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Thread: 1/2" pex to 1/4" copper for ice maker

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member JEP's Avatar
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    Default 1/2" pex to 1/4" copper for ice maker

    I need to install an ice maker. The plumbing in the house is all pex. I have easy access to a 1/2" pex pipe, but have some restrictions as I cannot get a crimping tool into the tight area available to me. I'm guessing that a saddle valve and pex would be a mistake, right.

    I read a few threads here about shark bite fittings and am thinking that might be a solution. I'd need a 1/2" sharkbite tee, and then from there I'm lost as to how to get down to the 1/4" copper tubing. Any help, much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    Default Ice Maker

    They do make a ice maker pex valve thats 1/2 x 1/4 inch. You have to do your own searching for it, luck.

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    Master Plumber Mario's Avatar
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    Sharkbite tee in the pex, then a little 1/2" copper stub........2-3" long and a "straight stop" 1/2 X 1/4 compression.

    Those are a little hard to find, so if they don't have one available a 1/2 X 3/8 Straight stop and a 3/8 female X 1/4 compression will screw right onto the 3/8 end of the stop to take you to the 1/4" tubing.

    I carry a few of those on my truck, the last time I went to Lowe's they didn't have 1/2 X 1/4 stops but they did have the 3/8 X 1/4 adapters.
    Most plumbing supply stores should have the stops in one peice.

    Be careful...they make several 3/8" Female thread X 1/4" Compression adapters and not all of them will screw right onto a 3/8 compression stop end.
    You about have to take one out of the package and make sure it works, the one that doesn't work is so close you about can't tell the difference with the naked eye.
    I picked up the wrong one once and waited till I was in the truck to open the package and find out it wouldn't screw on to the stop.
    The one that works comes with a little gasket in the package and you have to teflon tape the 3/8 end on the stop AND use the gasket or it will leak.
    Last edited by Mario; 06-21-2009 at 02:42 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member JEP's Avatar
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    Those are a little hard to find, so if they don't have one available a 1/2 X 3/8 Straight stop and a 3/8 female X 1/4 compression will screw right on to 3/8 end of the stop to take you to the 1/4" tubing.
    Yep, thats what I had to use. Thanks for the help. Its much appreciated.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Mario's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JEP View Post
    I'm guessing that a saddle valve and pex would be a mistake, right.
    A saddle tap is always a mistake, even with copper.
    They make regular full-size compression stops that are 1/2 X 1/4.
    That is all I ever use. Saddle taps are just asking for trouble.

    They also make a pex crimper that reaches into tight spaces and you don't need two men and a small boy to operate the crimp.
    It uses a stainless ring with a wire loop.
    The crimper just has to squeeze the loop on one side of the ring, not the ring itself. This one tool also works on all sizes of pex up to 1".
    That's what I use now.

    Also on the stops you always want to get the newer 1/4 turn ball valve design.
    The old gate valve type stops have a small gasket that disolves and leaks or blocks the flow after just 5-10 years.
    Last edited by Mario; 06-21-2009 at 03:00 PM.

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    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    Default

    The other thing you can do is attach a sharkbit 1/2 x 1/2 FIP and mate to a John Guest 1/2 MIP thread X 1/4 "push in" (same concept as a shark-bit) for the tubing that leads to the frig.

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    DIY Junior Member JEP's Avatar
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    Thanks for the added info. I'm sure I'll have more plumbing jobs to do in this house.

    Mario - I did not see the crimping tool you mention at HD or Lowes. I'm guessing you can get that at a plumbing supply house, yes. I rented a crimping tool yesterday only to get it home and find that I could not use it. If I buy one in the future, It'll be the one you mentioned.

    Thanks to all

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