Kitchen water damage due to improperly installed refrigerators

Posted by Matt Buchanan

One of, if not the most common, water loss type we see that is a result of an appliance failing is the water line to the refrigerator bursting. When this happens, the volume of water that can spew onto your kitchen and spread throughout your house would shock you. All plumbing supply lines have a lot of water pressure in them, and even the smallest pin sized hole can send water streaming into your home. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why this type of water damage is so common and how you can make sure it doesn’t happen to you.


Why do refrigerator water lines fail and cause water damage?


flood-damage-refrigerator-water-lineThe simple answer is they are improperly installed. Most water supply lines going to the fridge are made of copper. Although somewhat flexible, in most cases several feet of slack are used so that you can pull the refrigerator out without over-extending the line and causing it to break. That’s great, but what happens when you put the refrigerator back in its place is the line can get a pinch in it, not any different than your garden hose if you don’t roll it up properly. If that happens, it’s only a matter of time before the copper will fail and create a hole that will instantaneously flood your kitchen.

Another primary cause of these types of water damage emergencies is an improper connection where the hose meets the refrigerator. If not connected properly, the amount of water pressure will eventually win the battle over time and cause your kitchen to flood.


How can I prevent water damage due to my refrigerator?


The best way to make sure you never have to deal with a flooded kitchen is use a flexible metal hose to connect the copper supply line to the refrigerator. This hose is designed to bend and will not fold on itself and puncture. The picture below shows you what this should look like:



As you can see, there is a shut off valve installed in between the hose and the copper piping. This is also a good idea in case something goes wrong and you need to be able to shut off that water supply line.

Be aware, if you hire one of the big box retailers to install your refrigerator, they aren’t going to take this extra step. They’re simply going to use the existing copper piping, push your fridge back and call it a day. That’s a ticking time bomb. If necessary, hire a certified plumber to install any plumbing appliances the right way. It might cost a little extra but at least you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing it was installed properly by a trained professional and not just whoever the big box guys hired that day.


Do you have kitchen water damage? Call us!


If you just walked into your home and discovered your kitchen is flooded, try and identify the source and shut off the water to it. If you don’t know where it is coming from, shut off the water to your entire home. Once you’ve done that, please call us! We specialize in providing emergency water damage cleanup services and can always be at your property within one hour of your call.


About Matt Buchanan

I grew up in Irving, TX and left for Nashville, TN for college. After college I lived in Washington, DC and then in Cairo, Egypt. After coming back to the states, I spent a couple of years back in Dallas before moving with my wife to Denver!
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