As well as offering larger than average amounts of storage and advanced features, most American style fridge freezers also have an ice and water dispenser built in.
While some American fridge freezers have a water storage tank, to get hassle-free, non-stop chilled water and ice, your fridge will need plumbing to the mains water supply.
If thinking about how to plumb in an American fridge freezer is making you nervous, and you’re worried about what could go wrong, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know. So, read on, and hopefully, you’ll see that it’s a worthwhile task that’s not as tricky as you might think.
Why Does an American Style Fridge Freezer Need a Connection to the Water Supply?
Your American fridge freezer needs a connection to the water supply if you want to take the fullest advantage of its water and ice dispenser.
When the appliance ice and water dispenser is installed onto the mains water line, you’ll have chilled water on the tap. So you never have to worry about running out.
You’ll also find that the water from a plumbed fridge freezer dispenses faster and that maintenance is easier as there’s no tank to keep clean. The main disadvantage is making the connection itself, but we will show you how to do that.
Do You Have to Plumb Your American Fridge Freezer?
Not all American fridge freezers require plumbing. Depending on your chosen model, you may not have to connect your appliance to the mains water line. Some non-plumbed American fridge freezers have a self-contained, manually filled water tank connected to the dispenser and ice maker.
This might sound great, but the appliances’ tanks are often relatively small in practice and need refilling regularly. If you forget and run out, you’ll have to wait for the water to chill, which can be inconvenient. The water dispenser tanks can also be tricky to fill without spilling any water, take up otherwise usable space in your fridge, and need regular cleaning.
However, a non-plumbed fridge freezer model with a water tank does have the advantage of being located in a wider variety of places as you don’t need to run a water pipe to it.
Where Should You Install an American Style Fridge Freezer?
Before looking at how to plumb in your fridge freezer, you’ll want to consider the installation location. If you don’t already have a water line to use, your fridge freezer will need to go relatively close to your sink so you can connect to its cold water supply.
Ensure that the place you are considering has enough room to accommodate plumbing the water pipe and that you’ll be able to house a stop tap and change the water filters.
You’ll also need to allow sufficient space behind and to the sides of the fridge for ventilation and for the doors to open properly. It’s also best to be away from heat sources and direct sunlight.
Connecting the Water Supply to Your American Fridge Freezer
Start by reading the instruction manual that came with your appliance. You’ll probably find that the manufacturer supplies an installation kit. Look at this and work out if you need any extra parts to get everything before starting the job.
What Will You Need?
The plumbing required will include sufficient pipe, a stop tap, and a T connector. You might also need pipe elbows and clips for neatly installing the water line to your fridge freezer. It’s easier to buy push-fit plastic fittings and valves than the more traditional copper ones.
You’ll also need some tools, including a screwdriver, a wrench, and a hacksaw or pipe cutter. You might also need a hole saw to cut the side of cupboards to feed the pipe through.
How to Connect the Water Supply
Before you do anything, turn off your mains water supply and open the sink tap to remove the water pressure.
Locate the connection underneath your sink, where the water line connects to your cold water tap. By the way, make sure to put a bowl underneath to catch any drips. Then, undo the connection and install the T-connector between the mains water pipe and the sink tap so the side outlet is free to use for the appliance.
It’s a good idea to fit the water filter and isolator tap to the T-connector inside the sink cupboard so that they are easily accessible for maintenance.
Connect the new water pipe and secure it with the o-ring connections. Run the pipe through to the other side of your cupboard. Then connect the other end to the fitting on the fridge.
Once everything is plumbed, turn your mains water back on, open the new isolator valve, and check for leaks.
Test Your Water Dispenser Works
Once you ensure you don’t have any leaks in the plumbing, you can now run water through the dispenser. Turn the dispenser on and drain about ten glasses of water from the outlet to flush the pipework and tank.
Initially, the water dispensers’ water won’t be chilled. So leave it for about an hour and check if the water is cooled sufficiently.
Switch on the ice maker and leave it for about two hours. You can then check it’s working correctly and automatically producing ice.
Do American Fridge Freezers With Water Dispensers Need a Water Filter?
It’s good to have a water filter connected to the dispenser on your new appliance.
If you like to drink filtered water, you can save money by using your fridge as a convenient way to get a glass rather than buying bottled water. The filter will remove any impurities, and some people even prefer the taste.
In-line water filters require plumbing in the pipe between your kitchen sink connection and the new fridge. Make sure that you fit them in the plumbing the right way round by following the flow arrow.
The good thing is that there’s a wide range of different plumbed water filters that you can install, but most will produce filtered water for about six months before you need to replace them. When you fit a new filter, always drain about ten glasses of water to wash away debris.
Experience Unlimited Chilled Water and Ice
Connecting your American fridge freezer to the mains water means having an endless supply of chilled water and ice to enjoy.
Now that you are more familiar with how to plumb in your fridge freezer, we’ve seen that it’s not a particularly tricky job at all. Most appliances will come with an installation kit and complete instructions to follow, so putting up one won’t be hard for sure.
Once you’ve plumbed in your fridge, you’ll forget what you were worried about from the start. Utilizing and maximizing your American fridge freezer won’t make you fill up a water tank or remember to put bottled water in the fridge again.