How to Connect a Water Line to a Kenmore Elite Refrigerator
Installing a water line for a refrigerator ice maker is a surprisingly easy DIY job in states where you can use a saddle valve.
There is nothing like a glass of ice-cold water – especially if you didn’t have to go through the trouble of filling the ice cube trays to make it. When you have installed your water line in your Kenmore Elite fridge, your appliance will take care of that for you. Installation is a surprisingly easy DIY job if you live in a state where saddle valves are permitted – they are restricted in some states because they can be prone to leaks.
Things You Will Need
- Saddle valve (usually included in standard water supply kits)
- Copper tubing with ¼-inch outer diameter (usually included in standard water supply kits)
- Two ¼-inch-outer-diameter compression nuts and 2 ferrules (sleeves) (usually included in standard water supply kits)
- Adapter or tube cutter, if existing water line has a flared fitting at the end
- Power drill
- ½-inch-or-adjustable wrench
- Flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers
The water pressure in your home must be between 20-to-120 psi on models without a filter and between 40-to-120 psi on models with a filter. To make sure it’s not lower than that, time how long it takes to fill a 7-oz cup. If it takes more than four seconds, the pressure is too low.
Turn on a nearby faucet to ease pressure on the water line. Unplug the fridge.
Find a location for the valve on your cold-water pipe that you can easily access in order to check for leaks. If you can, find a spot on a vertical water pipe to avoid any mess. If you have to drill into a horizontal pipe, make the connection on the top or the side of the pipe.
On the spot you chose, drill a ¼-inch hole in the pipe using a sharp drill bit. Be careful not to let water drain into the drill.
Using the pipe clamp on the saddle valve, fasten the valve to the pipe. Tighten the clamp until the sealing washer swells.
Bring the copper tubing between the fridge and the cold-water pipe. You may want to snake the tubing through a wall using a drill. Make sure that you’re using enough tubing so that the fridge can be moved away from the wall after installation.
Using a compression nut and ferrule, connect the tubing to the valve, making sure that the tubing is fully inserted. TIghten the compression nut snugly.
Turn on the water supply and let the water run through the copper tubing until the water runs clear. Shut off the valve.
Remove the plastic cap on the fridge’s water valve. Connect the remaining compression nut and ferrule to the other end of the tubing. Push the tubing deeply into the connection and tighten the compression nut until there is a secure fit.
Plug the fridge back in and push it back against the wall. Make sure the tubing is not vibrating against the fridge or the wall. Turn the icemaker on using the control panel. It will begin making ice when it reaches a temperature of 15-degrees Fahrenheit. Check the valve regularly for any sign of leaks.
- Water line installation is not covered by Kenmore’s warranty. Proceed at your own risk.
- Only connect the fridge to a cold water line. Doing otherwise can damage your product and risk burns.
- Do not install the icemaker tubing in locations where home temperatures fall below freezing.
- Wear proper eye protection when you are installing the water line.
Check Water Pressure
Shut Off Main Water Supply
Choose a Location for the Valve
Drill a Hole in the Pipe
Attach the Valve to the Pipe
Route the Tubing
Connect the Tubing to the Water Pipe
Flush Out the Tubing
Connect the Tubing to the Fridge
Start the Icemaker
Jaime is a writer living in New York City.