I have a Kenmore refrigerator, and a thin sheet of ice forms at the bottom of the freezer very frequently. I heard this is a common problem and wanted to remove the tube at the bottom back of the refrigerator for cleaning.

I noticed there are 2 tubes in the back of the fridge for water. Do I just pull out the 1st tube and leave the 2nd tube in? Where do I shut off water to prevent water from entering the kitchen when the 1st tube is pulled from the refrigerator?

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1 Answer 1


Yes, Tube 1 in the photo is the supply line. Tube 2 is part of the appliance and probably feeds an ice maker so just leave it alone.

It's time for a grown-up version of a childhood favorite: hide-and-seek. There must be a shutoff valve for that supply line somewhere, but nobody knows where it is! Common locations are under the kitchen sink or in a mechanical room, perhaps somewhere near the water heater or main water shutoff. Valves come in lots of shapes and sizes. You might be looking for an ordinary-looking stop valve under the sink, or a saddle valve strapped onto a copper water pipe somewhere.

shutoff valve saddle valve
image credits: shutoff valve homedepot.com; saddle valve wikipedia.org

Because the supply line is plastic it'll hold a considerable amount of pressure even after the supply valve is closed. Be prepared to catch water with a bowl or towel as you open the connection.

Infrequently-used valves, and saddle valves in particular, are notorious for not closing fully. Have a plan for what you'll do if you get the water line disconnected from the fridge but it won't stop dribbling or running. The plan could be extra helping hands, an oversize bowl, or even just re-connect the fridge immediately. If you do have a problem with the valve leaking, or just want to eliminate a saddle valve to avoid trouble later, maybe let's handle that as a separate question. :-)

  • 1
    Follow the line back and see where it connects to your water system. If there is no valve you will have to replace it. If it is a saddle type valve it should be replaced they are prone to leaking.
    – Gil
    Apr 25, 2022 at 23:07
  • 1
    Another mitigation of a valve that won't shut off, is to turn off the house main while doing this.
    – DaveM
    Apr 26, 2022 at 1:49
  • Is it possible to kink tube 1 without turning off the shut off valve? I don’t think I have one..
    – jeffrey
    Apr 28, 2022 at 16:44
  • @spacenet No, kinking the tube will damage it. (Special tools do exist for squeeze-off of polyethylene pipe, but that's another matter.) As recommended by DaveM, turn off the house main instead. Though the 1/4 tube has to connect to larger plumbing somewhere, and the adapter that makes it possible is almost certainly a valve.. Also, you could get a push-connect in-line 1/4" shutoff valve, close the house main, cut the tube behind the fridge, and insert the new in-line valve there. Then you'd have a known shutoff for it.
    – Greg Hill
    Apr 29, 2022 at 16:49

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