Have a two year old Kenmore refrigerator. Don't have the model number
handy. Was in the backyard for a few minutes only to come back into
the kitchen and find a flood of water in the kitchen. Water was
spewing out from underneath the refrigerator. I quickly shut off the
main water valve.
In pulling the refrigerator out, I found out what the problem was.
There is a small perhaps 1/4" hose that is internal to the
refrigerator. If feeds out from this little box in the refrigerator.
On the other end of the little box is the main water line.
To connect this small hose to the fox, there is a plastic sort of nut.
You push this plastic hose into the box, the plastic nut is around
it, you tighten it up and that is the connection.
What happened was that the plastic hose slowly slipped out over the
past 2 years until it just 100% disconnected. Good thing I was home
otherwise it would have been massive water damage to the kitchen.
This seems like a very flimsy design, and I worry that my fix
(reattach and tighten) will give way again some time in the future.
Has anyone heard of such a thing and know of any recalls or such that
would have a better solution? THANK YOU!!!
house... he came home at 11 pm from work and the wife was still at work
and he found that his plastic hose fell out just like yours did and he
had about 2 inches of water throughout the first floor of his house.....
insurance company paid for most of the stuff, but he had a hell of of
job of getting the water out... he laterr wnet to copper tubing and
never had the problem again.. that was about 6 yrs. ago......
Copper is the best to use for a fridges water line...
Kenmore is made by several different manufactures and without a model#
no one will know whom built yours...
Recalls are normally done for safety reasons ( fires, electrical, ect
) but your local Sears should be able to check into your specific
Water leaks from the fills valves, lines, fitting is rare, but does
Appliance Repair Aid
When comparing how many fridges we sell, vrs how many leak, vrs how
many just fail ( don't work ) vrs how many stop cooling...water leaks
from fridge are low on the list and rare. I probably see 20 leaks a
year, is that a lot...not really when compared to the 50 that just
break and don't work or the 250 that stop cooling.
I was more refering to just fridges ( like the OP )and not household
plumbing in general.
Appliance Repair Aid
In alt.home.repair on 18 Jul 2003 03:44:17 -0700 email@example.com
Yes, frankly it is a lot, even when compared to those other things.
For one thing, those other things don't destroy part of your house
when they happen. And the makers KNOW this will happen at a rate
something like you experience (20 a year just for you.)
I'm not angry at you, and I'll bet some of these people take it out on
you for what happened to them, and that's likely to make you defend
your original position.
I was at a party when the water supply to the host's refrigerator
started leaking and dripping through the ceiling of her finished
basement. Had she been asleep or out or anywhere but the basement, it
would have gone on and on.
In my own case, the plastic tubing to the humidifier in the main air
duct from the furnace sprung a leak in the middle of the tubing, not
where it touched, (and there were only about two bends put in the
hose, none sharp), and sprayed water over everything in range in the
basement. Had I not noticed it within an hour, it would have been
much worse. Not a refrigerator but the tube is made from the same
I don't remember the instructions for my 10 dollar humidifier, but
typically if such things say anything, they say, "Plastic tubing is
inculded but it's recommend that copper tubing be used."
BUT WHAT IT SHOULD SAY is that "because if you don't, the plastic
tubing is likely to leak in a few years and spray water all over
everywhere, even when you are away for 2 weeks."
And that's reasonable for a 10 dollar humidifier, but for a
refrigerator that costs HUNDREDS, and which is installed in the first
floor instead of the basement, and where the tubing is hidden, and
where the installation is already done in most cases before the
homeowner sees the manual (especially owners of new homes) I think it
might be negligence to include plastic tubing when the risk is known,
but not to the owner, and the cost of copper tubing would be such a
small part of the total cost.
And the "warnings" in the refrigerator manual are probably still like
that one I describe above. It's really no warning at all. It's a
recommendation, but unless it lists the danger that is faced, it's not
a warning. It should say, "the plastic supply hose for your icemaker
is likely to spring a leak during the time you own this refrigerator,
and spray water all over the floor which will run through the floor
into the basement and across the basement floor and even across the
floor to other rooms on the same floor as your refrigerator, to a
depth of inches on either floor, until you happen to notice that it is
leaking, even if you are away for weeks when this happens. It is
recommended that you use copper." That is a warning.
If emailing, please let me know whether
or not you are posting the same letter.
Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
If I understand your post correctly, the *outlet* hose slipped
out of the valve. What you were probably seeing when you
caught it leaking was the icemaker calling for a fill.
Your fix was correct, but I'd remove it again and cut off the
original end, *then* reattach with the original plastic nut. You'll
end up with a much more secure connection. There's usually
enough excess tubing that you can cut 1/2" off and reconnect
While the refrig is pulled out, if your water supply line, that
connects to the inlet side of the valve, is plastic, replace it with
copper. And not 'icemaker supply' or 'water supply' copper. Go
to a plumbing supply house and buy 'refrigeration copper' tubing,
and you'll not have a problem for many, many years. Even if you
have to buy a whole 60 ft roll, please do it! The 1/4" OD copper
tubing they're selling today is thinwall junk that will pinhole in a
year or two, depending on your water's PH. My own has been
working for some 24 years now, but I regularly replace leaking
2-3 yo 'water' copper with the 'good stuff'.
Hope that is of some help.
Dave's Repair Service
New Albany, PA
Our Free Monthly Appliance Tips Newsletter:
Thanks for your response (as well as Jeff and the others). It sounds
like copper tubing is the way to go. Just to clarify on the above, I
think you understand the situation but let me be more specific as an
FYI. The plastic tubing was inside the refrigerator. The main water
line feeds into the bottom of the refrigerator. To see what was
happening, I removed the lower back panel. The main water line came
into this small plastic box. On the other side of the box, was this
1/4" plastic hose that went up towards the ice maker (which I couldn't
really follow it up, not without taking the entire back panel off the
refrigerator). You slide the hose in, then tighten up with a plastic
nut that screws into the plastic box, thereby making a tight seal (yea
right). It was on the inside of the refrigerator, this plastic hose
that popped out without any warning.
A two year old, near top of the line Kenmore (I have not looked
further yet into who actually makes it) just popped out. This wasn't
a slow leak. Within just a few minutes, while we were out back, it
had created almost a 100 square foot pool of water. If it had been
hours, or even worse days, the damage would have been enormous.
It seems like a flimsy design, especially for an expensive
refrigerator. I'll look to replace the tubing with copper later this
week. At a minimum, your point about trimming the existing plastic
tubing is a good one and I appreciate it.
Thanks again for everyone's assistance.
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