Do Ice Making Fridges Need Plumbing?

Having your fridge make ice for you is a convenience that most people would like to have. It’s easy and reliable—you never have to worry about running out of ice and forgetting to refill the ice tray. However, plumbing can be expensive. Do ice-making fridges need it?

Ice-making fridges need plumbing. The ice maker in the freezer needs access to a water line in order to make ice. Without it, the ice maker won’t automatically make ice. While plumbing is required for ice, it’s not always needed for the water dispenser.

Now you know that ice makers need plumbing, but are there any alternatives to them? What about water dispensers? Do those need plumbing too? We’ll answer all those questions throughout the rest of the article.

Do Fridges With a Water Dispenser Need Plumbing?

There are many different types and styles of refrigerators today, all with their own unique features.

While every fridge has the same primary purpose —keeping food and beverages cold and fresh— some include ice makers and water filters. The question that first comes to owners is whether these models need plumbing since it’s a significant added expense.

Fridges don’t always need plumbing for their water dispenser, although that’s the most common and easier way to use it. Some fridges allow you to have a refillable water tank connected to the dispenser. This method works, but it’s more time-consuming and less convenient.

The water tank is usually placed on a shelf in the fridge and only holds a limited amount of water, depending on the refrigerator. It’s not as convenient, but choosing this over hooking up a plumbing connection might save you some money in the long run.

Is Water From a Fridge’s Water Dispenser Filtered?

Many people drink tap water, but filtered water is a much safer option. Tap water can contain trace minerals and some harmful contaminants. If your fridge has a water dispenser, you may as well install a filter before starting to use it regularly.

Water from a fridge’s water dispenser is usually filtered. Most refrigerators contain water filters that need to be changed every so often. Typically, a light will appear to tell you when the filter needs to be replaced.

While all refrigerators are a little different, most have the same process for replacing the water filter. Anyone can replace a filter as long as you know where to find it. 

Here’s a six-minute YouTube video by Handy Hudsonite showing exactly how to replace a water filter:

How To Get Ice Without Plumbing

If you don’t want to go through the process of hooking up plumbing to your fridge, there are still other ways of getting automatic ice. However, it will happen outside your fridge.

There are several ice makers you can choose from, depending on the amount of ice you want to make per day and the price you’re willing to pay.

The Frigidaire Compact Ice Maker is an excellent but affordable product you can get from This ice maker doesn’t require plumbing and can sit on your countertop. It makes 26 pounds (11.79 kg) of ice per day and even lets you choose between two ice sizes. All you have to do is plug it into an outlet, fill it with water up to the fill line, wait for a while, and you’ve got ice!

If you’re looking for something bigger, I recommend the E Euhomy Ice Maker Machine Countertop, also available on This machine can make 45 pounds (20.41 kg) of ice every day and even has a spot to put barreled water. This means you don’t have to fill the machine with water as often.

How Do Fridges Make Ice?

Although many fridges can make ice, you may have not stopped to think about how it’s done. It’s quite a process, and it’s all done automatically—as long as you set up everything correctly.

Fridges make ice by sending voltage to the water inlet valve, which sends water into the ice maker’s tray. Then, the water freezes into ice cubes and is then deposited into the ice tray. For adequate freezing, the temperature should be between 0 and -4°F (-17.78 and -20°C).

Along with the right temperature, an ice maker needs a water pressure of 40-120 pounds per square inch (275-827 kPa). Without the correct water pressure, the ice maker might not make any ice.
To operate correctly, the ice maker also needs 120 volts of alternating current (AC) to operate correctly.