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Thread: Ice maker line from cold line of water heater?

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    LA, CA

    Default Ice maker line from cold line of water heater?

    At the hardware stores, they say, "Oh yeah, it'll be easy", but I'm getting last-minute jitters. Please pardon any improper terminology and general ignorance... this is my first DIY attempt at plumbing.

    So I bought a new refrigerator that has an ice-maker and water dispenser, but there is no existing water line for it. I can't tap off the sink and run a line through cabinets because it's on the other side of the room.

    There is a bathroom sink on the other side of the wall directly behind the fridge, but there's no acccessible copper lines (they're in the wall). Just the (stainless steel?) pipe w/shutoff valve comes out of the wall.

    The water heater is right beside the fridge in a closet. The vertical copper cold water line -- from top to bottom -- has a (ball) shutoff valve, a threaded 3/4" male end, connected to a copper flex pipe which connects to the nipple of the hot water heater. I bought a shorter flex pipe so that I can insert a T above it.

    The horizontal section of the T is 1/2", where I'll solder a 10" section of 1/2" pipe to it. On the other end of the pipe I'll solder a 90 degree L, and to that another 4 feet of pipe which will run vertically, ending about 2 feet above the floor. The gentleman at the hardware store suggested I attach a (sink-type 1/4 turn) shutoff valve at the end of this pipe. It has a compression fitting. This valve outputs to a 1/4" compressioin fitting, where I'll attach the 1/4" copper tubing to run to the refrigerator.

    During my research I read many warnings about using self-peircing saddle-valves. A non-peircing drillable valve would be so easy... just attach the saddle valve to the 3/4" pipe, and run the 1/4" copper tubing to the fridge and I'm done. But I'm trying to "do it right".

    My main concerns are:
    1.) The water pressure. Sounds like a lot of pressure from a major line, which will be made worse by all the reducing down to 1/4".
    2.) Using a blow-torch around a gas water heater. I'll assemble and sweat everything outside first, but need to solder the T to a new threaded female adapter in the closet. I will shut off the gas to the heater, and I plan on using a heat-shield.
    3.) The flex pipe for the cold line is warm to the touch. It is coolest at the top, so that's where I plan put the T.

    Sorry about the length of this. With the new tools and parts, I'm $100 into it and want the satisfaction of doing it myself, but I have to wonder if my male ego is getting the best of me and I should hire a pro. Any help ASAP greatly appreciated... I'm diving in Sunday afternoon.
    Last edited by ccash; 10-10-2004 at 01:42 AM.


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