So why is it that when one appliance goes bad, they all start to go bad? I don’t know. Anyway, that’s the case for me now. Here’s the water line that keeps dripping, it will either drip, drip, drip or maybe a drip every half an hour. So you would think the problem is right behind here, but it’s not. It’s actually in the back. There’s a valve, so what you need to do is pull out your refrigerator first. Behind the fridge you’re going to find a lot of gross junk on the ground, your plug and the water line where it goes into the wall. You’ll be able to turn it, and it should be off. You can check by trying to get water out of it. This is the back of my fridge (yours is probably going to look different, I have a little screw there and a couple there that I need to take out, then I can access this line.)
Now the cover is off, you can see where the valve is (there are two of them) and it’s easy to find because you just follow the water line. Before I disconnect it, I’m going to unplug the fridge (something you should always remember to do – courtesy of my friends who are professional appliance repair techs – check out their site at http://austinappliancemasters.com). There are two screws right here. What I’m going to do is look for the part number, here it is on the side. Mine is model “X74 QC1.” You might not be able to find that exact part number, you see there’s another part number down at the bottom, “2188746.” Just in case you don’t know, a lot of appliances, different brands, use the same parts. You don’t always need an exact match. I’m going to go online, buy this part, and we’ll see how long it takes to get here. I’m just going to leave this on until I get the new one.
I ordered the new valve on Amazon Prime, less than twenty bucks including shipping. I didn’t go for an exact match, I went for one of these universal ones. Otherwise, it would have cost me a lot more money. Disconnect the purple and the white. And push it in. If you push this little part in, you can pull the hose out. Here’s the old one, here’s the new one. These hoses can have little scrapes like this one does on the end, I can feel it. I’m going to cut the end off so I have a nice, fresh place to connect the new lines. I’m going to do that on all three. Because the bracket is different, I’m going to have to bolt that there and then put it on when I’m done. Rather than trying to do it when the lines are connected, I’m going to do it now.
In case you didn’t notice, you have three lines. This one is a gray one, it’s going into the fridge and goes into a filter and comes out here. That’s the line in, which will hook up here. Then you have two clear ones, one goes to the ice maker and one goes to the water dispenser. You’ll notice one is bigger than the other, and one hole here is bigger than the other, so that’s how you know which ones to hook up to what so that it’s not a big guessing game. The first line I’m going to attach is the line in, so I need to put in this brass insert. Then this nut, this side first. It’s called a “compression fitting” and when you tighten it, it squeezes that little brass insert against the pipe and makes a water-tight fitting. When you’re tightening it, make sure that you’re holding this hose all the way inside, not letting the hose creep out that way. This is nice if you have three hands, tasks like this! That feels pretty good, but you don’t want to over-tighten anything. Use your best judgement. Before you close it up, you’re going to test for leaks anyway.
I’m going to hook up this large water hose next. For this one, you take the plastic nut with the flat solid side and make sure that side goes on first. Then you push it through like that. Then you insert the bigger piece of brass which should fit in nice and clean without any extra room. Then you put the “large water out” into that hole (it’s a little tricky because you have to keep the hose pushed while you’re turning the nut.) You can do these ones by hand. Make sure it’s in all the time, you don’t want it tightening and being halfway out.
Last, I’m going to put on the small line. Put on the “compression fitting” first. Make sure the flat side goes on first, you should see the threads on the inside. Then you put the brass in, which barely fits. It can be really difficult. If you have to, just smash it up against the metal of the fridge. It rams right back into the hole and tightens just like the first. Make sure it stays all the way in while you’re tightening it. You see that these are big and small connectors. These are also big and small, so you shouldn’t be confused. They should only fit on one kind.
Now, I’ll turn it on before I hook it back up. If there are any leaks, I want to know about it now, not when it makes a puddle on the floor. You have to remember to run several gallons of water (at least two) to make sure you get all the bubbles out. I just unplugged the fridge again because I don’t want to be near electricity or a spinning fan blade while I’m working on stuff. I’m taking another look at all these fittings to make sure I don’t see any signs of a bead of water at all. I don’t, which is always nice. It looks real clean. Now that I’m confident in that, I have to figure out how to tuck this carefully back in and screw it on. You don’t want anything kinked or pushed more than it absolutely needs to be. I’ll just put in the mounting screws again and tighten them. What I like to do is come back the next day and take a look to make sure, again, that nothing is dripping because I moved the hoses a bit to get in here and it’s just not worth a huge puddle ruining your floor. Come back in a day or so and feel the edges of your “compression fittings” and make sure there’s no water leaking. I hope this has been helpful!