How to Cap Off Water Line to Refrigerator: 5 Steps

Since it can leak and corrode if you aren’t using it, it’s a good idea to cap off the refrigerator’s water line. This is a relatively easy task, but there are several things you should know about the process before getting started. Incorrectly or incompletely capping the line can result in added expense, a waste of time, and a mess. You should only cap a water line that isn’t being used. This simple guide can help most people effectively handle the task with little effort.

How to Cap off Water Line to Refrigerator

Most refrigerator water lines are copper or plastic and subject to leaks. Braided stainless steel lines are less susceptible, but they are rarely used due to their elevated cost. Installing a water supply line cap is a simple process if you follow these steps.

What Is Required to Install a Water Supply Line Cap

The list of necessary supplies is short. You will only require the following:

  • Pliers
  • Waterline cap

You can purchase both the pliers and the refrigerator water line cap at Home Depot or Lowes. Like most DIY projects, there is more than one option for capping an unused refrigerator water line. This method is the simplest.

1. Move the Refrigerator

You may be unsure how to move a fridge with a water line. A refrigerator is a heavy appliance, and you don’t want to hurt yourself or another in the process. Either recruit the assistance of someone else to help you, or you can carefully move it yourself. You can shimmy it or slide it forward just enough to work behind it.

Wipe up any puddles of water that you find on the floor behind the refrigerator.

2. Stop the Water Supply

With this method, you want to stop the water supply by turning the T-valve. This valve is usually located behind the fridge but may be under the sink if it’s not. Merely twist the T-valve clockwise. You will hear a “click” when it is closed.

This is the cleanest method since you won’t have to deal with a significant flow of water. Trying to capture gallons of spurting water in a bucket isn’t easy.

3. Remove the Pipe

Once you locate the copper freezer pipe, use the pliers to turn the nut counterclockwise to loosen and remove it. Then pull the pipe from the freezer. Make sure to keep the pipe and nut in a safe place in case you decide to reinstall them or sell the appliance to another.

4. Install the Refrigerator Water Line Plug

Use a rag to wipe off the plastic or copper pipe. Twist the cap into the pipe to stop any water from escaping once you reopen the water supply.

5. Finish the Process

To finish your project, merely push the refrigerator back into place. Store the freezer pipe and nut and clean any resulting mess from capping off the water line.

Common Questions

Although the process of plugging a water supply line into the refrigerator is fairly straightforward, there are bound to be some unforeseen problems or questions about the process.

How Do You Locate the Water Shut Off Valve?

The water shut-off valve is usually located under the sink, behind the refrigerator, in the basement, or crawl space. The T-valve connects a ¼-inch copper line and the copper or plastic water line.

How Do You Shut Off the Water Supply to My Refrigerator?

If your refrigerator has a T-valve, merely twist it clockwise to close it. If it doesn’t, you will need to shut off the water supply to the room before proceeding.

Do You Need to Turn Off the Icemaker?

Before installing a refrigerator water line plug, you need to turn off the icemaker. If you don’t, the intermittent cycling of the icemaker may cause valve damage.

What to Do If There Is No Shutoff Valve for the Refrigerator Water Line?

In some situations, there is no T-valve. This makes it more difficult, and you will need to know how to disconnect the water line from the fridge with no valve. In this case, you need to shut off the water to the room before moving the refrigerator. 

After you slide the refrigerator away from the wall, place a bucket or pail on the floor under where the water line connects. Unhook the water line from the fridge and try to catch the water in the pail. 

Install a T-valve, also known as a piercing saddle tap valve, by twisting it by finger or wrench into the water line. Use that to cap the line.

In Conclusion

When the job is done, the water supply line cap protects your refrigerator and floor from damage caused by leaks and flooding. People generally cap the water line to the refrigerator when they aren’t planning to use them to avoid the corrosion caused by leaks. Capping the water line is temporary and reversible, and although you can choose to remove the plug in the future, there’s usually no reason to do so.

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