The vinyl tubing supplying water to the refrigerator water dispenser occasionally develops leaks. Learn how to diagnose and fix the problem before the floor is damaged.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
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Locate and replace the leaky tubing
Photo 1: Disconnect the leaking tube
To begin fixing the refrigerator water line leak, disconnect one end of the leaking tube by pressing in on the inner ring with needlenose pliers to release the tube. If there isn’t a quick-connect coupling, simply cut the tube with a sharp utility knife.
Photo 2: Cut out the damaged section of tube
Cut off the damaged tubing with a sharp utility knife. Don’t use a side cutter; it’ll distort the tubing and prevent a good seal with the quick-connect coupling.
Photo 3: Splice in a new section of tubing
Quick-connect couplings simplify this repair. Just push cut ends of the tubing into the coupling for a leak-free connection.
If you have a water dispenser in the door of your refrigerator and notice water on the floor when you fill a glass, the vinyl tubing that runs under the refrigerator could be leaking. To find out if you have a refrigerator water line leak, pull the refrigerator forward a little. Then tip it back and prop up the front feet on blocks of wood. Look underneath and ask someone to dispense a glass of water. If the tube’s leaking, you’ll see it.
The fix is simple. Photos 1–3 show the steps. Cut out the section of damaged tubing and take it with you to the home center or hardware store. Buy a new section of vinyl tubing and one or two quick-connect couplings. If you don’t have a quick-connect coupling on one end of the damaged tube as shown in Photo 1, then cut the tubing in two spots and join it with two new quick-connect couplings.
The tubing for icemakers can also get damaged and leak. So if you ever notice water on the floor under your refrigerator, check for a leaking tube and repair it using the process we show here.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY refrigerator water line leak project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.