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I have a copper water line going into my refrigerator. It's leaking at the connector line in the attached picture. It looks like the leak is not from the fridge, but from the connection line, right where the copper attaches to the threaded connector.

What do I need to do to fix the problem?

Water leak at connection

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What is that small blue thing? –  user13816 Jul 4 '13 at 17:52
    
This blue thing appears to be part of the refrigerator valve. –  BMitch Jul 5 '13 at 2:47
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1 Answer

It looks like a compression fitting which requires that the tubing be round to make a good seal. The tight bend seems like it has crimped the tubing and probably has broken the seal.

You need a new compression fitting attached to the fridge. If there is play in the copper line, you may be able to remove the fitting, cut the tubing to get to a place where the tubing is not bent and crimped,replace the nut on the tubing and place a new compression ring on the tubing and reseal (with teflon tape on the threads). Make sure that the tubing is going stright down toward the fridge connection and is not bent (like the current one).

If there is not enough play in the tubing, you may need to replace the whole line to the next connector.

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If the line was too short to be able to cut it off and re-do the compression like @bib describes it is not necessarily required to remove the whole tubing back to the previous connector. There are compression fittings such as these (i.stack.imgur.com/FDx5O.png) that can be used to splice in a new length of copper tubing. Assembled correctly this can work reliably despite adding two more compression joints to your water line. –  Michael Karas Jan 29 '13 at 3:18
    
@MichaelKaras Agreed, if the line is a long one. If it is short, I prefer fewer fittings and would probably swap it out. –  bib Jan 29 '13 at 3:32
    
Compression fittings can be taken apart and reassembled only so many times before they start to leak. The ferrule that goes over the copper tube is crushed during tightening to bite into the pipe and seat into the fitting. Basically, only tighten it enough on first assembly till it seals and prevents the tube from moving. Subsequent disassembly/reassembly add to the compression on the ferrule till it can no longer bite into the copper tube and seal. At this point you cut it off and reassemble with a new ferrule unless someone has overtightened it and ruined the fitting and nut. –  Fiasco Labs Jan 29 '13 at 4:20
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You should have 6-8' of coiled copper tubing behind the fridge, so you can pull the fridge out for cleaning and maintenance. The tubing should be attached to the fridge using clamps a small distance from the plumbing connection, so there is no tension on the plumbing connection. It also might be worth noting that the minimum bend radius of 1/4" copper tube, is 3/4" (mechanically bent). –  Tester101 Jan 29 '13 at 12:22
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