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An ice maker is a beautiful addition to any kitchen. It makes the hot summer months more bearable and helps with many tasty drink recipes. Unfortunately, not every model of refrigerator comes automatically equipped with an ice maker. This leaves many homeowners left to wonder if they can add an ice maker to their fridge themselves. Well, we have researched these questions and more for you and written on it down below.
You'll need to configure your refrigerator to accept an ice maker machine. This includes the proper mounting holes for the freezer compartment, inlet ports for water lines, and harnesses for electrical connections. Make sure to buy an ice maker kit specified for your type of refrigerator model and installation should go just fine.
Many details go into making sure this process goes smoothly and safely, so continue reading below as we break the process down further for you.
Installing an ice maker onto your refrigerator
Some models of newer refrigerators forgo installing ice makers as a matter of economy. This allows dealers of refrigerator models to sell them at a discounted price, at the efficiency cost. It's quite likely, however, that after purchasing one, you're going to want all the benefits of an ice machine. That's where installing an ice machine yourself comes into play.
Thankfully, provided you follow safety instructions and pay close attention, the installation process is a relatively simple one. You have to mount the ice maker in your freezer compartment and plug in the water and electrical components.
As mentioned above, you can only install an ice maker on an appliance configured to accept it. Your first step should be consulting the brochure of your refrigerator to see if it can accept an ice maker in the first place.
A quick note on safety
When installing your ice-making machine, take care not to place your hands in the machine's moving parts. Even when not turned on, the pieces are incredibly sharp. The risk of injury is extremely high if you're careless.
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What is needed to install an ice maker?
Firstly, you'll need the ice maker kit, as sold by your refrigerator's manufacturer. This will include the ice maker unit, the water supply valve, and the necessary tubing and hardware to secure the unit. In terms of your equipment, the requirements are pretty simple.
A screwdriver, a nut driver, a small razor knife, and a pair of pliers will get the job done. With both the kit and these tools in hand, you're ready to start installing.
How do I install an ice maker in my refrigerator?
First, you're going to want to uninstall your refrigerator from the wall outlet and then open your freezer. Remove any freezer shelves, and open up your workspace as much as possible. Now you can begin.
Installing The Maker
Locate the plastic plugs on the back and side of your freezer
Gently remove them with your straight blade screwdriver. The two on the side of the freezer are the mounting holes for the ice maker, while the one on the back is the wiring cover plate. The round plug is where the water fill tube will enter through the back.
Next, you're going to want to expose the water inlet
On the back of the refrigerator, you should be able to locate a sticker marking where to install the water inlet tube. You'll see a small X where you're meant to cut through with a razor knife. Bend the sticker back and pull out the foam insulating plug. This serves as a temporary barrier between the room air and the cold refrigerated air. Pull it out to expose the hole.
Now comes connecting the ice maker wiring
To install it, you'll need to find the wiring connection point. In the larger hole you uncovered at the back of your freezer, you'll find the plug-in wiring harness. These two harnesses will snap together and lock. Replace the covering on the wire harness opening.
Now it is time to mount the ice maker
To do so, start by partially mounting the two driving screws into the screw openings on the side of the freezer cabinet.
Hang the ice maker on these mounting screws and then tighten them down with a nut driver. Locate the leveling bracket, attach it to the bottom of the ice maker, then install the ice trays and drop the ice-lever down to the lowest level.
Installing the tubing
Next comes installing the tubing
Begin by inserting the water tubing into the hole in the back of the fridge you opened up previously. Rotate the tube slightly to the left, then back again to lock it into place. Once locked in place, return the foam insulation over the tube, pressing it firmly in place.
Connect the water tubing by attaching the plastic tubing by screwing the end connector onto the threaded fitting at the end of the fill tube. Using pliers, securely tighten the pressure nut. Now attach the two self-adhesive water tube clamps to the back of the refrigerator.
Peel away the backing, then apply them to the refrigerator so they are applied evenly. Clip the tubing into the clamps so that it extends down to the bottom of your refrigerator, then punch out the perforated opening where the water valve will fit. Push the ending of the tubing into the inlet opening on the water valve, making sure it's firmly attached.
Locate the Wiring Harness
On the bottom right of the refrigerator, locate the wiring harness. It will be a white plastic plug-in connector with two wires coming out of it. Pull it out and plug it into the water valve's electrical connection, pressing the harness over the brass terminals. No other electrical connection is necessary.
Mount the water valve
Attach it to the refrigerator frame using mounting screws driven into the holes in the back of the appliance. Once mounted, reinstall the back cover. The water valve should extend through the opening.
With the ice maker installed, all that remains to do is run a water supply tube from a cold water supply pipe to the water inlet fitting on the top of the refrigerator's fill valve. After this, merely plug in your refrigerator, turn on the water, wait for it to get cold, and test the freezer's operation.
Do fridges with ice makers need to be plumbed in?
If you plan to use the ice maker in your refrigerator, or you've just installed one in your fridge for use, you're going to need to plumb it into your water line for use. This is how your fridge gets the water for use in making ice and dispensing water.
If these features are unused in your current setup, plumbing is unnecessary and will likely cause trouble down the line that typically comes with plumbing and pipes.
Can a refrigerator have an ice maker without a water line?
Some people might prefer not to install a water line in their refrigerator but still want ice. There are several reasons for this, such as not wanting to contend with leaks and performance issues.
There are several ways you can make ice without attaching water lines, such as alternatives like ice cube trays and countertop ice maker machines. These are portable, easy to clean, and will save you the hassle of dealing with plumbing.
How much is an ice maker for a refrigerator?
Installing an ice maker in your refrigerator for the first time can cost upwards of 420 dollars. Professional installation is going to run you more than doing it yourself.
Still, you risk doing more costly damage if you attempt installations you aren't prepared for. Repairs for already installed ice makers generally cost less, ranging from 90 to 300 dollars, depending on the nature of the repair.
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Installing an ice maker yourself can save you a lot of money in multiple ways. Both on the initial purchase of a refrigerator that will be less expensive due to not including the ice maker initially and on the installation itself if you're able to do it safely and correctly.
There are also plenty of other ways to get refreshing ice if you want it without having to pay for an expensive ice maker in your fridge while dealing with pipes.
Whatever option you go for, we hope this article helped you find a way to beat the heat and enjoy yourself.