About a week ago, our refrigerator started leaking water on to the floor. It was a slow leak. We would clean up the water before going to bed. And in the morning there would be a little pool of water on the floor in front of the fridge. I pulled off the grill on the front of the bottom of the fridge, and vacuumed under there. I couldn’t see where the water was coming from. I thought it might be coming from the freezer defrosting, but the little pan under there for water to go into was empty.
We emptied stuff out of the refridgerator, and stored the more sensitive stuff in a cooler. We cleaned out the inside of the refrigerator but saw no sign of where the water might be coming from. So we pulled the fridge out from the wall, and I quickly saw where the water was leaking from. It was leaking from where the water goes in for the ice maker and water dispenser. It fact, what had probably had been a slow drip, had turned into a stream as the action of moving the refrigerator made the leak worse. There was a copper tube that led to a small saddle valve attached to a copper pipe. I turned the little valve. But by messing the messing with the saddle valve, it too started to leak. I quickly ran downstairs and shut off the water to the house and the main shut off valve.
At this point I am starting to panic a little thinking I might need to call a plumber on a Saturday. I manage to get a hold of myself. I disconnect the copper pipe from the back of the fridge. It was small diameter copper pipe going to a large fitting that attached the the fridge. The fitting was like what you would find for a garden hose. I found the gasket was rotted out. Ok, easy fix there. I removed the small tap valve, and found the rubber gasket there was also rotted out.
I headed to the Home Depot. The copper tubing was also kinked a little, and was concerned it might break, or spring a leak. The guys there helped me. They seemed to think the garden hose type fitting on the back of the fridge was unusual. They were going to set me up witha kith that had poly tubing (plastic), but it didn’t have the garden hose type fitting. It looked for a second like I would have to go with copper tubing. But then we figured out I could buy the kit, and a separate fitting. The Home Depot guy insisted on attaching the hose fitting. I told him I could do it, but he insisted. I bought the stuff and took it home.
I first attached the saddle valve. There was already a hole in the pipe wghere the old one was, so I just fit the new valve int he same place, and tightened it down. I connected the poly tubing, and attached the hose fitting at the other end. I connected that line to the fridge. I turned on the water, and came upstairs. Water was spraying, so I ran back down and shut it off again. The poly line had shot off the saddle valve connection. I removed it, and reattached it. A nice tight fitting this time. I turned of the water, and it was leaking from the home fitting. I only needed to shut off the saddle valve this time. I removed the hose fitting, and found this little piece inside had been damaged. The Home Depot guy apparently screwed it up. I looked through the extra parts from the kit, and managed to use one of those parts. I reconnected it, turned on the saddle valve, and it was not leaking! Great! We pushing in the fridge. We tested the water dispenser…no water. Crap! We pulled out the fridge again, and turned up the water. I ended up needed to open the saddle valve all the way to get good water flow for the dispenser. We pushed the refrigerator back in, making sure not to crimp the new water line. We still had water. Cool. So we refilled the fridge, and haven’t had a problem since!