How to Disconnect the Water Supply in a Refrigerator Door


Moving a refrigerator to a new location, or replacing it, requires additional steps besides unplugging it, if it has an automatic ice-maker or water dispenser. If the water supply line to the refrigerator becomes kinked or broken, it can cause additional damage to these features, which can lead to expensive repairs. Protecting the refrigerator by disconnecting the water supply is a fast and simple process that almost anybody can do.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 adjustable crescent wrenches
  • Small bucket
  • Turn off the water supply going into the house. Shut off the refrigerator water dispenser and ice-maker according to the refrigerator owner's manual. Some refrigerators have automatic shutoff systems when there is no water present in the supply lines, while others to not have this feature.

  • Pull the refrigerator a short distance from the wall, so you can access the back. If there is a water supply valve on the back of the refrigerator, turn it to the off position. It will be located near the point where the plastic or copper supply line enters the back of the fridge.

  • Follow the refrigerator water supply line to the point where it connects to a house cold water line. Many refrigerator supply lines connect to flexible copper tubing which in turn connects to the cold water line under the kitchen sink. In some cases where the refrigerator is not near the sink, the line may travel through the floor to connect to a cold water pipe in the basement.

  • Turn on the nearest water source connected to that cold water line, such as the kitchen faucet, to reduce the water pressure in the line. Turn off the water source. If the flexible copper tuning connects to a water supply shutoff box, turn off the supply box. If the copper tubing connects to a saddle valve (a valve that is connected to the side of a rigid copper waterline with a clamp), turn off the saddle valve. If the copper tubing connects to direct water supply shutoff valve, then shut off the valve.

  • Use a small adjustable crescent wrench to remove the brass nut from any of the shutoff valves. Catch any draining water with a small bucket.

  • Use the adjustable crescent wrench to hold the compression nut on the plastic refrigerator water supply line and a second adjustable crescent wrench to remove the brass nut from the plastic water line. Tape the refrigerator supply line to the refrigerator.

  • Thread brass caps on shutoff valves that need to be turned back on. Saddle valves and shutoff boxes don't normally need to be turned back on.

  • Open the nearest water source again and turn on the water supply to the house. Allow air to bleed through the open water source before turning it off. Check for leaks around all of the valves.

Tips & Warnings

  • Save all the copper tubing to reuse later.
  • Always refer to the owner's manual for the refrigerator whenever possible.
  • Do not attempt to use the ice-maker or water dispenser on a refrigerator that has a disconnected water supply line.

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  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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