Installing fridge water line, questions about well water supply

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by thebordella, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. thebordella

    thebordella New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Hi,

    I am preparing to install a water line for a new fridge with icemaker. My house is on a well, and there is a utility room with the infrastructure -- incoming well pipe, water tank, water softener (the old two-piece kind with a salt container and some sort of torpedo-shaped device), and hot water tank (heated by oil furnace).

    The fridge is right on the other side of the wall shared with the water utility room. So it seems like the sensible thing is drill a hole in the shared wall and tap into the water room somehow to draw water to the fridge. The run would be only a few feet.

    My confusion is that unlike under the kitchen sink with just a hot and cold supply line, there are many pipes in the water room. There are pipes coming in from outside (presumably the well source), there are pipes into the storage tank, pipes to the softener, pipes to the water heater, etc. In some cases multiple pipes in and out. It isn't clear to me what goes where, or what direction the water flows.

    Presumably I want to tap into water that has already been softened. This is probably a dumb question, but what is the sequence of events here? The well water is pumped up from the ground, and goes where? Into the softener and then the storage tank? Or the reverse?

    Some of the pipes seem to be copper, some are pvc. The typical icemaker install uses a saddle valve, but is this a bad idea? Should I install a "real" T connection and an angle stop to feed the fridge? (This would have to be on a pvc pipe because I don't know how to work with copper).

    Sorry for so many questions. Basically I'm looking for guidance on how to decide which pipe to tap among this complex of pipes, and what your preferred method to tap would be.

    thanks!
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    Normally, the pipe from the tank would go into a storage tank, then maybe to the softener and water heater. before the WH, it would branch to the cold supply lines.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,607
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The level of your questions, and your lack of experience, might make the answer to your question unpalatable, but YOU should probably not do it. Call a plumber. ANY "PVC", (and it may NOT be PVC in the first place), piping will probably NOT be the line you want to connect to, and you DO NOT want to use a saddle valve on copper, assuming you can figure out where to make the connection.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It goes well > pressure tank > inlet of softener (you have a two tank, the normal configuration BTW) > outlet of the softener > water heater > house fixtures.

    PVC is white plastic, off white/tanish is CPVC plastic, PVC can not be used for hot water or for cold water connected to the water heater and codes say not inside the house at all. IMO that is so someone doesn't run hot water through it.

    With a little practice and the proper tools and some practice, anyone can learn how to solder in 30 minutes.
  5. thebordella

    thebordella New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Thanks for the details!

    To clarify, I do have a little bit of experience here -- I previously renovated a small bathroom and that did involve some CPVC plumbing, both cutting off and adding new valves and fittings, for which I used shark bite and also solvent in different circumstances.

    And I should have been clearer that the plastic piping in the well supply room is also CPVC, which is used throughout most of this house.

    My thought -- and correct me if I'm being naive -- is that once I can identify which CPVC pipe(s) are downstream of the softener, I could cut the CPVC and insert a Shark Bite-style T connector. Add to that a short CPVC stub and a Shark Bite valve, into which I could connect the icemaker line. Bad idea? OK idea? Better than a saddle valve on copper?

    Thanks!


  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    Sharkbites would work, but a glued CPVC T would be much less expensive and is pretty quick to install, too. You could use a compression valve on the pipe, which also would be much less than the Sharkbite valve. Nothing against them, they're good, but unless there's access problems, I think I'd just glue in the appropriate fittings and pipe to a 'normal' valve.
  7. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    I would like to recommend a good carbon water filter in line to your icemaker
    and also do not run flex though wall
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    Some fridges have internal filtration...I have a GE one that seems to work well. I seem to be able to safely use it for quite awile after the indicator says to change it...the difference seems to be more in flow rate rather than the water quality as it gets older.

    The hassle with a common carbon filter is that as it traps any organic material in the water stream, it acts like a nice medium for things to grow. On a sink where you might use it often, you should let it run a bit to flush that out before you actually use it. On a fridge, you often don't have that luxury.
  9. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    You do not want straight soft water for ice cubes or crushed ice !
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