Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

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q40bomb
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Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

Post by q40bomb » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:05 pm

Hi.
I just got a new place. In the kitchen where the refrigerator will go, there's a water line with a shut-off valve installed already.

But, see the image.
I'm not sure what the name of the end of this fitting is called. Not sure how to connect to it - or remove/replace it with something I'm more familiar with.

Have you seen this set-up before?
What do I do to use this water line and connect it to my fridge's ice maker?

Thanks,
Q
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A. Spruce
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Re: Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:22 pm

That's definitely a bit odd. What it looks like is that rather than stubbing out a Tee fitting for a fridge line, they simply stubbed out 1/2" copper with a valve. You have a couple of options here, get an "add a line" set up, where there is a clamp with a piercing nipple on it, when you tighten the clamp, the nipple pierces the pipe, from there you plumb the fridge as usual. Another option would be to replace the cap on the existing line with a nipple that will allow for connecting the fridge line directly. Both setups should be readily available at any well stocked hardware supplier.
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Shannon
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Re: Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

Post by Shannon » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:54 am

Ya that is weird . Looks to me like that reducer was made to sweat a copper fridge line onto? I would not do that. The type of valve there is not a great choice for a valve not used often so I would remove that reducer and first elbow and then add a ice maker valve to the short piece of copper pipe. That way you will have a good valve in place that the ice maker line will attach to because i'm sure you will have trouble with the other valve. A hardware or plumbing shop should have a valve.
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q40bomb
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Re: Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

Post by q40bomb » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:55 am

Thanks for the advice, Shannon.
How would recommend removing the reducer/elbow piece? I could be wrong, but it doesn't look like they are easily unscrewed like the other pipe connectors I've seen.

Any thoughts on that? Would I have to cut them off?

Thanks!

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A. Spruce
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Re: Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:12 am

Yeah, I would change that valve out to a ball valve. Good catch Shannon. I think you're also correct about that nipple being for sweating a copper fridge line, again, a bad idea, it's better to have replaceable connections behind a fridge.

q40 - All of that copper is soldered, so to remove or replace any part of it you will need a soldering torch. Once apart, you will need the paraphernalia necessary to solder things back together with the new parts. The only way around this is to use a saddle style waterline attachment.
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Shannon
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Re: Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

Post by Shannon » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:29 pm

A. Spruce wrote:Yeah, I would change that valve out to a ball valve. Good catch Shannon. I think you're also correct about that nipple being for sweating a copper fridge line, again, a bad idea, it's better to have replaceable connections behind a fridge.

q40 - All of that copper is soldered, so to remove or replace any part of it you will need a soldering torch. Once apart, you will need the paraphernalia necessary to solder things back together with the new parts. The only way around this is to use a saddle style waterline attachment.

The only other thing would be to cut after the first elbow from the open end or the line so that that elbow and reducer sweat fitting are removed and install a push fit valve fitting there. You need 1" of pipe to have enough for the push fit and I think there would be a little more then that left there. After you cut the pipe it would need to be cleaned up removing that paint from the surface for a good seal. The reason I suggest this is if you are not good with a torch this would allow you to just leave the old valve in place and leave it open once the new valve is in place.
Another option if you have access to this pipe from the basement is to cut down there and eliminate everything we see in you picture and start from scratch with new.
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q40bomb
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Re: Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

Post by q40bomb » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:05 pm

Thanks for the replies so far guys. Most helpful.

This unit is 2 flights up from the basement where water source comes in. So, I don't think i can easily get to it to start from scratch. I'm also no good with a torch - so wouldn't want this to be my first attempt at using one.

Of the suggestions given, I think the push fit valve sounds the most cost effective and doable given my skillset and timeframe.

Shannon, when you mention cutting the elbow off for removal, what tools are we talking about? Are we sawing that off to cut it?
Also, is there a link you can provide to a pushfit valve you might recommend? I'll need to properly size it, of course. But just want to think this all the way through before heading to the hardware store.

Thanks, guys.
Q

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Shannon
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Re: Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

Post by Shannon » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:12 pm

If you have room between the pipe and drywall I would use a copper pipe cutter but you may have to use a hack saw if there is not at least 1" between the two. If using a hack saw cut nice and straight and clean off all burrs before placing valve on line to help prevent cutting the O ring seal.

Your valve should be 1/2" x 1/4" compression fitting. You can then install a flexible braided hose between the fridge connection and valve.
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Aaron
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Re: Odd set-up for Water line to fridge

Post by Aaron » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:49 am

I bet Shannon's right: flexible copper tubing was meant to be sweat onto that reducer. But I've actually never seen a reducer that goes from 1/2" down to 1/4". But it obviously exists!

Hopefully there's enough pipe to work with to get something workable. The multiturn valve is not ideal either, you really want the 1/4 turn ball valve. The multi-turn are fine if you "exercise" them regularly, like at least once a month. But nobody does that.

The push-fit is for sure the easiest fix. Hopefully there's enough pipe to work it on before the old valve.

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