The water to our refrigerator was not turned on when it was installed and I am now trying to get the ice maker working. There is what appears to be a water hookup behind the refrigerator but turning the handle seems to have no effect. How do I operate this valve?

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  • 2
    Have you set the lever to be lined up with the water line? Is there a possibility of a shutoff upstream somewhere? Do you have the fridge hooked up already? (If you have, then it might be the source of the trouble.) Jun 7, 2020 at 23:57
  • Ball valves as this obviously is, allow water to flow when the handle is inline with the pipe as Aloysius says in this case the handle could be up or down in the current position it is almost off, I might break the line loose to see if there is water there these old valves are known to drip so it may be turned off elsewhere , breaking the seal on top and opening the valve if you don’t get water look for another shutoff.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 8, 2020 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


Sometimes called a cock, it is a 90 degree turn, open/closed. The handle shows the position of the plug opening (if it has not failed). When the handle is in line with the copper line it is open. When the handle is pointing to the side it is closed. The picture looks like it is midway between open and closed.

  • So basically, turning it around in a circle just opened and closed it over and over? If no water came out, I assume that means I now need to go searching for the shutoff valve...
    – dalearn
    Jun 8, 2020 at 0:14
  • 2
    It does sound like there's another shutoff. Or somebody disconnected the water supply entirely, thinking that the valve wasn't completely reliable. Jun 8, 2020 at 2:35
  • If it's a gate valve, and it looks like it is, it should only turn 90 degrees. Jun 8, 2020 at 4:29
  • @steve Wellens that is a ball valve notice the shaft goes completely through the valve they are 90 degree from on to off. A gate valve or valves normally referred to as gate are screw actuated that looks to be an old one and they do drip as the old ones did not have modern plastic seals, I would bet there is another shutoff or the line was disconnected and plugged.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 8, 2020 at 7:13
  • Oops, I meant to say ball valve. Thanks for the correction. Jun 8, 2020 at 13:32

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