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Does a refrigerator water supply line require a shutoff valve behind it?
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Refrigerators with water and ice service are classified as a “plumbing appliance,” which is defined as “an energized appliance with plumbing connections, such as a dishwasher, food waste grinder, clothes washer or water heater.” The International Plumbing Code [IPC 606.2(3)] requires that a shutoff valve be installed on the supply line for each appliance and does not require that the valve be adjacent to the appliance, but “valves installed in locations that are not adjacent to the fixture or appliance shall be identified, indicating the fixture or appliance served” (IPC 606.4) See our blog post What is the difference between a plumbing fixture, a plumbing appliance, and a plumbing appurtenance? for more on these different plumbing device categories.
It is also important to note that saddle valves, the type that clamp around a water supply pipe with a point that pierces the pipe to divert water to a new supply line, are readily available at hardware and home improvement stores but specifically banned by all building codes. Go to our blog post What is a saddle valve? for details.
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