Water Line For Fridge: Do You Need It?

Refrigerators with built-in water dispensers or ice makers need to be connected to water, typically by a water line. Sometimes you might have to add water manually but you can also purchase a portable tank and hook it up externally. Many fridges don’t come with a water dispenser or ice maker, so they don’t need water to function properly.

When You Need A Water Line For A Refrigerator?

  • Refrigerators with ice makers. Refrigerators need to have a water line attached to properly make ice cubes because all ice-makers require a water supply for their cooling system. It’s important that the machine should have an appropriate connection in order to circulate enough water for production of ice.
  • Refrigerators with water despencers. One way to make sure that fluids in your fridge are moving is to install an external water line. If you don’t have access to a line, then it is better if you can determine how much excess fluid your fridge needs & manually evacuate the water through the drain.

Do New Refrigerators Come With A Water Line?

Most new refrigerators don’t come with a water line, so you would have to purchase one of them separately, unless you’re installing it yourself. There are different types of metal hoses that can be used on a refrigerator. The length you need will vary depending on the distance between your fridge and the sink valve it’s hooked to.

Refrigerator Water Line Options

To ensure the water flows well and you don’t get leaks, use materials approved by your appliance’s generator. You can find this information in their manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

Many refrigerators these days provide a source for drinking water. This can be either inside the fridge, on the door, or directly from your cold water supply. To have an ice machine in your fridge, you need to take the water from that cold supply and send it to the ice maker.

You might not have considered what type of piping materials you are going to use. Even if you hire a contractor, it is important that you know the difference between different materials so that in the future.

Refrigerator Water Line Materials

Copper Tubing

Copper tubing is a great, affordable choice for plenty of reasons. It lasts longer than other materials, and you won’t get a bad taste in your water or ice as reported with other plastics (as with PVC). With the new fridge design, there is no need to have a line between the drain and refrigerator. We recommend using extra tubing instead so you can pull your fridgerator out for cleaning purposes and to prevent any blockage and more serious consequences.

PVC/Plastic Tubing

Plastics are also options but some people may feel they’re really expensive. They also can produce a bad taste in your fridge and ice, which is one of the biggest problems with plastic. It’s important to keep your workers safe, even with insurance or health benefits in mind. This is where products that are made of PVC or plastic could be avoided.

Stainless Steel Tubing

Braids give the product incredible strength, durability and kink prevention. Plus, there don’t seem to be any reported instances of foul-tasting water – so it’s a safe bet. With the same type of feature as toilet and sink supply lines, you may see braided extension hoses around your property. The only difference you have to look out for here is just the diameter, which will be either a 1/4″ or 1/2″. The other key factor is the length of tubing from your fridge — it can range from 10′ to 25′. If installing anything in your kitchen, always consult your local professional plumber about what’s best for you. Braided tubing is a great option because it can be connected easily and the quality of its construction is second-to-none!


As you can see, the refrigerator needs to be connected to the water supply system in a limited number of cases. But if you still decide to buy a refrigerator with an ice maker, you can connect a water line. Just study the questions thoroughly before connecting!