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Thread: waterlines

  1. #1
    Jon Scott's Avatar
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    Default waterlines

    I haven't seen this on here, I am sure all of you know this but its something I feel must be said.

    At a customers house (non HI related), customer saying their water coming out of their fridge was hot. Testing the unit, the water is very hot. In the basement clear as day, the waterlines is connected to the hot supply line not the cold.

    Something the HI didn't find wrong, nor did the builder. Home is roughly four years old and yet no one found this issue.

    Food for thought, waterline for a fridge has to be connected to the cold supply.

    Thanks.

    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Is this the icemaker line? Hot water freezes faster than cold doesn't it?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Hot water freezes faster than cold doesn't it?
    No, it doesn't.


  4. #4
    Jon Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Rick - I guess a lot of people think that way.

    Corn - I think Rick was kidding.


    After I posted this I called up my Whirlpool and Maytag, both had to take a few seconds to stop laughing "Having hot water running from the hot water heater into the fridge can and will break the compressor. Which in itself can cost the customer upward to 600 dollars depending on the area, with an added 200 dollars again depending on the area for a plumber to come out for ten minutes to switch the valve to the cold supply"

    All this because someone was to lazy to go another six inches to hook to the cold line.. Some people will never learn.

    Thanks.


  5. #5
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Did they explain how the how water would damage the compressor? It seems like having hot water feeding the ice maker would be no different from putting a hot pot in the freezer.


  6. #6
    Tom Thompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Ice cubes are clearer when made from hot water, minerals are suspended or removed during the heating cycle. It wont damage the refrigerator during normal use, shouldn't be an issue.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Did they explain how the how water would damage the compressor? It seems like having hot water feeding the ice maker would be no different from putting a hot pot in the freezer.
    I think they meant it overworks the compressor so it would wear out faster?
    Every time you use the cold water dispenser, the fridge has to turn hot to cold to fill your glass. Expensive commodity.
    Do you put hot pots in your freezer? Why?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Scott View Post
    I haven't seen this on here, I am sure all of you know this but its something I feel must be said.

    At a customers house (non HI related), customer saying their water coming out of their fridge was hot. Testing the unit, the water is very hot. In the basement clear as day, the waterlines is connected to the hot supply line not the cold.

    Something the HI didn't find wrong, nor did the builder. Home is roughly four years old and yet no one found this issue.

    Food for thought, waterline for a fridge has to be connected to the cold supply.

    Thanks.
    Checking a refrigerator or the source of the waterline for the fridge is beyond the scope of a home inspection by the SOPs that I am aware of. The reality is that no matter how thorough we are as home inspectors, there are things that we are going to miss unless we spend a couple of days inspecting every facet of a home. The intent is to find the unsafe and "big ticket" items.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  9. #9
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I think they meant it overworks the compressor so it would wear out faster?
    Every time you use the cold water dispenser, the fridge has to turn hot to cold to fill your glass. Expensive commodity.
    Do you put hot pots in your freezer? Why?
    Naw....that was a metaphor.....I think!


  10. #10
    Jon Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterlines

    James - As John said, it will overwork the compressor. Replacing the compressor isn't cheap.

    Gunnar - I don't agree that it's beyond the scope of the inspection, if the house is coming stock with the fridge then it's our job to ensure it's working. Checking the seals around the fridge and freezer door, checking the waterline making sure it's hooked up correctly, testing the temp of the fridge.

    Not sure if anyone agrees, but I do feel it's our job to test out the kitchen appliances and making sure that they all work. I wouldn't just look at a range and say it works. I would assume most if not all HI would test the range, make sure the burns heat up, the oven heats up, pull the range to ensure the anti-tip is installed.

    Thanks.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Scott View Post
    Gunnar - I don't agree that it's beyond the scope of the inspection, if the house is coming stock with the fridge then it's our job to ensure it's working. Checking the seals around the fridge and freezer door, checking the waterline making sure it's hooked up correctly, testing the temp of the fridge.

    Not sure if anyone agrees, but I do feel it's our job to test out the kitchen appliances and making sure that they all work. I wouldn't just look at a range and say it works. I would assume most if not all HI would test the range, make sure the burns heat up, the oven heats up, pull the range to ensure the anti-tip is installed.

    Thanks.
    No, we don't all agree on that one.
    I tell my clients I don't have time to "inspect" their appliances. Seeing if the fridge works takes a second, but inspecting it is another story. Same with the range. If you scratch the floor pulling it out, then what? I'll run the dishwasher if it's not in use or full of dishes. Lots of times, I'm busy with the bigger issues, and I could care less about the POS 30 year old appliance. I tell them the dishwasher looks to be near the end of its life. I don't inspect it. My report says I don't inspect the appliances.
    My attitude will be different in a tiny condo, sure, I'll spend more time trying the appliances to see if they run, but only when everything else is done, and "appears functional" is all they get in the report. People change appliances like furniture. Appliances can break down at any point, even new ones. If there's a problem, they need to call a repairman, not me.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 07-03-2011 at 01:15 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  12. #12
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    No, it doesn't.
    Not totally true. Hot water will indeed freeze sooner than cold because when water is heated, more air is driven from it. Less air and the water will freeze sooner.
    I've seen this many times as a plumber. This would apply in cases where water in piping is not used for a period of time and both lines reach freezing temperature at the same time.

    Obviously if two containers of water (one hot, one cold) were placed in the freezer at the same time, the cold one would freeze first, but this is only because of the immediate higher BTU content of the hot water. However IF one allowed both containers to sit until reaching room temperature, then placed in the freezer, the container previously heated will indeed freeze before the previously cold container.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Scott View Post
    James - As John said, it will overwork the compressor. Replacing the compressor isn't cheap.

    Thanks.
    That little bit of hot water is not going to affect a compressor. You are looking at a quart or two a day max so it may raise the zero degree temp in the freezer up to 2 degrees....if that. You'll get more btu's off of a 18 pack of hot drinks than you will from the hot water feeding an ice maker.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Saville View Post
    Not totally true. Hot water will indeed freeze sooner than cold because when water is heated, more air is driven from it. Less air and the water will freeze sooner.
    I've seen this many times as a plumber. This would apply in cases where water in piping is not used for a period of time and both lines reach freezing temperature at the same time.
    No, hot (100C) water can freeze faster than lukewarm (40-60C) water (and then only under specific circumstances), but it will not freeze faster than cold (<40C) water. Even then, that only holds if you place both unsealed vessels of water in the same cooling unit. This is because of the heat lost due to evaporation and the resulting lesser amount of water to cool.

    If the water is in separate freezers, each providing an identical amount of cooling (i.e. both removing the same amount of BTUs at the same rate) the lukewarm water will freeze faster.

    As for the idea of air entrainment, that does have an effect on rates of cooling, but is less pronounced than that of evaporation.

    If the water is in sealed containers, it's possible to freeze hot water faster than cold, but only when the cold water becomes super-cooled and doesn't actually freeze.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: waterlines

    I love this forum, so many people who will never leave their guns. I love you guys... haha...

    The information I gave was based off of the few times I've been in a house and the waterline was installed on the hot supply. Normally been installed that way since either the fridge was delivered. The customers house I was at, their fridge has been there for four years and yet after four years the water was still coming out hot. According to the information on here, this shouldn't be. However, the average person should drink roughly eight onces of water each time they drink. This is why hooking the waterline to the hot water supply is an issue. A family of two will drink 128 onces of water a day, that is enough water to prevent the fridge from storing water in the fridge to cool down, hence causing the compressor to overwork itself. The waterline should be installed onto the cold supply so the water that is coming out of the fridge is always cold.

    It's in all manufacturer owners manual as well as their web sites and if you call and speak to a person they will tell you the same thing. When you go to any hardware store and buy the kit to install a waterline for you fridge its in the instructions.

    No matter how much I love to agrue with people, I think this is going to be an issue none of us will agree completely.


  16. #16
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Scott View Post
    I love this forum, so many people who will never leave their guns. I love you guys... haha...

    The information I gave was based off of the few times I've been in a house and the waterline was installed on the hot supply. Normally been installed that way since either the fridge was delivered. The customers house I was at, their fridge has been there for four years and yet after four years the water was still coming out hot. According to the information on here, this shouldn't be. However, the average person should drink roughly eight onces of water each time they drink. This is why hooking the waterline to the hot water supply is an issue. A family of two will drink 128 onces of water a day, that is enough water to prevent the fridge from storing water in the fridge to cool down, hence causing the compressor to overwork itself. The waterline should be installed onto the cold supply so the water that is coming out of the fridge is always cold.

    It's in all manufacturer owners manual as well as their web sites and if you call and speak to a person they will tell you the same thing. When you go to any hardware store and buy the kit to install a waterline for you fridge its in the instructions.

    No matter how much I love to agrue with people, I think this is going to be an issue none of us will agree completely.
    What license do you hold that supports you know what you are saying? Are you a licensed HVAC contractor or a licensed refrigeration contractor?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Which freezes faster:
    Q. Hot water or cold water?
    - A1. Hot water ... under specific conditions.
    - A2. Cold water ... under specific conditions.

    Okay, so the conditions need to be established before the question can be answered, but, generally ... hot water freezes faster than warm water and faster than cool water, but maybe not faster than cold water (because of the specific conditions ).

    Here is one condition to consider (and there are several conditions to consider):
    - Given two identical containers of water, identical in size and shape, and the water in one is HOT while the water in the other is cold (but not freezing cold).
    - Consider that the container with the HOT water in it may not have as much water in it as the container of cold water (water expands when it is hot, right?), thus there may be less water to freeze in that container ...

    There are several specific conditions which must be assessed - and we don't know nuttin' 'bout dem dar conditions here.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    What license do you hold that supports you know what you are saying? Are you a licensed HVAC contractor or a licensed refrigeration contractor?

    Jim,

    (I just LOVE it when someone pulls the "License" card). You don't need a License to (A) read the installation manual and connect it to "Cold" water or (B) to figure out when the manual says for "Cold water press this...."-----and cold water should come out. Yup! No license needed---just the ability to read and common sense. By they way, from my experience in construction, the very few times the "License" card was ever pulled by a vendor---there was an issue he was trying to get out of... Didn't though.

    Rich


  19. #19
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    Smile Re: waterlines

    I purchased a new home in 1997, and one of the outside hose bibs was actually connected to hot water! This was not particularly noticeable during the summer when you expect a hose lying in the sun to have hot water.

    As far as hot water to the icemaker, in my home it would take a lot more than the icemaker water flow to move hot water from the water heater to the point of use. I'd never notice.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: waterlines

    It is a waste of energy, and so is this thread.
    Jon, you did good to discover the mix up.

    You other guys want to make ice cubes with hot water? Go ahead, burn more of that stinky fossil fuel. In fact, I could chip a bit of ice off a glacier and put it on a plane for y'all.
    Happy Fourth of July!

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  21. #21
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Wakefield View Post
    I purchased a new home in 1997, and one of the outside hose bibs was actually connected to hot water! This was not particularly noticeable during the summer when you expect a hose lying in the sun to have hot water.

    As far as hot water to the icemaker, in my home it would take a lot more than the icemaker water flow to move hot water from the water heater to the point of use. I'd never notice.
    Hose bib with hot water would be nice for washing the car...

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  22. #22
    Paul Johnston's Avatar
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Scott View Post
    I haven't seen this on here, I am sure all of you know this but its something I feel must be said.

    At a customers house (non HI related), customer saying their water coming out of their fridge was hot. Testing the unit, the water is very hot. In the basement clear as day, the waterlines is connected to the hot supply line not the cold.

    Something the HI didn't find wrong, nor did the builder. Home is roughly four years old and yet no one found this issue.

    Food for thought, waterline for a fridge has to be connected to the cold supply.

    Thanks.
    There should not be hot water unless you run 5-6 glasses because the water travels through a long coil of plastic tubing. Usually under the fresh bin in the bottom.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Door Guy View Post
    Hose bib with hot water would be nice for washing the car...
    Had a house once where the hose bib was near the outdoor craw space access door. If you opened the door, there were the hot and cold valves to regulate the temperature to the hose bib. As you say---great for washing the car.
    I miss that setup.

    RIch


  24. #24
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    Default Re: waterlines

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    It is a waste of energy, and so is this thread.
    Jon, you did good to discover the mix up.

    You other guys want to make ice cubes with hot water? Go ahead, burn more of that stinky fossil fuel. In fact, I could chip a bit of ice off a glacier and put it on a plane for y'all.
    Happy Fourth of July!
    How about fly us some tar sand oil on a helicopter and we'll burn the clearest ice cubes ever seen. I heard the yoga crowd in LA pays top dollar for clarity.
    Freedom!


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