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join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC

Supplying water to a refrigerator

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I am looking into supplying water to my refrigerator door dispenser and ice maker. Due to the way things are arranged in my kitchen it is shorter, easier to route and hide a pipe coming from the outside and not the typical under the sink installation. There is a water pipe just outside that is easy to reach. Above is a picture of the place I just dug up which is where I would tap into for this. Don't mind the shallow placement of this pipe since we don't have frost concerns here in the tropics. The pipe is copper at both sides of this fitting which I didn't know existed and appears to be 1/2 inch. I am looking into installing some sort of T valve where the valve would be in the branch leading to the kitchen but I am not sure if this type of valve exists. Or if would be better off putting a tee here 1/4 inch in the middle and then putting the valve in the branch itself after the tee fitting. I want to find the best way to do this before I decide if I do this myself or if I need to call someone else to do it for me. I don't want the pierce-through type saddle valve here since this is outside.

Thanks.


shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
If that is the supply to your house, then you probably can't tap into it as it will be before the regulator and backflow preventer.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to printscreen
I would cut it and solder in a tee with a 1/2" line going to the wall behind the fridge. That is the place for the cutoff and transition to 1/4". Personally I would cut out the union and just solder everything unless there is another reason for it being there.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to shdesigns
said by shdesigns:

If that is the supply to your house, then you probably can't tap into it as it will be before the regulator and backflow preventer.

Yes, this is the main supply but there is no regulator or backflow preventer anywhere here. The water heater has a check valve but it is not affected by this. The main shut-off valve is located about 40 ft before this part.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to robbin
I am thinking about doing the thing right there where the union is. No idea why it is there other than a "construction joint" when my father replaced all external tubing from galvanized to copper many moons ago. This union is about 6 inches from where the pipe goes under a short concrete sidewalk at the steps leading to the kitchen door. This is the house where I grew up and I am now the owner.

Since I am not handy with soldering copper pipes I would go with compression fittings. Otherwise I would need to call someone else.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
I solder everything except cutoff valves (like under the sink and behind the toilet) and personally would not recommend doing this with just compression fittings. I also would not feel comfortable with compression fittings on the old pipe. It will be hard enough to get it clean for soldering. I want new pipe for compression. Even if you call someone, you can dig and do whatever work needs to be done on the house to get ready for the plumber so all they have to do is install pipe.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
What would be the concerns with compression fittings on old copper pipe?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Cleaning it enough to get a good seal and also the possibility that the pipe has been bent and isn't perfectly round. I just don't consider it a proper repair. This would be a good time for you to learn to solder pipe. It's not hard to do.

tberg

join:2001-08-23
Greenville, SC
reply to printscreen
I had a buried compression fitting that let loose a few weeks back. Don't bury a compression fitting.
You'll have a hard time soldering that pipe as well because it has oxidized quite a bit while buried. You'll have to buff it like crazy to get a good flow of solder on it.
Another method is to use Shark Bites. Those can be buried. They slip on and provide a mechanical connection without solder or wrenches.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
said by tberg:

You'll have a hard time soldering that pipe as well because it has oxidized quite a bit while buried. You'll have to buff it like crazy to get a good flow of solder on it.

Dremel tool with a wire wheel works great for this.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to tberg
I was just looking at those Shark Bite fittings in the Home Depot web site. Never seen them before. Are they any good? There is one exactly as I need it.

I think I will go with robbin's suggestion of a tee and putting the shutoff valve inside. However the transition to 1/4 needs to be outside since it has to go through a 6 inch concrete wall and go around a doorway inside. Chipping up a groove in the ceramic tile floor and underlying concrete base across the doorway is not an option. This is not an American wood frame and drywall house but a typical concrete and cement block house you will find in Puerto Rico.

Still will think a bit about the soldering part. I could learn how to do it but honestly I have never needed to do it before.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
reply to printscreen
I am a bit surprised nobody has said anything about what appears to be electrical tape in that union. Whatever it is, this union has never leaked.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
If there is something that looks like electrical tape then that is probably a dielectric union. Although I would question it's value buried in the soil.


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to printscreen
said by printscreen:

I was just looking at those Shark Bite fittings in the Home Depot web site. Never seen them before. Are they any good? There is one exactly as I need it.

I was just going to suggest that you look at those! They are great, much better than a compression fitting and easier than soldering. I see no reason not to use those for your application.


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5
You can use shark bites but I would not cover the joint with soil. Instead I`d use sand or pea gravel. Just in case it starts leaking..

That sure looks like 3/4" pipe, if its the house main its probably not 1/2".

You`ll need to shutdown the water pressure and see if that union will unscrew, you will need it for clearance to get the sharkbites in. I would recommend exposing the pipe 12" minimum in each direction for access.

That is probably soft copper, and may not accept a sharkbite, depending if it was bent on installation. I would highly recommend cleaning (sandcloth) and lubricating each end before applying the sharkbite.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)


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join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
The main at the meter is 5/8" but everything after the main shutoff (the one inside my property, not on the meter box at the sidewalk) is 1/2".

I am planning to just cut this union away. That would be cutting like 2 inches of the pipe which means that I must use the longer slip tee fitting. And yes, I will need to dig out a few feet from the right side in the picture in order to be able to slightly bend the pipe a bit to make room for fitting the tee in. The other side goes under a sidewalk.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
That doesn't look like 1/2 to me either but perhaps it is (what is the OD). You will possibly have a problem as the two pipes don't line up. You probably need to dig out enough to try to get alignment with the two.


goofy01

join:2004-02-05
Hammond, IN
reply to printscreen
Is it just me, or does that look like the old steel conduit with the threaded fittings? Not the newer thin walled conduit.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR

2 edits
reply to robbin
I know it is not 3/4. There are no 3/4 pipes here anywhere. But tomorrow I will check to make sure.

Alignment won't be a problem. I can dig enough to the right to free the pipe and be able to get it into proper alignment.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to goofy01
said by goofy01:

Is it just me, or does that look like the old steel conduit with the threaded fittings? Not the newer thin walled conduit.

The pipe is all copper and I guess the fitting is brass. I scratched the left side to confirm it is copper because I did not expect to find that fitting there. You can see the color in the picture. I know for a fact that the right side is copper since a part of that run is partly exposed (good time to bury it again). The house used to have galvanized steel water pipes but my father redid all external plumbing with copper when the old pipes started to fail more than 30 years ago.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to printscreen
That pipe could be your main grounding electrode (it should be). You'll want a continuous metal connection.
I think you'd be nuts to use sharkbite or compression fittings in the soil.

Regardless of what type of joint, I'd place a valve box (they are cheap). Bottom it with pea gravel. That way all you have to do is pop the lid to shut off the valve.

Have a plumber solder in a shutoff valve for icemaker line.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
The main ground electrode is a copper rod at the electric meter box. Water piping is not customarily used for main grounding here in PR.

I was considering putting a shutoff valve here but I think I won't and only put one inside behind the refrigerator. I would have put a valve box here if went with that. My main shutoff is inside one.


nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
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PR supposedly uses the NEC, although on my visit, I found the electrical work there often to be, to put it nicely, "lacking". Yeah, I go places and look at the wiring. It's a curse.

A single ground rod isn't an adequate grounding electrode. The pipe is a far superior electrode, with the rod being secondary.

If you only have 1 ground rod, you should consider bonding to the water pipe (which is required by code anyway) or at the very least driving another 8' ground rod at least 6' from the existing. This isn't anything new. This is the bare minimum.

You can a valve box for cheap at Lowe's Depot (less than $20). I think it would be nice to have a way to cut off the smaller line at the source for maintenance and repairs.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
The water piping here is not connected to anything electric other than the clothes dryer chassis ground and this is quite some distance away from this location. There are probably another 40 feet of piping in the ground from the location of the dryer to this union. And by the way, there is another ground rod at the electrical panel of a detached garage.

This house is nearing 60 years of age and I don't know what were the requirements back then. I have plans to hire someone to redo all the electrical system in the house in the future and who ever does this will surely have take it into consideration given that the power company won't reconnect until a licensed electrician certifies the work.

Anyhow... just for safety... is it ok to bond both sides of a SharkBite fitting to provide this ground continuity? Like putting a clamp on each leg in the pipe shown in the picture and put a heavy gauge wire between them? This is something I can do easily.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
It's perfectly fine to jump around it.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to printscreen
Click for full size
The OD looks like being around 5/8" and according to this »www.engineeringtoolbox.com/astm-···779.html that would be a 1/2" pipe.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

PR supposedly uses the NEC, although on my visit, I found the electrical work there often to be, to put it nicely, "lacking". Yeah, I go places and look at the wiring. It's a curse.

I am curious about your visit. How long ago and where did you go?

tberg

join:2001-08-23
Greenville, SC
reply to printscreen
Yes 5/8" OD soft copper is the same size as 1/2" ID hard copper and that's the size of the 1/2" Shark Bite connectors.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to printscreen
I just went to the big box store to find the parts I need for this project before I make the final decision of what exactly I will do inside. I noticed that the 1/4" OD copper tube I found there is labeled for refrigeration. Is there any difference with the ones labeled for water and other uses (type L I believe)? Is it OK to use that tube for this? Not yet decided if I use 3/8" OD (1/4 nominal size) or 1/4" OD for this. The small diameter pipe would go from the valve placed outside to the back of the refrigerator.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to tberg
said by tberg:

Yes 5/8" OD soft copper is the same size as 1/2" ID hard copper and that's the size of the 1/2" Shark Bite connectors.

Indeed, I confirmed that during my visit to the big box store. The 1/2" SharkBite fittings are the ones I need.