If you find yourself with a leaky refrigerator, repairing it right away is essential because of potential and serious water damage. A common leak is one that occurs behind the refrigerator. The culprit is more than likely your copper supply line, which feeds water from the wall valve to the icemaker unit in the refrigerator. With some simple tools and an hour or so, you can fix any leak.
Things You'll Need
- Crescent wrench
- Tubing cutter
- 1/4 Inch copper nut and ferrule
- 1/4 Inch copper couplings
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Get a friend and gently pull the refrigerator away from the wall. If the refrigerator is between two walls, you will have to pull it completely out to get behind it. Be careful when you pull the refrigerator out because the copper water line is coiled up behind the refrigerator, and you don't want to kink it when you move the refrigerator.
Locate the icemaker shutoff valve, which is usually located beneath the kitchen sink. Turn the valve clockwise to shut it off. Operate the icemaker's water feature to make sure the water is not on.
Go behind the refrigerator and inspect for damage. You either will see an obvious split or crack in the copper line or you may not. Tighten down the 1/4 copper nut fitting that ends at the back of the refrigerator using the crescent wrench. Sometimes this nut will simply come loose.
Turn on the water supply valve again using a helper. Check for any leaks. If the 1/4 inch copper nut on the back of the refrigerator is still leaking, ask your helper to turn off the water again. Loosen the nut and remove the copper ferrule. Sometimes you may have to cut off the end of the tubing using the copper tubing cutter and buy a new 1/4 inch nut and ferrule.
Slide the nut onto the end of the 1/4 copper tubing that was attached to the back of the refrigerator. Slide the ferrule on. Tighten down the whole connection with the crescent wrench. The ferrule will get compressed onto the tubing, forming a watertight seal. Turn on the water and check for leaks.
Cut out any sections of split copper tubing where you have a leak in the center of the line and not at the refrigerator end. Use the tubing cutter to do this. Install two 1/4 inch coupllings by sliding the nut and then the ferrule onto the 1/4 copper tubing, just as you did above for the end connection at the refrigerator. Tighten down the nuts and ferrules and check for any leaks.
Push the refrigerator back in place, being careful to make sure the copper line stays in a coil form and doesn't kink.