Introduction: Continuous Water Supply to Keurig Tank
I tired from refilling my Keurig tank almost daily. The filtered water spout in my sink took too much time to fill the tank, then there's the possibility of spilling or dropping the tank while placing it back in the coffee maker. Since I already had a water line running from my RO tank to my ice maker and sink, I cut the line and added a line to my Keurig (model B75 Platinum) coffee maker and put a float valve on the end, so when the water reaches at determined level, it shuts off the water.
**If you don't have a quarter inch plastic tubing line in your home, like is used for an ice-maker, you can purchase a saddle valve for ¼" plastic tubing on your cold water line. I do not include instructions for saddle valve installation. Please, someone with a lot of plumbing experience publish an Instructable on that.**
Basic skills in plumbing (or a brave newbie) and using a drill and pliers are all that's needed. Oh, and a few pieces of hardware:
1 float valve (I used the Kerick Valve MA252 PVC Mini Float Valve, Tank Mount, Adjustable Arm, 1.5 gpm at 60 psi, 1/4" Tube from Amazon)
?? feet of 1/4" tubing *Make sure it is intended for drinking water. Determine where you will tap into your current flexible tubing line and measure, then add a few feet. Plastic tubing is inexpensive.
1 tee for 1/4" tubing
1 shutoff valve for 1/4" tubing (see my suggestion in Step 2)
a knife for cutting the tubing
a drill and bits
pliers (maybe you won't need them if your fingers can tighten a nut)
small adjustable wrench
PRE-REQUISITES FOR THIS PROJECT:
a coffee maker with a tank which has room for a Kerick valve (measure before buying valve)
a filtered water system...or at least a ¼" tubing line running to your ice maker or filtered water spout at your sink
*This project was completed about a year before I created this Instructable at the request of another member. The photos are after-the-fact, so unfortunately they do not detail the installation.*
Step 1: Run the Water Line and Attach to Your Flexible Tubing Line
Turn off the valve on your reverse osmosis tank. If your ice maker line is running from your solid-pipe cold water line, close the valve where the two meet. If possible, relieve the pressure on the quarter inch tubing line. I don't know how you'd do this on an ice-maker; I had a line running to my sink for drinking water and just opened the spout to relieve the pressure.
Run the plastic tubing from your coffee maker to the point where you will cut the current tubing line, making sure there are no crimps.
Cut the line somewhere where there is room to insert a tee. The tee I purchased has push-fittings on each end so the connection was quick. Know that there will still be some amount of water running from the line when you cut it, so make sure electric wires or outlets are not nearby. The two lines where you cut the plastic tubing can go on two of the three openings on the tee; the tubing you run to the coffee maker goes into the third opening. Make sure you push the tubing all the way into the fittings until it stops. Please don't turn the water back on yet; you haven't put a valve on the end by your coffee maker. That's the next step.
Step 2: Install a Shutoff Valve
Somewhere behind the coffee maker you should install a shutoff valve so water doesn't run when you clean the tank on your coffee maker or if there is ever a problem with the water line or coffee maker. If you skip this step, you'll have to go back to the valve you shut off in Step 1 to turn off the water flow to your coffee maker, and any other appliances which use the flexible tubing system will also be without water.
Cut the tubing at this point and save the rest of the tubing to go from the shutoff valve to the coffee maker. I purchased an expensive brass valve you see in the photo. I first bought a plastic one and it leaked. Remove the nut from one end of the valve and locate the ferrule (brass ring) inside. Slide the nut over the tubing, then slide the ferrule onto the tubing, stopping about a quarter inch from the end of the tubing. Insert the tubing and ferrule into the valve and slide the nut up to the valve and tighten it hand tight, then use an adjustable wrench to tighten the connection. This is called a compression connection and you should NOT use teflon tape or 'pipe goo' on the threads; the threads on the nut and valve need to be unobstructed by sealants. Tightening the nut actually crimps the ferrule which seals the connection.
In the same manner, attach the short section of tubing (you cut off in the last paragraph) to the other end of the shutoff valve. Make sure the valve is closed (handle turned perpendicular to the tubing) and turn on the valve you closed in Step 1, allowing water to flow toward the shutoff valve. Check for leaks at the tee. If there's a small drop forming on the tee, don't be alarmed, just watch to see if the water continues dripping or not. Sometimes a little water will slowly drip for a few seconds...if it continues after that, you have a leak. If so, make sure the tubing is pushed fully into the tee.
To check whether the shutoff valve leaks, turn it on and be ready to catch the water in a cup or pan. Turn off the shutoff valve after the air is out of the tubing. If you get a leak, try tightening the connection. Now you are ready to install the float valve (a.k.a. Kerick valve) in the coffee maker tank and make the final connection.
Step 3: Installing the Kerick (float) Valve and Connecting the Tubing
Here's the tricky part...installing the float valve in the coffee maker. Tricky because if you don't attach the valve in the right place it, the float could rub the side of the tank or bottom of the lid and not shut off the water. I can only tell you how I did this with the valve I purchased (see the materials list) and the Keurig K70/B75 Platinum coffee maker. If you have a different machine or valve, make sure it can operate where you decide to drill the hole.
I actually attached the float valve to the tank lid, not to the tank itself. Choose a drill bit smaller than the threads of the float valve. Remember you are drilling plastic; don't press the drill so hard it breaks the lid. Drill a hole centered from side to side and 1 ⅞" from the back of the lid. Then select a drill bit just a little larger than the threads of the float valve and enlarge the hole. I did not use a drill for this bit, I just turned the bit by hand so I was sure not to crack or break the plastic lid. Then insert the valve through the bottom side of the lid and use the plastic nut to secure it. Do not tighten the nut yet. Make sure the float is parallel with the lid and not off to the side where it would drag the side of the tank. I also adjusted the float downward some so when it is in the closed position it does not touch the bottom of the lid. Put the lid and float valve in the tank to make sure it will not drag the tank. If all is well, hand tighten the plastic nut, holding the valve from turning too. If your hand is not strong, you can use pliers but do NOT turn hard on the plastic nut...just a little pressure.
Cut the plastic tubing so it will reach the top opening without a crimp; allow it enter the float valve going straight down. Put the plastic compression nut on the tubing, then the plastic ferrule about a quarter inch from the end of the tubing. Insert the tubing and ferrule into the hole and tighten the compression nut hand tight. Same deal with using pliers; I did not use them but I can tighten pretty tight with just my fingers. Check that you did not swivel the float to the side when you tightened the compression nut. Make sure you did not get any drill shavings into your tank (might be a good time to clean the thing) and put the lid on the tank and turn on the water. Hold your breath and watch the float valve shut off the water. Watch that the float does not contact the tank or bottom of the lid on its way up.
NOTE: I actually thought that since I drank 2-3 cups a day that I used the water fast enough that I no longer needed to clean the tank. Not so. After a while I got sediment in the tank. It actually clogged the lines and I had to get another same-model brewer...a descaling did not help. Clean the inside of your tank about once a month so you don't damage your brewer.