What Should I Do if My Refrigerator Water Line is Leaking?

Last Updated on January 23, 2020 by Diana Rodriguez-Zaba

An occasional puddle under the fridge could be stray splashes from the water dispenser or a few dropped ice cubes.

When it happens over and over, you’ve got a problem.

Those ponds on the kitchen floor are sure signs that your refrigerator icemaker water line is leaking.

Visions of soaked baseboards and mold behind the walls flash before your eyes. You ask yourself, “Do I know how to fix a leak in the refrigerator water line?”

How to Repair a Refrigerator Water Line Leak Like a Pro

When it works, you have plenty of ice in the freezer and fresh water in the dispenser. When it doesn’t, you can call a plumber or take care of it yourself.

Knowing how to repair a leak in the refrigerator water line saves time and money.

leaking icemaker fridge line
Image: Flickr

1. Assess the Problem

Pull the refrigerator away from the wall, make sure you’re not standing in water, and unplug it so that you can work safely.

Always keep it unplugged while you’re working. Inspect the plastic supply line on the back of the refrigerator.

If you don’t see any tears or breaks, use your hands to locate pinhole leaks in the refrigerator water line.

Power Tip: Move the refrigerator slowly so that you don’t disconnect the line from the shut-off or inlet valve.

2. Measure and Shop

Measure the length of line that needs replacing, and close the refrigerator water line shut-off valve. Head to a home improvement center for quarter-inch plastic tubing. You’ll also need two quick coupling connectors.

Power Tip: You can buy a replacement kit that includes tubing and connectors, but make sure you’re picking up the right line length for your project.

3. Assemble the Line and Connectors

Double-check your measurements, and cut the replacement line to size. Push each end of the line into a coupling connector until it’s snug. As you push, the connector seats the line and forms a tight seal.

Power Tip: If you need to disconnect the line, push in on the connector to release the line before pulling it back out.

4. Cut the Bad, Connect the Good

Cut and remove the bad length of plastic tubing. Use the same pushing technique to attach the ends of the old tubing to the coupling connectors on the replacement tubing. Take a look at the refrigerator water shut-off and intake valves to make sure your work hasn’t loosened those connections.

5. Turn On the Water

Turn on the water, and wait a few minutes. Watch the old and replacement supply lines for any signs of leaking especially around the coupling connectors. Check the shut-off and intake valves one last time, make sure you’re not standing in any water, and plug in the refrigerator.

Power Tip: Keep an eye out for water under the fridge over the next several days just in case.

How to Repair a Leaky Copper Water Line on the Refrigerator

On some refrigerators, the water supply is delivered through a thin copper tube. If you need to fix a refrigerator water line leak in copper tubing, the steps are basically the same as repairing a plastic water line.

Identify the damaged length of line, remove it with a tubing cutter, and replace it with copper tubing secured with brass unions at each end of the fix.

If you’re not familiar with the tools and materials, you can still make the repairs yourself. Instead of changing out the damaged length, replace the entire copper line with plastic water supply tubing like so:

How to Head Off Damage From a Leaky Refrigerator Water Line

A pinhole leak in the refrigerator water line slowly soaks drywall, warps baseboards and even damages the subfloor. These tips can help minimize the chances of dealing with a flooded kitchen and water damage cleanup.

• If you aren’t sure what caused a puddle under the refrigerator, pull it away from the wall, and check the water line.

• Make refrigerator water line inspection a part of your spring and fall home maintenance routines.

• Include refrigerator shut-off and intake valve testing on your list of seasonal chores.

• Invest in a small leak detector, and keep it on the floor underneath the refrigerator.

Dealing with a Fridge Water Line Leak in the Chicago Area? We Can Help

If you have second thoughts about fixing a refrigerator water line leak, we can help. Our certified technicians take care of small plumbing repairs and all types of water damage in the Chicago area.

We stop leaks, clean up messes and handle restoration work too. Just give us a call here at ServiceMaster by Zaba: 773-647-1985

What causes an ice maker to leak?

If the leak isn’t in the water line, check the ice maker’s fill cup. Make sure it’s aligned correctly. The ice maker can leak if it isn’t secured in a level position. The problem could also be a corroded inlet switch or faulty inlet valve.

How much water can leak from a refrigerator?

It depends on the model. A refrigerator that features an ice maker, ice dispenser and water dispenser might cycle through five gallons a day. If the water line develops problems, the volume of leakage can quickly increase.

What is the best type of refrigerator water line?

A braided stainless steel water line with a copper shutoff valve should last for years. The tough materials rarely develop leaks or clogs and stay virtually mold-resistant.