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I am buying a new LG refrigerator. For the dimensions I need, all models have an ice maker

  • Is it better to not connect a refrigerator to a water line to prevent water leaks and mold issues?

  • I don't use ice very often and would just put an ice tray in the fridge

  • How often do refrigerators leak or get moldy if connected to the water line?

  • Does the water line have a tendency to leak if not connected to the refrigerator?

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  • 2
    In my experience, ice makers are almost always the most problematic part of a refrigerator. They dramatically increase the long-term maintenance costs if you use it and want to keep it working. However, when they fail, it is generally not catastrophic - you just don't get ice. If you plan on never using it, don't hook it up. If you do, do. Just be aware that they're expensive to maintain. Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 17:32
  • 1
    Having an ice maker makes the whole fridge less efficient (because it is always less well insulated than the door around it), I'd have another search for one without. Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 18:11
  • 1
    Some fridges built in the 70s-80s had a problem with leaking or growing mold. That's a big part of where this reputation comes from. Manufacturers have done a lot of work to solve those issues, though, and any modern fridge from a reputable manufacturer should be largely free of those issues when installed correctly.
    – bta
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 0:35
  • 1
    I've had one leak was because it had a GHT plastic fitting as part of the plastic valve body (impossible to tighten) instead of 1/4" copper compression like most of them are now, which does not leak when done correctly and sufficiently tightened. Even if it does leak, that's likely to eventually plug itself. On a garden hose fitting; could be catastrophic. You'll never know if you'll regret not hooking it up. But I guarantee you, you will enjoy there being ice now instead of 4h from now at some point. Then you'll know. You must have never been spoiled on one or this wouldn't be a Q.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 2:22
  • The Mosquito Coast - "Ice Is Civilization" youtube.com/watch?v=bbieKj2m4pU
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 2:26

7 Answers 7

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  • Is it better to not connect a refrigerator to a water line to prevent water leaks and mold issues?

If you do not want to use it that is fine

  • I don't use ice very often and would just put an ice tray in the fridge

That is fine

  • How often do refrigerators leak or get moldy if connected to the water line?

Almost never

  • Does the water line have a tendency to leak if not connected to the refrigerator?

They do not have the tendency to leak

Some fridge ice maker have a on/off switch (inside the fridge) where you can stop it it doing stuff.

11

If you already have a water line available, use it. But if this would mean running a new line from under the sink or another cold water pipe somewhere then you can certainly skip it.

The water lines don't normally leak. The problem (generally) with water in a refrigerator and with mold in a refrigerator is condensation. That is inevitable to some degree - cold air holds less water than hot air, so some condensation is not that unusual, depending on the humidity of the air in the room with the refrigerator. That is actually one of the reasons to not put a refrigerator in a unconditioned space such as a garage or, even worse, outside, unless it is designed for wide temperature swings. Mold is a problem when a refrigerator gets too warm - e.g., if it is unplugged for a while, as mold will grow slowly at normal refrigerator temperatures but quite rapidly at room temperature.

In any case, a properly installed water line on a new refrigerator should not cause any problems for many years.

10

You should remove the icemaker, or have the icemaker removed. It uses a lot of valuable freezer space, and it periodically runs a heating element in your freezer space which wastes power twice over. Either that, or shop more and find one without.

My model had one available, but not pre-installed. I continue to get postal mail spam (since I registered for warranty purposes) for overpriced water filters (another cost and annoyance you'll avoid) for an icemaker I refused to buy. Clearly they are a huge profit center (thus, vastly overpriced) or they wouldn't have the spare cash to waste on postal spam for the slim possibility I got an icemaker without them knowing about it. I can make more ice than I need in less space than that thing would take up in my freezer...

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    It is actually pretty easy to remove it yourself: usually just three screws and a molex connector. Look up a video on YouTube using your model number for extra help.
    – Dúthomhas
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 14:23
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    If it's an LG refrigerator, it likely has the icemaker in the door, and removing it doesn't buy you anything.
    – Tristan
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 15:32
  • @Tristan Yeah, mine is an LG, and the icemaker on the door has shelves built into it. So if I removed it, I might be gaining some space, but I'd also be losing all the shelves on the door, so it's not really that beneficial. Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 17:51
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If ice in the refrigerator's icemaker bin sits unused for a lengthy period, it becomes unusable due to consolidation, i.e. tends to become one big chunk of stuck-together "cubes". The ice also develops off-flavors. So, a seldom-used icemaker should not be connected. Icemaker supply connections sometimes develop leaks, usually due to damage or improper installation. The valves inside the refrigerator can stick open, causing major flooding (this happened to me). A not-connected icemaker is a leak-free icemaker. I've never experienced or even heard of mold growing in refrigerator icemaker/water components.

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  • tends to become one big chunk of stuck-together "cubes". That can only happen due to melting/refreezing. If that happens, you (or your kids) are definitely doing something Very, Very Wrong.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 9:09
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    @RonJohn: No, it's inherent in how a frost-free freezer works. Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 13:51
-1

It depends on the refrigerator. The all-mechanical ones there's really no benefit to not hooking up the line, unless maybe it's a model that's known to spring leaks. The ice maker can be turned on and off depending on if you want it at the moment or not.

The new, all-electronic models on the other hand... The water line provides a second path to ground. If your house ground is not good enough or is otherwise rigged such that you can get voltage differential between the two from nearby lightning strikes or similar, then this can severely shorten the lifespan of the refrigerator electronics. If you're never going to use it anyway, then there's no reason to bother hooking it up. Just make sure the ice maker is off in that case. Some of them get grumpy if left on with no water available.

Note that if you don't use ice that often you'll find that the ice from your tray will slowly sublimate and you may find you don't have as much as you'd like when you do eventually want some.

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  1. By code the water supply should have a valve. So you can stop mold, leaks etc. Use a 1/4 turn ball valve as close as possible to the supply. Gate valves can fail due to the washer drying out. You can replace an existing gate valve or leave the gate valve and install the ball valve either side.
  2. You can remove the ice maker and crusher. If connected to water you will still get cold water. You can also remove the ice 'bucket' but usually that acts as a good holding place for odd shaped or frequently used objects at a convenient height if you have a bottom freezer.
  3. You can get a appliance drip tray. (Usually used for hot water cylinders and washing machines.
  4. You can get a water detector that goes in the tray which can notify you either by sound or the internet.

TL;DR. I have a couple of small apartments and I install leak detectors in them including a tray glued down under the kitchen sink which is large enough to go under the sink, U-bend and valves and the lowest point of the supply pipes. I use extra long braided supply pipes so I can put a 'U' in them and zip tie them to the drain.(after the 'U') Tenants are notorious for ignoring leaks and can cause a lot of damage.

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  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 21:18
-2

So....

Mold and mildew do not just come from water in the fridge. Behind the Fridge in the wall is a valve, just turn it off if you don't want to use the ice maker. You won't be able to get filtered water either. That's your prerogative.

Mold happens when its not clean, doesn't matter if its food based or water based, it's not clean, or there is moisture where there should not be its mildew. To prevent it, clean it.

Water leaks happen in older homes, newer homes if the line has not been installed correctly. Leaks in pipes happen due to bad installs. The plumber didn't put in sealant or the tape and sealant are both old. The wrong pipe was used (electrical conduit vs. pvc pipe).

So many people buy the wrong pipes for water, it's unreal.

Also in LG, you can turn off the icemaker.

Good luck!

1
  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 21:18

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