Is it time to replace that old refrigerator in your kitchen? If your answer was “Uh yes, it’s actually past due for replacement” then you’re probably wondering what that process looks like. Well, luckily for you, replacing your refrigerator is a fairly manageable process you can most likely complete on your own!
This first step may seem obvious but it’s important to acknowledge how difficult this part of the process can become if you don’t plan ahead. We suggest taking the time to unpack your new refrigerator before you bring it into your home. This is typically a far easier process if you have some elbow room. Be sure to hang on to the packaging until you know your fridge works just in case you need to return it.
Once you get it out of the box, it’s time to move it into your home. The easiest way to get it inside will be to use a dolly. If you have a big refrigerator, consider taking off the doors. This will allow you to move it through doorways a little easier.
We recommend having a friend to assist you since refrigerators are heavy and you don’t want to get injured.
Next, it’s time to move the refrigerator into place. Before you slide it in, double-check that your measurements are accurate. Be sure you have enough space behind and on either side of the fridge. The air gap behind it is most important as it allows for excess heat to move away from the machine. You can refer to the manual to see how much space your refrigerator needs but typically, 1-2 air space between the fridge and wall is preferable.
Once the measurements are confirmed, you can plug in the refrigerator. Next, clear the area of any debris. Before you push your fridge in, be sure to untangle any wires and push them against the wall so they don’t get damaged.
And now we wait! Most refrigerators take around 4-6 hours to cool down from room temperature. But some can take up to 24 hours. This will all depend on the brand, size, and weight of your refrigerator. Set the refrigerator temperature to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the manual to know the manufacturer’s recommended temperatures.
Does your refrigerator include a water line for an ice maker and drinking water dispensers? Don’t worry, it’s not too much harder to install!
Here are some supplies you’ll need:
Here are the additional steps you’ll need to take before sliding your fridge into place:
First things first, locate your water source. This will vary depending on where your refrigerator is located. Ideally, there may be an existing water supply line at the wall or coming through the floor in the slot where your refrigerator will go. But if that’s not the case, you have a few other options.
If you don’t have an independent water line for your refrigerator, the next course of action is to tap into the line that feeds either your sink or dishwasher. Choose the supply line closest to your refrigerator.
Once you decide where you’re going to source your water from, plan out where you’ll place the tubing. If there’s an independent line, you won’t need to do much. But if your water source is on the other side of the kitchen, you may need to consider feeding your tube through cabinets. Every installation will differ depending on your room’s layout.
Just like in any plumbing project, it’s important to turn off the water line before you do anything else. If you’re planning on tapping into your sink water line, you can typically find the shut-off valve underneath the sink or near the water heater.
Before you get to work tapping into your supply line, assure there’s no sitting water in the faucet feed line. Double-check that you turned off the supply line and run the sink until all the remaining water is gone. You don’t want that water pouring out all over your project!
Next, place a rag or bucket under the water supply tubing to catch any remaining water. Now you can safely detach the faucet supply tube from the valve with a wrench. If you don’t know the proper wrench dimensions you’ll need, get an adjustable wrench.
Once you free up the valve, install the tee fitting adapter to the outlet port. Tighten in place with a wrench. Now reattach the faucet feed line to one side and the refrigerator feed line to the second side. Tighten both with a wrench.
After you finish up at the water supply line, run your tubing through to the back of the refrigerator. If you’re going through cabinets, be sure to run your tubing above storage and behind drawers. This will prevent any potential damage to the line.
Connect the supply line to the refrigerator and tighten with pliers. Once everything is connected you can open the shutoff valve. Double-check all of the connections to assure there aren’t any leaks.
Last but not least, check to see if your water dispenser is working properly. Once you confirm that you can properly dispense water, run out a gallon or two through the newly installed line. Throw out this first batch of water. Your refrigerator will start making ice in about 24 hours. Throw out the first two batches of ice as well. This process flushes out chemicals and tastes that come from the manufacturing process.
Is running the water line to your new refrigerator proving to be more of a challenge than anticipated? Do you need a new water line installed? Our team can help! No plumbing service is too big or too small for WM Buffington. We can assist with a range of plumbing installations, repairs, and maintenance.
If you’re in the Central Pennsylvania area, our team of heating, cooling, and plumbing pros are at your service! Take advantage of our free, no-obligation estimate!