You’ll recall we updated our kitchen soon after moving in – new cabinets, new floors, new appliances, new paint, new back splash, new lighting…you get the gist. We went all out replacing everything we thought was important but left out one detail that came back to bite us. Here’s how it went down- Recently, I found myself down in the basement typing away at my computer one afternoon when subconsciously I hear a drip-drip-drip somewhere off in the distance. But since I can’t be bothered at the risk of losing my concentration, I go right on working. It’s not until I head upstairs for dinner later that day that I realize that I’ve just walked through a soaked patch of carpet. Overhead, the ceiling is begining to fall down. In mere seconds I scan the room, looking for the source of the leak and finding nothing, I race up the stairs, taking them three at a time. The dishwasher isn’t running, the washing machine is dry as a bone and no one is using the sink, bathroom, or shower. I’m utterly lost at what could be causing this basement deluge. Suddenly it occurs to me – the spot directly over the basement is the fridge. Luckily fridge manufactures see the good sense of having wheels on their products and I pull it out. At first I can’t see where the leak is coming from but I do notice a sizable puddle on the floor. After running my hand over the water supply line I realize there’s a pin hole sized leak streaming a very tiny yet powerful jet of water about six inches from the wall where the line comes in. With the water line turned off, we go about cleaning up the mess and figuring out what to do to fix the situation. We figure that since the water line is long enough, we’ll simply cut off 3 feet at the end of the tubing and reattach it to the fridge. Good as new, so we thought.
About 4 weeks later Whitney is about to grab something from the fridge when she hears a small high pitched whizzing sound and quickly calls me over. Already on edge about how the leak had started the first time, we pull the fridge out and realize we’ve got a second hole now. How in the world these small holes are appearing is beyond me, but I’ve had it. It’s decided that we’ll replace the entire polyethylene tube this time. The Home Depot sells fridge kits for around $10, but for $5 I purchased all the pieces a la carte that I needed for the replacement and saved myself a few bucks. Because tubing is already threaded through from the fridge to the water supply line near the water heater in the basement below, we simply tape the new tube to the end of the old tube and pull the new tubing through.
Once in place, adding the brass insert, delrin sleeve, and compression nut to attach the tubing is really rather simple. The compression nut slides onto the ¼ tubing first, followed by the plastic delrin. The brass insert is then pushed into the tubing and the compression nut and delrin slides right over, making a watertight seal.
We’re hoping a little DIY elbow grease will keep the tubing from spontaneously sprouting new holes and we’ll not have to do without filtered water, and goodness knows surviving without ice in every drink we have is near impossible. Of course, our two-time French exchange student never could understand just how important icy drinks are to us Americans…
We’ll be back on Friday with the features from the RRR party (and those of our special guest Linda with It All started With Paint) and the giveaway announcement, hope to see you there!
And for those who don’t know, we’re not certified plumbers by any means and while this may or may not be how the pros do it, we’re just sharing what we did to solve a problem around the house. If you’re not comfortable doing some of these fixes on your own, please call a licensed plumber, having water leaking everywhere is a real bummer. Oh, and a great tutorial using copper tubing can be found at The Family Handyman.
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