So I bought a new fridge that happens to be a little deeper than counter depth. After getting the fridge to our house, we realized that our cabinetry is designed for counter depth. We actually like the fridge despite the fact that it comes out "a little" further than it should so we are keeping it. The only problem is that we haven't connected the water line yet. The house was built in 2013 and it has a recessed shutoff in the wall, ready for the water line. The only issue is that I want to be able to push the fridge back as far as possible without causing any distress to the line. I purchased both a copper, plastic and braided stainless steel line and am willing to use whichever would be best for my situation. I feel like since my shutoff in the wall is set directly forward that I'd benefit from some sort of right angle (elbow) connection to take away some pressure but I don't want to add more parts that could eventually fail. Advice/suggestion? I can provide pics if needed.

  • Where would you put the elbow? – wallyk Aug 25 '13 at 14:52
  • @wallyk - I was thinking that the elbow would go on the line where the shutoff is. Keep in mind I know absolutely nothing about plumbing whatsoever. Having the 90 degree turn would keep the line from coming straight out of the wall and smashing into the back of the fridge. Maybe I don't have enough confidence in the material of the lines? – Brian Aug 25 '13 at 14:55

If the arrangement is typical, it will look something like this: enter image description here

Perhaps from this, you can see how the copper tubing can be bent to be flat against the wall and form a coil like this:
enter image description here

Arranged this way, it is okay to move the fridge all the way back, pressing the tubing into position—which helps keep it from rattling. There should be no sharp or pointed surfaces on the lower back of the refrigerator. If there are, maybe you can cover them with heavy tape or cloth.

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    So you'd recommend copper in my case? I think that makes the most sense too. The stainless steel is much thicker and doesn't seem to have as much flexibility and the plastic one just "seems" wrong. The only thing is that once I have the fridge in place, I have no real way of seeing if it coiled nicely since the cabinetry is surrounded on both sides. I suppose I could sneak my phone in over the top of the fridge and maybe snap a pic to check it that way. – Brian Aug 25 '13 at 15:15
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    In the illustrated recessed installation (picture 1) a gentle bend in the tubing to bring it parallel to and flush with the wall would accomplish the same thing as an elbow with out the risk of an added joint. The coiling (at least for copper) is essential, but I might be inclined toward plastic tubing which is much less prone to a kink. – bib Aug 25 '13 at 15:15
  • @bib: I disagree about the relative aptitude between copper and plastic tubing to kink. As long as the copper is kept in large coils and a little care is taken not to form small loops, it won't kink. I suppose the same is true of plastic, but if plastic kinks, it is easily unkinked. – wallyk Aug 25 '13 at 16:57
  • @Brian: Yes, I recommend copper. The last place I lived had 40+ year old copper tubing for the fridge and it was still as good as new, though considerably oxidized. In other places which have plastic, or even stainless steel mesh over plastic, I have had leaks and needed to replace them. – wallyk Aug 25 '13 at 16:59

I would use a swivel connector and plastic tubing 1/4 inch in diameter. 2 loops for flexibility will not take up too much space. You might want to leave a small gap in the rear for ventilation purposes.

  • any links for these connections/tubing? – Brian Aug 25 '13 at 15:22

Along with what the other responses tell you, if you are still nervous, get some sick-on rubber feet (search 'rubber feet' at amazon for ideas). Get big ones (I saw some up to 1 or 1.5 inches) and sick them in the corners of the rear of the fridge. The idea is that the rubber bumpers will hit the back wall, and no matter how hard you press, you won't be able to damage the tubing.

Of course, make sure you put them in places, where the rubber feet won't be hitting the tubing (I'm thinking 2 feet, one on either side, mid-way up the back of the fridge).

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