Keep Your Fridge Well Watered

If the water supply to your refrigerator's ice-maker and water dispenser isn't set up properly, it can mean minimal or no ice production, slow water dispensing, occasional dripping from the water dispenser or unsatisfactory taste or odor in your ice or water.

Here's how to keep the water flowing smoothly.


Water Pressure

Your water supply needs water pressure between 30 and 120 psi (207 and 827 kPa) to operate a water dispenser or icemaker. If you already have a refrigerator installed that has a water dispenser, you should be able to dispense about 3 to 6 ounces of water in about 5 seconds from your dispenser. You can better check the water supply pressure by using the water supply line itself. The 1/4-inch water supply line should dispense at least 9 ounces of water in 5 seconds. If it doesn't, the water pressure to the refrigerator is low. For assistance in correcting a water flow problem, contact a qualified plumber in your area.

Get the Right Valves

For best results, uses a 1/4-inch saddle valve that requires a drilled hole — it is less likely to clog — or check your local plumbing codes for specific recommendations in your area. Self-piercing and 3/16-inch valves are not recommended because they clog more often.

Keep Your Supply Flowing

Don't let your water supply line become kinked or clogged. Check your supply line for obvious obstructions or sources of restriction. Be sure to use an approved material for the supply line such as copper tubing or braided line. Again, check your local plumbing codes for specific recommendations in your area.

Reverse Osmosis System

If you have a Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration system, the water pressure to the RO system needs to be a minimum of 40 to 60 psi. You may need a booster pump to increase the water pressure. If your refrigerator has a filter, remove it to prevent having two filtration systems in place, which could further restrict flow.

Length of Supply Line

Have enough additional supply line behind the refrigerator that you can easily pull it out for cleaning without stretching the line and causing kinks. However, ensure the tubing does not bang against the back of the refrigerator or wall when the refrigerator is pushed back in place. This can cause unnecessary noise when water runs through the line.

Quality of Water Supply

Even though most refrigerators have a water filter, the quality of the water supply going to the refrigerator could influence the taste or odor of your ice or dispensed water.

One Last Tip

Connect your refrigerator to a cold water supply only and check all connections after installation to ensure there are no water leaks.

If you take the appropriate steps to ensure an adequate water supply to your refrigerator, you can expect optimal performance of your ice making and water dispensing systems for many years to come.

If you have any additional concerns regarding your household water supply, contact a licensed, qualified plumber in your area.

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