How to Install an American Style Fridge Freezer

Man in orange hi-vis installing an American style Fridge Freezer

Everything you need to know about installing your sleek and spacious American style fridge freezer!

Whether you’re installing it yourself, or using our installation service, there are a few things you need to consider when buying an American Style Fridge Freezer. These will allow for a smoother installation, and take away some of that kitchen renovation stress.

What To Consider Before Buying an American Style Fridge Freezer

How Much Space Does an American Style Fridge Freezer Need?

American style fridge freezers are large appliances, so they will need a large space to fit into. However, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this. American style fridge freezers come in the same shape but different sizes. It is important to know the dimensions of your fridge freezer before installation.

On average, American style fridge freezers tend to be around 90cm wide and 70-80cm deep. Always check the exact measurements of your chosen appliance before purchase.

Mind the gap!

A gap around your American style fridge freezer will be needed to allow for ventilation. 5cm at the back and 3cm around the sides and top is a good guideline to follow.

This is particularly important to consider if you are designing your kitchen to fit around your new appliance. For example, having kitchen cabinets, drawers, or a housing unit built around an American style fridge freezer is a popular setup.

Furthermore, the doors on an American style fridge freezer tend to open wide. How much will vary from brand to brand. If you’re building around the fridge freezer, the doors will need to protrude from the cabinetry, and will need the space to open fully.

Haier American Style Fridge Freezer in blue housing
  • Important Consideration: When building your kitchen around an American style fridge freezer, it is often a good idea to leave extra room. This will be a massive money saver if you ever decide to replace it with a bigger unit in the future. If you can’t stand the look of a larger gap, create a housing unit with wood or material that can be trimmed back without conflicting with drawers or cabinets.

Will an American Style Fridge Freezer Fit Through Your Door?

Because American style fridge freezers are wider than regular models, they will require a larger entry space. Always check the width of your chosen appliance to determine if it will fit through your door. You may also need to allow extra room due to the packaging your fridge freezer will be delivered in.

Sometimes the doors of the appliance can be removed to get it into a room. If you think you might be a bit tight for space, check that the model you’re purchasing has removable doors. You may also need to inquire about additional delivery or installation services. Otherwise, the delivery/installation may not be possible!

Always pre-plan a path through your house for your American style fridge freezer before delivery. This will make things quicker and easier for yourself and the delivery team.

What Floor Level Do You Require Delivery To?

It is important to consider the floor that you need your appliance delivered to. Many delivery companies will be unable to deliver a large appliance, such as an American style fridge freezer, to an above ground level floor due to health and safety risks.

Unsure about your delivery requirements?

Contact us on 0115 965 1937, or email [email protected]

How To Connect an American Style Fridge Freezer to Water Supply

If your new American style fridge freezer has a water and ice dispenser that is plumbed in, you will need to connect your fridge to your water supply. You will need to install it within 1.5m of a cold-water source to do this. To connect your American style fridge freezer with water dispenser to the water supply, you will need:

  • Refrigerator water line installation kit (usually supplied)
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Water line cutter
  • Drill

Don’t forget your drill bits! Locate the cold water pipe in your kitchen, close to where your American style fridge freezer is being placed. If you’re having trouble determining which is which, an easy way to tell them apart is to turn your hot water on. Feel the pipes and whichever one is hot is your hot water pipe. Easy!

  • Precaution: Before you start, turn the water supply to your house OFF. You will be drilling into pipes, which can cause a leak or damage to the rest of your home when water is being supplied.

Step 1:

First things first, devise a route for your water pipe from source to refrigerator. Whether this means drilling through cabinets or walls, you need to have a route planned from A to B. Don’t start drilling until you’re sure that the tubing will reach your destination. You don’t want to drill a load of holes and then have to start again. You may find that you have a lot of excess tubing. Don’t throw this away. It’s highly recommended that you have some excess tubing connected. That way, if you ever need to get behind your American style fridge freezer, you can pull it out without disconnecting it from the water supply.

Step 2:

Next, you need to assemble the valves that come in the installation kit. There should be a manual within to tell you which parts go where. Essentially, you’ll be dealing with some nuts, bolts and a rubber gasket. You should find that, when assembled properly, it will fit around your water pipe held together by screws. Make sure this is securely fastened to the pipe. It doesn’t have to go anywhere specific on the pipe, just wherever is easiest for you. Once these are assembled and you are attaching them to the pipe, try and make sure there is even pressure on both sides holding it together. You’re trying to compress the rubber gasket against the pipe securely.

Step 3:

You will see on the saddle valve that comes with the kit that it almost replicates a tap. You want to twist this until it pierces and makes a hole in the copper piping. Don’t overdo it, but do make sure it is definitely pierced. Attach your compression bolts (normally consisting of a nut, a washer and a sleeve) to the valve. Make sure these are fastened to the valve securely and tightly (you’ll see where the tubing attaches to the valve).

Step 4:

There should be a water line attached to the back of your fridge freezer. It may just be a fitting but the tubing from the installation kit should attach to the back of the fridge in the same way it attached to the valve. Check it for leaks, remember to check you’ve got extra tubing, and you should be good to go!

American Style Fridge Freezer with water drop background, a wet water pipe in the top corner and hands reaching up from the bottom holding plumbing tools

There are a few other things to consider when installing an American style fridge freezer. If you are placing it in a new build, get your plumber to install a valve behind where the fridge is going to live. This way, all you need is some flexible metal tubing and it will simply hook on.

If you have some copper lining already installed in your kitchen, do not worry! Copper lining will still fit all the parts that can be bought in an installation kit.

How To Level an American Style Fridge Freezer

You don’t want to go to the effort of fully installing your American style fridge freezer just to find that it isn’t level! Do yourself and your fridge a favour and straighten things out by following our guide.

The first thing to note is the doors often aren’t level with each other when you first buy a fridge. Don’t panic! They’re supposed to look like that when the fridge is empty. Load your fridge, and if they still look uneven, it’ll need levelling. The doors may be uneven for one of two reasons: either the refrigerator cabinet is uneven, or the doors themselves are uneven.

Remember to check the manual that comes with the product, or look for it online. Your manufacturer should provide all the details you need for your specific model, but there is a basic principle to levelling a fridge freezer.

To level your fridge freezer you will need:

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Spirit Level / Any Levelling Tool
  • Wrench
  • Always turn OFF your appliance before levelling to avoid the risk of shocking yourself.

Follow these steps to level your American style fridge freezer:

Step 1:

Using your spirit level, determine how uneven your American style fridge freezer is and in what way you will have to adjust it to correct it. Don’t measure the level on the refrigerator door as these aren’t always square to the refrigerator. Instead, place the spirit level on top of the main chamber of the unit.

Step 2:

Take your Phillips head screwdriver and remove the grill at the base of the refrigerator. The base plate can take on different forms, but you will have to remove it to reach the levelling screws and pins at the bottom corners of your refrigerator. Not every fridge has these, so you only need to remove your base plate if necessary.

Step 3:

Look for a set of levelling screws. They will often be cased in plastic, and will look like large, upside-down bottle caps. These levelling screws on the right and left-hand side adjust the tilt of the refrigerator. If yours feels unstable or the doors won’t close easily, you can adjust them with your flat head screwdriver. Turn the levelling screws clockwise to raise the fridge and vice versa. You should ensure that they are both turned the same amount. You might find that they need to be turned a fair amount to make a difference. Keep turning and testing as you go.

Step 4:

If you have adjusted the levelling screws and find that they are still uneven, you’ll need to adjust the refrigerator doors themselves. Look to the bottom hinge of the doors and there will be a keeper nut and an adjustment pin. Loosen the keeper nut so you can adjust the pin. Turning the pin to the right will raise the doors and vice versa. Your refrigerator should come with a tool to adjust these, but you can use a wrench if you can’t find yours.


  • Can you plug an American style fridge freezer in straight away?

No. Before you plug it in and get it up and running, it is important to let it rest for a while to allow the cooling gases to settle. Plugging it in straight away can cause blockages and damage to your new appliance. Ideally, you should wait for about 4 hours.

  • Are American style fridge freezers expensive to run?

According to Which, it costs on average around £95 – £183 per year to run an American style fridge freezer. This is about 47% more expensive than a standard freestanding fridge freezer. To keep costs down, we would recommend looking for an energy efficient model.

  • Can you put an American style fridge freezer on carpet?

No. You should never put an American style fridge freezer on carpet. This is because the cooling unit is usually found at the bottom. If this comes in contact with the carpet, it could cause a fire. Furthermore, if there was ever a leak, your carpet will get very wet and it would be hard to clean.

With these nifty step-by-step guides and advice, you should guarantee yourself an easy and stress-free installation. It’s all much easier than it looks!

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