Refrigerator water supply line

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rjm

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Hi all,

I have a 1/2" copper stub with a compression supply valve to a utility sink in my shop/brewery. The old fridge had 1/4" copper from there to it-not in the wall-about a 30' run and was dirt slow but didn't get much use.

I have a new fridge. On the other side of the garage. If I run a line from the valve to the fridge (30'+ ) is 3/8" plastic ok? Or does it need to be copper? In the wall?

One other thing, I'm also installing a tankless on-demand RO system (iSpring), 1 L/min that I just decided would supply the fridge. Is there a automatic shutoff valve in case someone cuts the (plastic) line? Not too expensive? Lol!

I'm in Los Angeles, CA. Nice that they have their own plumbing code. Nevertheless, UPC would be fine with me. This old house has so many serious code violations a minor plumbing one isn't really an issue.

Thanks for any advice!

Best,

Riley
 

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frodo

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3/8'' to the fridge for 30' should be fine
turn the water off
buy a 3 way valve/stop and replace the 2 way valve you have installed
that will be the valve to the fridge
 

havasu

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I don't like the plastic tubing. I ran that behind my fridge and within 2 years of constant vibration from the unit, I wore a pin hole that leaked for months before I realized it was leaking. I recommend copper to a dedicated shut off valve inside a wall mounted recessed box, then running stainless braided line from the wall to the fridge.
 
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rjm

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Thanks for the advice
3/8'' to the fridge for 30' should be fine
turn the water off
buy a 3 way valve/stop and replace the 2 way valve you have installed
that will be the valve to the fridge
Sounds like the simplest way. Thanks!
 

rjm

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I don't like the plastic tubing. I ran that behind my fridge and within 2 years of constant vibration from the unit, I wore a pin hole that leaked for months before I realized it was leaking. I recommend copper to a dedicated shut off valve inside a wall mounted recessed box, then running stainless braided line from the wall to the fridge.
Good advice but this isn't in the wall, completely exposed in my shop. And temporary in the sense that maybe in a few years things change here!

Riley
 

Jeff Handy

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Consider that mice apparently like to chew on plastic.
Plus abrasion hazards as noted above, or just casual damage from being an open line exposed in the garage.
Why not invest in the copper line, it will last longer than you will.

Run it up close to the ceiling, away from danger.

You could also cover it with a track, like they use for surface wiring, just to make it snazzy, and for protection from being crunched.
Or put it inside a narrow pvc pipe, or length of pex, open ended, just for protection.
 

rjm

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Consider that mice apparently like to chew on plastic.
Plus abrasion hazards as noted above, or just casual damage from being an open line exposed in the garage.
Why not invest in the copper line, it will last longer than you will.

Run it up close to the ceiling, away from danger.

You could also cover it with a track, like they use for surface wiring, just to make it snazzy, and for protection from being crunched.
Or put it inside a narrow pvc pipe, or length of pex, open ended, just for protection.
Yeah--I had copper before, 1/4"but really slow--tho that might be the needle type valve I used. I was thinking of sleeving it and like the PEX idea. I don't want to run 1/2" copper just for the refrig and for planned future changes. Maybe I'll go 3/8" soft copper.

[2nd edit!] Finding that 3 way valve is a pain. Think it's 5/8" comp for the suppy, 3/8" comp to the fridge, 1/2"or 7/16" OD slip joint to the sink.

Thanks.
 
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Jeff Handy

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By needle valve you are talking about a typical junky saddle valve, and yes they are lousy in every way.

Prone to leaking, often won’t shut off when you need them to, and small aperture means slow output.

But they were popular for DIYers because no skill needed to install.

You can get a Sharkbite valve, or a Sharkbite adapter then the snazzy three way valve.

Or just install a new compression type valve.

Meanwhile, 1/4 inch copper gives plenty of flow.
So the slow flow was likely from the saddle valve.
 
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rjm

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By needle valve you are talking about a typical junky saddle valve, and yes they are lousy in every way.

Prone to leaking, often won’t shut off when you need them to, and small aperture means slow output.

But they were popular for DIYers because no skill needed to install.

You can get a Sharkbite valve, or a Sharkbite adapter then the snazzy three way valve.

Or just install a new compression type valve.

Meanwhile, 1/4 inch copper gives plenty of flow.
So the slow flow was likely from the saddle valve.
Sorry Jeff, didn't see you'd replied already. I edited my previous reply about the valve. Yeah, it was the saddle type. I can sweat and have some experience but was lazy on that. Hmmm, still have the 1/4" copper. I've never used Sharkbite mostly due to price. The early ones couldn't be reused either? Not sure but they are cheaper now.

Think I have enough info now. I appreciate the help. Thanks again.
 

Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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Yes, there's [soft] copper and plastic, but not all plastic is the same! The cheap stuff you get at the hardware store is plain old PE (polyethylene) and will not last as long as copper for sure.

You can get PEX and PEX varieties which is significantly stronger than PE and use it for ice makers, secondary drinking water systems, re-plumbing an RO system, etc. I use a good quality push to connect fitting.

Lately, many builders/remodelers are putting in mini recessed faucet/shutoffs for ice makers in refrigerator spaces (as opposed to a hole in the floor!) You can also find braided lines (like you have for washers, and for toilet supplies) specifically for ice makers, and the use ⅜" fittings. No compression fittings.

I don't like copper only because I've done a lot of work moving the fridge in and out and I don't like all that repeated bending of the copper.
 
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