View Full Version : Refrigerator ventilation and ice maker question

Matt Meiser
10-02-2012, 7:52 AM
We are buying a Frigidaire counter-depth fridge (not a built in) and I was looking at the manual last night I noticed that they only require 3/8" of clearance on the top and sides. The doors actually extend over that gap which would give the appearance of a built in. My fridge opening is a standard 72" which leaves a couple inches of clearance above. I thought that would be needed for ventilation. Anyone have experience, good or bad, with tight spacing? I'm thinking of making a filler strip to fill the space down to that 3/8" for appearance.

2nd question: I bought an ice maker installation kit from the company that we got our Reverse Osmosis system from. The kit was some fittings, a valve, and 1/4" nylon line. Then I read the fridge manual and it says to use copper line because plastic is prone to breakage. Is this true today or is that antiquated thinking? I also see there are braided stainless kits.

Ken Fitzgerald
10-02-2012, 7:57 AM
Matt...I have used copper and plastic to plumb in our refrigerator ice makers and cold water spouts with no problems with either material. Our current installations are plastic and over 15 years old.

Our main refrigerator in the kitchen has about the same clearances you listed. I haven't experienced any problems in 30 years. I replaced 1 refrigerator that was there when we bought the house 30 years ago.

Steve Meliza
10-02-2012, 8:50 AM
The water line to our fridge is copper and works fine. When we recently installed hardwood floors the flooring guy said copper scares him because of how easy it is for copper to kink, break, leak, and ruin the wood floor. I do recall he mentioned braided stainless so maybe that's the way to go if you didn't already have the nylon line.

JohnT Fitzgerald
10-02-2012, 9:17 AM
Matt - if you are tapping a reverse osmosis system for the water line I believe you should use the nylon line. Check with the osmosis company. At my company, years ago, they were installing a similar system and as I heard it, the local plumbing inspector told the to "rip out all that plastic and use copper", because he was not familiar with the use of plastic. The company installing the system had to explain how, because of the system, copper was actually a poor choice because of how it reacted with water treated that way. YMMV but it is something you should investigate.

Jamie Buxton
10-02-2012, 9:42 AM
A fridge repair guy recently told me that braided stainless over plastic (like the faucet supply lines) is the best way to go.

Matt Meiser
10-10-2012, 9:57 PM
It turns out that whether I need it or not there's a huge gap between the top of the fridge body and the tops of the hinges all of which is hidden behind the doors when closed. I just ran the filler down to the top of the hinges. Getting the fridge level was the hard part!

Myk Rian
10-11-2012, 10:46 AM
Pure water is very corrosive. I would go with the nylon.
We had 23 child care buildings at Ford that used pure water for the HVAC systems. There were many problems with leaks because of the water corroding the lines and fittings.

Matt Meiser
10-11-2012, 10:55 AM
I did. Its pretty durable stuff. Unless it breaks down over the years, I think its less likely to break from wear and tear caused by pulling out the fridge or vibration than the copper.

Dick Strauss
10-11-2012, 11:24 AM
I did. Its pretty durable stuff. Unless it breaks down over the years, I think its less likely to break from wear and tear caused by pulling out the fridge or vibration than the copper.

A coil of tubing left behind the fridge is the key either way. The coil allows you to move the fridge without bending or stressing anything.

ray hampton
10-11-2012, 5:22 PM
copper or plastic will crack or break when you least expect it , usual when nobody are at home if you keep moving the fridge often