve on the back of the refrigerator. Run the open end of the line through the hole you made in the previous step.

  5. 5

    Attach the saddle valve to the cold water pipe. Connect the open end of the refrigerator's water line to the threaded inlet on the valve. Turn the handle on the saddle valve clockwise until you feel resistance and cannot continue turning it. Turn the handle counter-clockwise until you hear water running through the new connection.

  6. 6

    Observe the plumbing connections for several minutes to make sure water is not leaking out. Shut off the water supply valve and disconnect the line if it is leaking. Wrap Teflon tape around the threads to improve the seal, reconnect the line and turn the water back on. Move the refrigerator back into position near the wall once you are satisfied with the plumbing connections.

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