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Installing a Water Line for a New Refrigerator

In (recently) replacing the 15-year-old refrigerator recently, Carey and I looked for a fridge1 on the upper-end of those available at Lowe's. No stainless or anything - just one ranked highly by Consumer Reports, in black, with a freezer on the top (CR says they're more reliable).

Almost every2 mid- to top-end model had built-in water, either for ice-making alone or water and ice.

The folks at Lowe's recommended I buy a self-piercing saddle valve. So I did - drilled the hole in the tile, threaded the water line through, pierced the valve… all was fine and dandy.

But the water came out so slowly I feared Al Gore would drop by and ask me if we were using our refrigerator as our air conditioner. It was still a stream of water - it wasn't like it was dripping or anything - but it needed FLOMAX, because it had a "going" problem. Some of the ice cubes weren't fully formed, either, and in fact some were hollow.

A repair man friend also told me that the self-piercing valves were incredibly clone to plugging. "The hole's very small and even a little flake of rust or whatever can completely block it," he said.

Today I shut the water off again and removed the self-piercing valve. The hole it made was incredibly tiny - he was right. And I had pierced the pipe as much as the valve would allow.

I drilled out a 3/8" hole and replaced it with a 1/4" x 1/8" MIP angle valve. It cost all of $3 at Lowe's. I threaded it right on to the same saddle and rubber gasket that I had before, trimmed about eight or ten feet off of the 25' hose we had before (more hose = more resistance), and tested it out.

Now the flow is strong. Al Gore won't need to stop by any time soon3.

Footnotes

  1. Why is it "refrigerator" but "fridge"?
  2. And I'm only saying "almost" to cover my bases - I think it was every model.
  3. Unless he manages to invent a low-energy bulb that can also do dimming

5 Responses to "Installing a Water Line for a New Refrigerator"

  1. "Unless he manages to invent a low-energy bulb that can also do dimming"

    Is that assertion that dimmable CF bulbs are not energy efficient (I don't know).

  2. Matt Sayler said on November 9, 2007:

    Is that assertion that dimmable CF bulbs are not energy efficient (I don't know).

    No, I'm attempting to say that I've never seen a "dimmable CF bulb" at Lowe's. Just the standard CF bulbs that can't be dimmed.

    I see they have some on Amazon and other places, but I've looked a few times at Lowe's, Home Depot, and even Wal-Mart around here and haven't seen any dimmable ones.

    They do exist, though, it seems.

  3. The CF lamps will have to do more than just be dimmable they will need to be the right color tempature (way too harsh still) and not have the flcker that all flourescents have (you only percive it sub-consiously but its part of what makes people that work in office buildings crazy).

  4. "The CF lamps will have to do more than just be dimmable they will need to be the right color tempature (way too harsh still) and not have the flcker that all flourescents have (you only percive it sub-consiously but its part of what makes people that work in office buildings crazy)."

    Sadly, the only way I can get enough brightness to make it through the winter without self-destructing is by copious application of CFLs.

  5. [...] made an off-hand remark at the end of a recent post about Al Gore stopping by with a "low-energy [dimming] bulb" which I claimed had not yet been [...]


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