Most refrigerators today, especially the side by side models, come equipped with icemakers and even a water tap. They function best when an icemaker filter is installed. This small filter provides clean water to the tiny inlet for both the tap and the icemaker unit in the freezer. Without an icemaker filter, small bits of dirt and debris make its way up into the water passageways inside the refrigerator and plug it up. When this happens, it is almost impossible to clear and may render the icemaker/water tap completely unusable. So, how does one install an icemaker filter? Read on.
- Most new homes come equipped with an icemaker box installed in a wall somewhere in the kitchen. It is a small plastic box with a trim cover and a small ¼” outside diameter compression stop inside it. If your home has one of these, you are well on your way to installing an icemaker filter.
- If your home does not have an icemaker box installed, you can easily install one yourself.
- Simply cut a hole in the sheetrock wall behind your refrigerator location close to the floor.
- One side of the hole should be adjacent to a stud.
- Drill a hole at least ¾” in diameter through the base plate inside the wall and through the floor. Install the icemaker box by inserting the connection to the compression valve through the hole in the floor and anchoring at least one side of the icemaker box to the wall stud.
- Install the trim ring.
- Underneath the floor in the crawlspace or basement, connect the icemaker connection to the closest cold water line using appropriate fittings and tubing.
- Turn the icemaker compression valve on and flush the water line completely.
Installing the icemaker filter
- The icemaker filter usually comes in kit form complete with a valve, tubing, compression ferrules, and compression nuts.
- Cut a short length of tubing and attach one end of it to the filter using a compression nut and ferrule respectively. Hand tighten the nut on the end of the filter assembly.
- Attach the other end of the tubing to the compression valve in the box in the wall.
- Now, attach one end of the remaining tubing to the filter with a compression nut and ferrule respectively and attach the final end of the tubing to the ¼” compression connection on the back of the refrigerator.
- Turn on the compression valve in the icemaker box and check the connections for leaks.
- If a joint leaks, tighten it up slightly with a small adjustable wrench or open end wrench. If the compression joint still leaks, loosen the compression nut and readjust the tubing so it goes into the nut straighter. Then retighten the nut.
It will take some time for the air to bleed out of the icemaker system and the water to arrive in the refrigerator icemaker.
If one or more of the compression joints begins to leak, do not use Teflon tape or any pipe joint compound on them. That will only damage the joint or make it leak worse. Instead, loosen the connection and realign the tubing going into it. Then retighten the connection. If you do need some lubricant to get the joint tight ( most common on brass fittings) use a drop of light machine oil or mineral oil.
Change the icemaker filter when the water no longer comes out in the icemaker in the refrigerator or you notice a smell or some discoloration.
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