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I'm looking for a good way to connect a new fridge with water to an existing pex pipe. I previously did not have a fridge with water.

Backstory, years and years ago, the contractor remodeling my kitchen said oh yeah you'll eventually have a fridge with water (which we didn't at the time) so we'll run the line for it now so it'll be there when you need it.

So, what I have is a pex pipe capped off behind drywall in my kitchen. And I have a new fridge ready for water to be connected to it right next to that same wall.

I've been looking at two ideas.

  1. a simple sharkbite angle stop which would push onto the pex and then I run braided water line from fridge to that through the drywall. Would I need anything to hold that water line in place or protect the drywall that I'm drilling a hole through? It feels like over time something is going to shake loose and I'll have water gushing into the space behind the drywall. But I've never used sharkbite connectors before.

  2. a sharkbite ice maker outlet box, but given where they ran the pex to, I'm not sure I have the right space for this given that it wants the outlet box screwed into a stud. That is, the pex pipe is two inches from a stud with no wiggle room in the pipe, and if I understand how to mount the outlet box I'd need the pex 4 inches away from the stud to connect pex directly into that outlet box sharkbite connection.

What better ideas are there?

I assume this type of question has been answered more than once I just couldn't come up with a proper search query to find it.

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    PEX crimpers cost 20 USD on Amazon. If you've got PEX plumbing, then you should have one anyway. Swap the sharkbite fittings for PEX crimp rings.
    – popham
    Nov 12, 2023 at 20:15

2 Answers 2

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The primary shutoff valve for the water line to the fridge should be located in a very accessible location and NOT behind the fridge. Such valves are typically located in the under-sink cabinet space. It's a real shame your contractor short-shrifted you on that. I have seen the extensive damage that can result from not doing so. A secondary valve behind the fridge, to minimize any small mess from maintenance activity is fine, but it can not be located inside a wall. A standard valve stub-out from the PEX in the wall with attached valve with 1/4" compression outlet would be suitable. Flexible water supply lines can not be routed into or through walls or any other inaccessible location, per plumbing code.

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  • Yeah, every idea I was coming up with felt super sketchy, so thanks especially for the mention of not routing flexible supply lines through walls. Nov 13, 2023 at 0:54
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Use a PEX-B crimping tool instead of the sharkbite connectors. Splice another length of PEX onto the pipe so that you're free to locate the valve where you want it. Implement the icemaker outlet box, but with PEX crimp rings. If you're using reinforced PVC water line to connect the fridge, then consider getting an outlet box with a water hammer arrestor to minimize noise from its bouncing around behind the fridge.

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