Emergency? Speak to a Qualified Technician Today

Does a Refrigerator Need a Water Line?

fridge wont cool

When installing a refrigerator, you need to put your appliance somewhere convenient to use but also easy to plug into a source of electricity.

Another concern when choosing refrigerator placement within your kitchen is connecting it to any other lines you need. Sometimes, your fridge needs a water line.

In this article, we’ll answer whether or not a refrigerator needs a water line.


Does a Refrigerator Need a Water Line?

Not all refrigerators need water lines. Only refrigerators with add-ons that dispense water, such as water dispensers or ice makers, need a water line.

However, most refrigerators that don’t have those add-ons don’t require a water line. Not having a water line also eliminates common problems such as leaks.

Choose a fridge without a water dispenser or ice maker if you don’t want a water line. Models without these add-ons are also more affordable and have more space for food. Ice makers are usually the first part of the fridge to break down, which causes more problems for the rest of the appliance.

What Are the Alternatives to a Refrigerator Water Line?

Avoiding the hassle and extra cost of installing a water line doesn’t have to mean giving up the convenience of automatic ice cubes or filtered water.

These alternatives may require more work or creative thinking than connecting your fridge to a water line, but ultimately, they save you the hassle.

Ice Maker Machine

The first alternative is a countertop ice maker machine.

Ice maker machines are small enough to fit on a countertop and have a tank that you manually fill up with water instead of connecting to a water line. When you run the machine, it fills up with ice. This machine makes ice in bulk, so you can store it in the freezer for later use or use it immediately. Get ice on demand without connecting a water line.

Manual Water Supply

You can get ice and cool water from your fridge without a water line if you choose a fridge that relies on a manual water supply. A fridge with a manual water supply dispenses water from an internal tank that you fill up in the sink.

A fridge with a manual water supply has disadvantages, such as less storage space for food. It requires regular maintenance, such as filling up the tank and cleaning it often. However, it is more affordable and less of a hassle than running a water line, and you still get the convenience of chilled water on demand.

Does a Freezer Need a Water Line?

We’ve established that most fridges with ice dispensers need water lines, but what about freezers? Ice also forms inside a freezer, so it’s normal to wonder if it needs a water supply to keep food cool.

No, your freezer does not need a water line. 

Built-in freezers rely on the same methods as your fridge to cool food. Chest freezers that are separate from your fridge have water tanks. All you need to run them is an electrical outlet.


Unless you have an ice maker or water dispenser in your fridge, your refrigerator doesn’t need a water line. Regular fridges don’t need a water source to run, not even the internal freezer. 

If you still want the convenience of a built-in water dispenser or an ice maker without running a water line, look into countertop ice makers and fridges that run on manual water supplies.

About The Author