How to Fix a Plastic Tube Water Line to a Refrigerator

Refrigerator water lines attach to an inlet at the refrigerator's rear and tap into water piping behind the appliance or beneath a sink.
Heavy-duty cutting tools easily cut refrigerator supply tubes.Heavy-duty cutting tools easily cut refrigerator supply tubes.
You might not notice a leaky line immediately, because the supply tubing is concealed behind the appliance. If you discover a leak, turn off the refrigerator's icemaker and water dispenser until you repair the tube. Unlike copper supply tubes, plastic supply tubes are easy to cut and maneuver. A compression nut and sleeve, called a ferrule, attach the tubing to the supply valve and refrigerator's inlet.

Step 1

Pull the refrigerator away from the wall. Unplug the refrigerator. If your broken tube caused a leak, dry the area behind the refrigerator with rags. Turn off the valve that supplies the refrigerator. This valve usually is located behind the appliance or beneath a kitchen sink. Follow the water tube to the refrigerator's inlet.

Step 2

Attach one adjustable wrench to the existing tube's compression nut and a second wrench to the flat-sided collar on the inlet. While holding the wrench attached to the inlet still to prevent it from moving, turn the wrench attached to the nut counterclockwise to loosen the nut and pull the tubing out of the inlet.

Step 3

Follow the tubing to the supply valve. Attach a wrench to the supply valve's collar and a wrench to the nut that attaches the tubing to the supply valve. Hold the wrench attached to the valve still and turn the wrench attached to the nut counterclockwise. Loosen the nut and pull the tube from the supply valve's outlet.

Step 4

Slide the nuts and ferrules off both sides of the damaged tubing. Unravel the replacement tubing beside the damaged tubing. Align one end of the replacement tubing with one end of the damaged tubing. Mark the length of the damaged tubing on the replacement tubing using a marker. Cut the replacement tubing at the mark with snips or utility scissors.

Step 5

Slide a replacement compression nut over the end of the replacement tube with the threads facing the end of the tube. Slide a ferrule over the end of the tube and slip the ferrule inside the nut's opening. Push the end of the tube into the supply valve's outlet. Slide the nut and ferrule against the outlet's threads and turn the nut clockwise to join the nut with the outlet.

Step 6

Attach a wrench to the valve's collar and another wrench to the nut. While holding the valve in position with one wrench, tighten the nut with the other wrench. Feed the open end of the replacement tube to the refrigerator' rear. Slide a replacement nut over the tube with the nut's threads facing the tube's end. Slide a ferrule over the tube and slip the ferrule into the nut's opening.

Step 7

Insert the tube's end into the refrigerator's inlet. Slide the nut and ferrule against the inlet's threads. Turn the nut clockwise to join the nut's threads with the inlet's threads. Attach one wrench to the inlet's collar and a second wrench to the nut. While stabilizing the inlet with one wrench, turn the other wrench clockwise to tighten the nut.

Step 8

Turn on the supply valve and check the new connections for leaks. Plug in the refrigerator's power cord and push the refrigerator against the wall.

Things You Will Need

  • Rags
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Plastic water tubing
  • Marker
  • Snips or utility scissors
  • Compression nuts
  • Ferrules

Tip

  • Home improvement stores usually offer tubing, nuts and ferrules in a kit, called a "refrigerator supply line kit" or "icemaker kit."

About the Author

Based in Hawaii, Shane Grey began writing professionally in 2004. He draws on his construction experience to write instructional home and garden articles. In addition to freelance work, Grey has held a position as an in-house copywriter for an online retailer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater arts from Humboldt State University.