How much to install a new ice maker?

Answered by Brett ~ January 23, 2012 ~ No Comments

How much might it cost to install a new ice maker? I have the ice maker kit, but don't have any plumbing experience.

Reggie ~ Seattle, WA

Brett Kulina

Reggie, installing an ice maker into a refrigerator is generally a strait forward task, and you can expect that someone with modest plumbing experience could complete the job in about an hour. If your kitchen does not already have a 1/4-inch water line with a shut off valve dedicated for your new ice maker, then the job may take considerably longer. Most commonly, a refrigerator's water line is teed off of the kitchen's cold water supply line, running behind, or under, the cabinetry and into the back of the appliance. This set up allows for the ice maker's water supply shut off valve to be located in an easily accessible location under the kitchen sink.

Like many plumbing projects, the skill required to install an ice maker is minimal, but the costs of getting the installation wrong are high, which is why you should hire a licensed plumber to do the work for you. Plumbers usually charge between $65 and $95 an hour for repair work and other small projects. Another benefit of hiring a licensed plumber is that you can rest assured that the finished product will meet the latest code requirements for the Seattle area. An experienced plumber may also offer you valuable advice about your home's plumbing, such as whether to use copper or PEX tubing for your ice maker water supply line or when to upgrade old plumbing pipes and fittings.

It's worth noting that many residential water disasters are caused by ruptured water lines, especially the flexible copper tubing often used to supply water to a refrigerator's ice maker. This is why it is a wise investment to install an automatic water supply shut off valve (such as those made by Water Cop), which can protect your home from extensive water damage caused by a small unseen plumbing leak. These type of auto shut off valves use water sensors, located in strategic locations, to detect pooling water under an appliance (or in a basement) and to shut off the water supply. These systems run the gamut from whole-house protection that is monitored 24-hours a day by an off site company to smaller systems that simply shut off the water supply to single appliance and sound an alarm.

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