New Year, New Refrigerator

by Josh on December 31, 2011 · 2 comments

in Kitchen,Projects

2012 is just around the corner, so what better time to say out with the old and in with the new? In my case, I am continuing my kitchen progress by saying goodbye to my old top-freezer refrigerator and replacing it with a new and larger french door model.

This upgrade probably won’t surprise regular readers who may have seen this coming since the time I indulged a whim to try painting decorative stripes on the old refrigerator. Replacing the fridge gives me a chance to get something larger, more efficient, and with the freezer-on-the-bottom configuration that I prefer. But I’ll really be happy just to have an appliance that doesn’t make ice in the refrigerator and unintentionally defrost my frozen food.

old refrigerator

Because the old refrigerator sits in an unstructured alcove, the only size restrictions I have on the new appliance is the 30″ doorway to the kitchen. After scouring ads and checking out some sales, I found a suitable 25 cu ft, 36-inch wide french-door refrigerator in white for $999– a serious upgrade from my old fridge’s 19 cu ft.

storing food outside

The nice thing about buying a refrigerator this time of year in Minnesota is that is isn’t hard to keep food cool on delivery day. When the appliance crew arrived I just needed to stay out of their way as they removed my old refrigerator and brought in the new one. At 29 inches deep with the doors removed, the new appliance just barely fit into the kitchen, but the delivery crew did a great job threading the needle.

new refrigerator

As you can see in the photo above, the new fridge is definitely bigger and deeper than the old one, but certainly not overlarge for the room. I picked white to go with my other white appliances, the white sink and the white tile backsplash I have planned. I especially like that the smooth finish on the new refrigerator looks like the smooth white enamel on my vintage stove.

In addition to having more room and a better layout, I was excited to upgrade to an appliance with a built-in icemaker. It’s not much of a luxury these days, I’ll admit, but it is still a very welcome improvement. Because this is a new feature to the kitchen, I needed to add a water line to serve the refrigerator. And that was a job I figured I could handle myself.

How To Install a Refrigerator Water Line Kit

Refrigerator water line pipe is commonly sold as a kit with all the parts you need to connect to your appliance and tap into the kitchen water supply. I found a great kit with copper water pipe and brass hardware at my local True Value Hardware for about $30.

hole for water line

The first step to installing the water line is to make a path for the pipe through the cabinetry. In my case involved drilling holes through a stub wall and the back of a few base cabinets to the sink base.

wrapped end of water line

Then when it was time to feed the pipe through the holes I had made, I wrapped a bit of paper towel around the end of the copper and secured it with tape to keep out sawdust, plaster dust and other drilling debris.

water line valve connection

With the coil of copper pipe in the refrigerator area, I only pulled enough copper to make the connection to the pipes beneath the sink. Here you can see the water line and saddle valve where they connect to the cold water pipe. The fittings for this project are simple to use and install with just a screwdriver and a wrench.

water line refrigerator connection

I left all the remaining copper pipe from the installation kit coiled behind the refrigerator and connected the water supply using the compression fitting on the back of the appliance. The extra copper pipe may look like overkill, but this coil allows me to move the fridge for cleaning or maintenance without needing to disconnect the water or risk a breakage.

Installing this water line was a great little DIY project that I think any handy homeowner could do without trouble. To give further explanation about what I did, particularly about the use of compression fittings and saddle valves, I made the video how-to below:

Since installing the water line, my ice maker has been working like a charm. If you try installing your own water line, let me know how it goes.

Disclosure: I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program and my DIY project as well as my posts about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

TheChangingHouse January 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Great new fridge! Mine is the french door type as well, and I love it! Great choice!

Happy New Year!!
Best blogging wishes for 2012!!


katie January 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

You are rocking and rolling, Josh! Love the new counters and sink too!


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