Thursday, August 16, 2012

Installing an Ice Maker

Drift Away came with an ice maker.  It was installed in the helm station under the bench seat, which also houses the washer and dryer.  It worked fine up until a couple of months ago when it decided to stop.  A couple of weeks ago I went online to and ordered an Edgestar Undercounter Ice Maker.  It arrived last week, and Brunswick Landing Marina staff delivered it right to the head of my dock, which I thought was a very nice thing to do.  

The UPS sticker said the Edgestar weighed 66 pounds.  I decided to stick it in a dock cart rather than do the macho thing of carrying it.  No one was looking.   I got it down the dock and managed to wrestle it over the gunwale and into the helm station where it sat until Wednesday morning.  

The first job on this project was to get the old one off the boat.  A previous owner had installed a cold plate in the ice maker and packed insulation around it, so I removed all that to make it lighter.   Even without the cold plate and insulation, the old ice maker was much, much heavier than the new one.  I was able to get it into the dock cart though, and up to the head of the dock it went.

Yes, that's Pamela cleaning fenders.
This installation will be a snap, I thought, since there was already an ice maker in there.  Well, true, the water line was run, and I had measured carefully to make sure the new one would fit without having to cut any cabinetry.   All I have to do now is to read the instructions and it should be a snap.  So I sat myself down and opened the manual.


  • All the necessary hardware is NOT PROVIDED for installation so it is necessary to hire a professional licensed plumber to complete the installation.
What?  Look, I've done a little plumbing before and it's not that hard.  Besides, look at all the other stuff I've done on Drift Away.   Hooking up a water line shouldn't be any big deal.  Right?

So I flipped through the manual.  No schematic.  Nothing was labeled either in the manual or on the unit itself.   OK, so I'll just have to figure it out.   I set the new ice maker up on the helm bench so I could see it.   There was a white hose running from a gizmo up the back of the unit to, what I assumed, would be the ice maker.  So the new water line would have to attach to the gizmo.    The line was behind a grill, so I removed the grill so I could get at the gizmo.  There was a blue cap that I removed from the bottom and it looked like a likely spot, so I attached the new water line.

Now all I had to do was to attach the other end to the old water line.   I cut the plastic hose to length, attached the new plastic coupler, and screwed it onto the old line's joiner.  It didn't fit.  The threads were different.  I thought all this stuff was standard NPTpipe threads?   Nope.  What to do now?   Hmmmm....

I went up to the old unit at the head of the dock and bent the old water line back and forth until it broke.   I took it back to the boat.  Although copper, it looked like the same size.   I managed to yank the brass ring off the end of the old line and after putting the coupler on, stuck the ring on the end of the plastic hose.  With some persuasion from beating on it with a wrench, it went on.

Now the big question...  would it leak?   I turned on the water.  Yep, like a sieve.  Being pig headed, I took it apart.   I put it back together.   Leaked.   Crap.   I took it apart again.   I fetched my plumber's tape.  I put it on both threads of the coupler, and also around the plastic water line and over the brass ring. 

I tightened everything up, making sure not to overtighten anything.  I turned on the water.  Only a tiny, tiny drip.   I tightened the connection a bit.   No drip.  I put a paper towel under the connection and waited ten minutes.   Dry, no drip.   YES!

The new ice maker has been happily, quietly making ice for a few hours now.  I tossed the first batch in case there was anything yucky in the ice maker manufacturing process.

This job was worth two victory beers.  And now we'll have ice for victory cocktails.


  1. You are the MAN Dave!!! And saved enough by not hiring the plumber to buy some more Victory Beers!!!

  2. Great Job Dave!! I think you & I would work well on boats together...

  3. Really we have two ice trays in the freezer - you win with ice on board - looks like party time at Dave's. Keep the projects going - love those victory beers.

  4. Which model is the icemaker you bought Dave? We're definitely planning to have one on our boat. I'll be watching to see how well yours performs. I'm guessing the 12 lb model would suffice for our needs but I'm not exactly sure.


    1. Hey Rick, you're up early. So am I, I guess. Anyway, you're right, we bought the 12 pound IB120SS. So far, I'm very pleased. It's a very quiet unit and actually makes ice like it's supposed to. And if you buy one, you can use this blog post to figure out how to install yours, since they won't tell you. :)

  5. Hello,
    Your style of presentation of installing an ice maker is very impressive.I would like to tell you that you have given me much knowledge about it. Thanks for everything.

    Ice Makers

  6. Hello,

    Your style of presentation of installing an ice maker is very impressive.I would like to tell you that you have given me much knowledge about it. Thanks for everything.

    Ice Makers

  7. Best thing ever!!!!! Bought this so I could have amazon ice while camping!!! It's so easy & quick!!! Love the little ice cubes!!! Great for making our morning shakes. Great for just eating. It is quiet. Takes up a bit of counter space but the ice makes it worth it!!! Plus it looks pretty!!