Appliance store says I need a shutoff valve behind the refrigerator. They want a valve box in the wall to attach their flexible water line. The plumber put in flexible copper tubing with the shutoff valve under the sink. Appliance store says that's against code. I live in California if that makes a difference. The copper tubing is the smooth type. The refrigerator is a LG French door.

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    Ask the appliance people to quote chapter and verse of the code they're referring to. Then remind them that you'll do the install yourself if they don't cooperate. (Even if they are somehow correct, and I give that very slim odds, your plumber did the smart thing.) Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 20:42
  • Just to be sure... is your copper of the smooth walled type, or is it corrugated? (If corrugated, you're limited to 10', per California Plumbing Code 604.12.) Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 23:40
  • What is the make and model refrigerator? What does it say in the manufacturers installation instructions?
    – Tester101
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 10:01

2 Answers 2


The guy at the appliance store is correct. California plumbing code 606.5 states

A control valve shall be installed immediately ahead of each water-supplied appliance and immediately ahead of each slip joint or appliance supply.

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    Yes, but it does not say that it must be right AT the refrigerator. If you read the PURPOSE of the change from the 2012 code, it was because people were putting valves in attic spaces, not accessible to the homeowner if the appliance or fitting developed a leak. The valve under the sink in the same kitchen would meet that code requirement, so long as there were no other fittings or tap-offs between that valve and the ice maker. I've done that and had it pass many times. That said, I RECOMMEND putting it behind the fridge so that it's easier to turn it off if you have to pull the fridge out.
    – JRaef
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 1:14

Most appliance installers' policy dictates that their installers CANNOT attach to refrigerator water lines to any supply that can't be shut off at the refrigerator area,i.e. not in cabinets or opposite walls etc. It has to do with liability of potentially causing water damage by crawling in a sink cabinet or similar, or other areas. The dishwasher install is an exception for obvious reasons. That is the case for appliance installers contracted by Lowes and Home Depot. They are not trying to match CODE but it works out that way and it is an easier reason to share with customers.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 19:09

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