Refrigeration grade 1/4" coil ok for refrigerator water /ice?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by whoru9999, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. whoru9999

    whoru9999 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    illinois
    Hello,

    I am running a new line to my refrigerator for ice / water. I have some 1/4" copper coil tubing that is refrigeration grade. Can I use that for the run, or should I buy utility grade?

    What is the difference between the 2 types?
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,075
    Location:
    Maine
    it is fine. refer grade just means that it has been evacuated with nitrogen and the ends sealed against moisture.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,309
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    REfrigeration grade means it is a thinner tubing than "L" or "K", but also not the same as "M". Reefer tubing in all sizes comes in 50' foot coils rather than the 60' and 100' common to plumbing grade tubing. I have seen people use 3/4" and 1" reefer tubing for buried water lines because it was "cheaper" than the plumbing tubing. They were unaware, or unconcerned, about it being a thinner material. In the smaller sizes 1/4" and 3/8" reefer tubing is usually all you can get.
  4. mrd

    mrd New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    de, us
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    That is true. To be consistent, we should all refer to an icemaker hookup as 1/8" tube since it is for water. But the fact is, the industry and the trade have universally adapoted "acr" terminology when referring to water tubing in sizes less than 1/2".
  6. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Utility grade has the same OD as ACR, but is thinner walled.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,309
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Utility grade has the same OD as ACR,

    ALL copper tubing has the same o.d., regardless of whether it is specified by i.d., or o.d. Fittings would NOT work with it if there were different o.d.s.
  8. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,075
    Location:
    Maine
    At any rate 1/4" refrerigeration tubing will work just fine.
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,309
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You might want to consider using a flexible line with steel mesh over it. These don't kink when you move the refrigerator.
  10. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,075
    Location:
    Maine
    Yes Gary, good post. You can get the entire kit, braided stainless line, valve and all the connectors from fluidmaster
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,309
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    We might have two different situations here. The braided hose is for use in connecting the water TO the refrigerator, once the water line is in the area, but he might be using the copper tubing to GET the water to the refrigerator area.
  12. whoru9999

    whoru9999 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    illinois
    After reading all of this, I decided to just sweat some new 1/2" L and make a new run that terminates with a valve behind the fridge. I will use SS braided from the valve to the fridge.

    Seems like the most professional way to go.
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,309
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    That's what I thought you were doing in the first place. After reading HJ's reply, I could see there was another possibility in your question. FWIW, when I did my installation, I spent a couple of bucks extra and put a ball valve after the tee in the main line so if ever necessary, I can shut off the water to the entire ice maker line at that point.
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