Dan Edward Phillips of Eureka, CA wrote an important article I wanted to pass on regarding ice maker water lines. Many of them I see during home inspections are poorly installed. Thanks for the great article, Dan!
Does your refrigerator have an Ice Maker? Does it have a ‘water shut off valve'? Do you know where it is?
Newer homes generally have a dedicated water line (usually ½ inch diameter) to the refrigerator and the ‘shut off valve' is located at the point the refrigerator water line is connected. These systems usually do not present a problem.
However, in older homes that were not built without a dedicated water line to the refrigerator, the water line was probably added when the owner purchased a refrigerator with an ice maker.
If your home is in the later category; this type of water line installation has the potential for problems. Does your ice maker water line disappear in a hole in the kitchen floor? Do you know where it is connected to a water supply line? Do you know where the ‘shut off valve' is?
It could be under your kitchen sink. It also could be under your home if you have a raised foundation.
If your ‘ice maker' stops working, it could be the result of a water leak in the water line feeding it. If the line is under your home, you could have a major problem.
Take the time now and determine where it is connected to a water supply line and if it has a ‘shut off valve'. In many cases the connection is a ‘clamp' type fitting and they are prone to leaks.
If you cannot locate the connection to the water supply line you may want to have a plumber inspect the water line and add an accessible shut off valve. If it needs a replacement line or you want to upgrade and reroute the line, have it done.
It will be good insurance to prevent the area under your home from becoming a lake! It has happened.
Steve Stenros, MCI
Master CREIA Inspector #0115
ICC Residential Combination Inspector #5251439
Certified Infrared Thermographer #7791
FHA/HUD Inspector- #V975
203k Consultant #S0611
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