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I was shipped a new Whirlpool refrigerator today. I had an existing 1/4 " copper tube that I used as a water supply line.

I cut the copper tube with a pipe cutter, and I slipped a compression nut and sleeve on the line. I slid the tube into the water inlet valve and tightened the compression nut.

not popped out

After turning on the water (and verifying no leakage) I ran a gallon of water out the front dispenser. Suddenly, the fitting to which I attached the compression nut popped out of the valve and sprayed water all over. Apparently, there is nothing to hold this fitting in there. Am I doing something wrong, or is the valve defective?

popped out

The compression nut does not leak at all, and the water flows smoothly out of the fitting when it's removed as in the second picture.

This is the view inside the valve where the fitting plugs in. You can see the screen in there that stops debris. I don't see anything covering it.

inside valve

Update: As you can see in the second picture, there is a lip that something in the green valve is supposed to grab. I can see two metal teeth inside the green valve that probably retract to grab the lip. Unfortunately, I don't see any way of making them retract. The blue cover on the front is like a public restroom screw: it's slotted such that it can be screwed on but not off.

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did it come with any other parts (like a hose clamp)? A model number might also help –  Tester101 Jul 1 '11 at 19:33
    
It didn't come with any parts at all. The model is GI6FDRXXQ. –  Jim Hunziker Jul 1 '11 at 20:17
    
See my update. have you tried pushing the fitting back in (sort of aggressively)? –  Tester101 Jul 1 '11 at 20:19
    
Your top picture shows two white plastic tabs with the one on the right looking like it is not engaged and pushed into the frig. Possibly this needs to be pulled forward to allow the compression fitting to sit properly (or maybe it is an indicator of shipment damage??). –  Jeff Widmer Jul 1 '11 at 21:15

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Sorry to have wasted people's time, but I did learn a lot. The technician came, and the answer was that the valve was defective. The inner parts should have been clamped tightly around the lip during the manufacturing process.

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I wouldn't consider this a waste of time. Knowing when to call in the experts and when to try handling it yourself is all part of do-it-yourself home improvement. Seeing how you finally resolved the solution is a great reminder to us all that sometimes it is easier (and more cost effective) to call in the experts. –  Jeff Widmer Jul 12 '11 at 12:41

Whirlpool customer help says:

To connect to the refrigerator:

1) Remove the plastic cap from the water valve inlet port. Attach the copper tube to the valve inlet using a compression nut and sleeve as shown. Tighten the compression nut. Do not overtighten. Pull on the copper tubing to confirm that it is secure.

2) Create a service loop, and use special care to avoid kinks. Secure copper tubing to the refrigerator cabinet with a "P" clamp.

enter image description here

3) Turn on the water supply to the refrigerator, and check for leaks. Correct any leaks.

IMPORTANT: Do not overtighten.

After connecting the refrigerator to a water source or replacing the water filter, flush the water system. Use a sturdy container to depress and hold the water dispenser lever for 5 seconds, and then release it for 5 seconds. Repeat until water begins to flow. Once water begins to flow, continue depressing and releasing the dispenser lever (5 seconds on, 5 seconds off) until a total of 4 gal. (16 L) has been dispensed. This will flush air from the filter and water dispensing system, and prepare the water filter for use. Additional flushing may be required in some households. As air is cleared from the system, water may spurt out of the dispenser.

Check for adequate water pressure. You should be able to dispense about 3 to 6 ounces in 5 seconds.

If the refrigerator does not have a dispenser, check the water pressure using the water supply line, if possible. The ¼" water supply line should dispense at least 9 ounces of water in 5 seconds.

I'm guessing the "P" clamp makes sure the pipe stays put. I wouldn't think the water pressure should be able to displace the fitting, but who knows maybe it's a design flaw or defective part. Either way the "P" clamp should hold the supply line in place.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and guess the pipe came disconnected during your test when you stopped dispensing water? This would likely be caused by water hammer, this is a common problem with fast acting solenoids (Not the hose popping out, the water hammer bit). If this is the case, the "P" clamp should counteract the forces that are making the pipe pop out of the socket by not allowing the pipe to move.

EDIT:

In response to your update. Try pushing the fitting in (sort of hard), the metal fingers might be engaged only when the fitting is properly seated and pushed in far enough.

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The P clamp is a flimsy thing (that came with the refrigerator) that just keeps the pipe from pulling away from the fridge. See my comments above about the lip on the fitting. –  Jim Hunziker Jul 1 '11 at 20:06
    
I've pushed pretty hard on it (I don't want to damage it and risk not getting a warranty claim). Pushing scored the metal of the lip a little. –  Jim Hunziker Jul 1 '11 at 20:31
    
@Jim Hunziker: I'd say it's time for a call to tech support. –  Tester101 Jul 1 '11 at 21:13
    
Yeah, I did. They didn't even have a manual more detailed than the user one that the fridge came with. They're sending a service person out, and it's $129 if the problem's my fault and $0 if it's theirs. We'll see! –  Jim Hunziker Jul 1 '11 at 21:32

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