Refrigerator water line gets hot

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Maxxfusion

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I have been having issues with my fridge water line recently. Its getting really warm. I cant seem to figure out what is going on. For a while i had a braided line running from the basement through the floor to the regfrigerator. It started leaking by a pin hole burst in a spot. The braided hose felt hot. I wasnt sure why that was and figured it had something to so with the line being faulty. So this time i replaced with 1/4" flexible copper line. Today i heard a noise coming from behind the refrigerator. Come to find it was leaking again but this time if was from the plastic pipe that comes from the refrigerator right at the compression connector. The water coming out felt warm. So it seemed that it melted.

What could be causing this issue? I have never heard of anything like this before. Everything i have checked so far doesnt point to a cause. I am not sure what to check next. Anyone seen something like this before?
 

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Turn off the hot water supply at the WH. Open a hot faucet to relieve pressure. See if the fridge still gets water.
 

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Try turning off the hot water, and see if a hot spigot, such as a laundry spigot, still produces water. That is to test for a crossover.
 

WorthFlorida

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When did this start? At the kitchen sink, is there a motion sensor faucet? The faucet stays open and the motion sensor opens a valve with both hot and cold water mixed?

Is there a re-circular at the water heater to bring hot water to the sinks. The furthest sink will have a check valve between the hot and cold.

At the fridge line connection to the cold water pipe, is the cold pipe warm or. Hot?
 

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When did this start? At the kitchen sink, is there a motion sensor faucet? The faucet stays open and the motion sensor opens a valve with both hot and cold water mixed?

Is there a re-circular at the water heater to bring hot water to the sinks. The furthest sink will have a check valve between the hot and cold.

At the fridge line connection to the cold water pipe, is the cold pipe warm or. Hot?
Cross connection some place. What else is connected in close proximity?
 

John Gayewski

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Water hot enough to melt a poly ethylene tube doesn't sound possible. It would have to be over 200f. How is your hot water made?
 

Maxxfusion

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The water line runs through the floor and to valve on a cold water pipe that used to run outside to a backyard faucet for a hose. That was been remove and the pipe had an Angle valve added to accept the refrigerator water line.

This was hooked up like this for months. The first braided line got a hole last winter around March. So i replaced it with the same braided line. Then it happened again about 2 weeks ago. When i felt the braided line in the basement it was hot to the touch and the water spraying out was warm.

Since that i have replaced with the coper line thinking the issue was these braided lines failing. But then this happened.

I cut the plastic tube and reattached the crimp type fitting on the end and everything is hooked back up. I have the refrigerator left out some so i can keep checking the line to see if it gets hot or where else the issue is coming from.
 

WorthFlorida

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Need to find the source of the hot water. Disconnect the water line at the fridge and fill up a few buckets of water. If the water is hot it’s not the type of lines you are using. They are failing because of the hot water.

I asked several questions before. Do you have a re circular? Is the cold water pipe cold or warm?

Is the refrigerator a three wire appliance! No two prong adapter used?
 
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Maxxfusion

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Need to find the source of the hot water. Disconnect the water line at the fridge and fill up a few buckets of water. If the water is hot it’s not the type of lines you are using. They are failing because of the hot water.

I asked several questions before. Do you have a re circular? Is the cold water pipe cold or warm?

Is the refrigerator a three wire appliance! No two prong adapter used?

I know you are try to get a handle on this but you’re going down the wrong road. It has happened to me and you swear you’re right, then someone else comes with a set of different eyes and finds the problem.

Do you have a re circular? - No i dont

Is the cold water pipe cold or warm? Cold. I keep checking all the lines everytime i pass to see if anything feels warm.

Is the refrigerator a three wire appliance! No two prong adapter used? Its 3 Prong. the Fridge is about 3 years old.
 

WorthFlorida

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Trying to figure what can get that hot to damage the lines. With the water line connected and with the fridge on, check the solenoid usually located the the back. Feel the solenoid and should not be warm, run the water dispenser and see if it gets hot. If you have an ohm meter, a good solenoid will be about 300 ohms.

If the house plumbing is copper or galvanized pipe, with the copper line disconnected at the cold water pipe, using a voltmeter, see if there is any potential between the two.
 

Maxxfusion

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Trying to figure what can get that hot to damage the lines. With the water line connected and with the fridge on, check the solenoid usually located the the back. Feel the solenoid and should not be warm, run the water dispenser and see if it gets hot. If you have an ohm meter, a good solenoid will be about 300 ohms.

If the house plumbing is copper or galvanized pipe, with the copper line disconnected at the cold water pipe, using a voltmeter, see if there is any potential between the two.

Everything seems cool behind the refrigerator. Everything is covered but nothing feels warm back there.

This morning i found that if i put my meter on the ducts in the basement it measures between 5-10 volts. Something is transferring voltage to the duct. I need to go through the basement and see if there are any lose or exposed wires some how. From what i can see so far where there is no ceiling i dont see any issues.
 

WorthFlorida

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Older homes with copper pipes, a ground clamp from the electric panel was always connected at the entrance point of the cold water supply. It's no longer required but if any of the home plumbing was changed to CPVC or PEX continuity is lost.
Some volt meters are very sensitive whereby they'll show a voltage and it could be from a static charge or even your own body.

If the refrigerator line is copper, are you reading from the copper line to the duct? If yes, unplug the frig, then the furnace or AC.
 

Maxxfusion

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Older homes with copper pipes, a ground clamp from the electric panel was always connected at the entrance point of the cold water supply. It's no longer required but if any of the home plumbing was changed to CPVC or PEX continuity is lost.
Some volt meters are very sensitive whereby they'll show a voltage and it could be from a static charge or even your own body.

If the refrigerator line is copper, are you reading from the copper line to the duct? If yes, unplug the frig, then the furnace or AC.

Talked to my bro in law today. He is a hvac guy. He said the issue is my step down transformer in my furnace. He had me test by turning off the furnance by the service switch on the unit. Then i measured the voltage again on the duct and it was gone. Once i turned it back on it came back. So the transformer is leaking and i need to replace it.
 

Maxxfusion

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Older homes with copper pipes, a ground clamp from the electric panel was always connected at the entrance point of the cold water supply. It's no longer required but if any of the home plumbing was changed to CPVC or PEX continuity is lost.
Some volt meters are very sensitive whereby they'll show a voltage and it could be from a static charge or even your own body.

If the refrigerator line is copper, are you reading from the copper line to the duct? If yes, unplug the frig, then the furnace or AC.

Tested again last night and the voltage is back even with the furnance off. So back to the drawing board.

Its funny you should mention the ground to the cold water pipe that comes in the house. When we moved in 20 years ago we had to have the water into the house redone. So the electrical panel ground is still connected to the old abandoned water pipe just below the panel. The main water comes into the house in another location.

Does that mean i am not grounded properly? Should i move this ground wire to the new pipe that is run into my house? The old water pipe location is in the rear corner of my basement. The new water comes in to the front of the house and extends through the joists to the original location to connect to the water pipes.
 

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WorthFlorida

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The old pipe still maybe the earth ground the home needs. Is there a ground rod outside for the electric panel? If the home was not grounded at electric panel, you would have other electrical problems like lights flickering.

Do consider Reach4 comment about voltmeters. Todays low cost meters are high impedance and they are very sensitive to any stray voltage including us.

This warming of the frig line has me baffle. Is it hooked up and working And still getting warm?
 

Maxxfusion

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The old pipe still maybe the earth ground the home needs. Is there a ground rod outside for the electric panel? If the home was not grounded at electric panel, you would have other electrical problems like lights flickering.

Do consider Reach4 comment about voltmeters. Todays low cost meters are high impedance and they are very sensitive to any stray voltage including us.

This warming of the frig line has me baffle. Is it hooked up and working And still getting warm?
My house was built in 1977. There is no ground rod that i ever saw. Now there is a concreate patio outside where the electrical panel is. I think that the panel is grounded only to the water line. Just wasnt sure if that was ok since that water line is no longer connected to the rest of the pipes in the house.

I could run 4 gauge wire out the side of my house and install the 2 ground rods if thats what i need to do to be compliant. I have 225 amp service coming in so i saw online i need 4 gauge ground wire.

My meter is a cheap Klien Tool meter. I needed something to quickly test voltage and continuity but didnt want to spend the money on a Fluke.

I really think that the water line was getting warm because a part of it was resting on the duct that had the voltage through it. The highest reading i saw was 20v. The line was running over the cold air return and the supply duct so i couldnt secure some of that line to the joist.
 

WorthFlorida

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Good plan but you might want an electrician to do ground rods and connections.
 
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