Are Saddle Valves Any Good

Danielle Fletcher
• Sunday, 03 January, 2021
• 8 min read

Recently a fellow came into our store asking for a non-piercing saddle valve. He then proceeded to show me a Sears ice making install manual that clearly stated to NOT USE A SELF PIERCING SADDLE VALVE.

saddle valve piercing nonself valves metals anderson zoro grainger amazon plumbing
(Source: www.grainger.com)


Instead, they want you to drill a hole into the side of a 1/2 supply line and attached this so called non-piercing saddle valve. Now maybe there is a non-piercing valve but to drill a hole into a water supply line and allow drill chips to enter seems asinine to me.

Simple enough to cut the pipe and use a compression valve. The non-piercing type have a flat round protuberance for lack of a better word.

You drill a hole in otherwise non-leaking copper to install it. Cut the copper and install either a compression, flare, solder type ball valve and call it a day.

I have run across this and I can say I always thought a saddle valve was OK for an ice line. Manufacturer calls for a “full port valve”, Which means either a dual angle stop or an angle stop adapter.

I'm not 100%, but talking to the technician, it has to do with solenoid valve working properly. I also agree about avoiding the saddle valve altogether.

saddle valve plumbing parts danco water valves repair flow
(Source: www.danco.com)

What puzzled me was the drilling into a pipe and not have metal filings get into the water stream. But of those who are commenting, and who do this for a living, I would hope that more secure means of addressing water supply would be proposed in lieu of the saddle valve option.

I have a cutter, torch and plenty of solder and flux to make any installation for hook up permanent and leak free. Out of sight and out of mind and wasting tons of water and money.

Instead, they want you to drill a hole into the side of a 1/2 supply line and attached this so called non-piercing saddle valve. The point of drilling a hole, rather than the self piercing, is to ensure the “port” is large enough. Lesson learned: Do not use saddle valves.

These valves are universally part of ice maker and humidifier hookup kits. When the self-piercing valve is tightened or screwed all the way in it pierces the pipe creating approximately a 1/4” hole.

They are prone to leak over time, the rubber seal will eventually deteriorate, and they clog up as calcium deposits build up at the small opening. In some areas, they are a violation of plumbing code but as many other products which are sold in hardware stores.

valve saddle water line supply leaking flex plumbing tank into expansion well diy terrylove
(Source: terrylove.com)

These are available with compression, push on (also known as shark-bite) and sweat on valve connections and as always we recommend work by a qualified plumber. Been Never particularly happy with self piercing saddle valves but there are pretty common place for refrigerator ice makers, humidifiers, and similar appliances.

I don't remember seeing anywhere that self piercing, self-tapping valves are not allowed. I want an authorities reference to confirm my dislike.

“The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from.” In the 2012 North Carolina Plumbing Code which is based on the 2009 Int'l Code, Section P605.9(4) lists saddle -type fittings” as one of the prohibited joints and connections.

GA 2006 Plumbing code amendments (effective 1/1/2007) Exception: Saddle -type fittings can be used to connect refrigerator ice makers to an existing residential unit water distribution system provided the manufacturer’s installation instructions for the distribution piping do not prohibit the use of saddle fittings.

Saddle fittings can be used to install thermal expansion tanks to an existing residential unit water distribution system if approved by the manufacturer of the tank. Shutoff valves to water supplies for refrigerators with automatic icemakers shall be accessible on the same floor as said refrigerators.

valve saddle inch copper piercing amazon self pipe tapping compression water supply plumbing ldr fittings needle brass outlet lasco pipes
(Source: www.thespruce.com)

In my area they are used a lot to supply water to evaporative coolers. They have to be turned off and water drained from the supply line every fall.

Your article on saddle valves made it quite clear that they should be attached to the cold water supply line. Any plumber will tell you that flexible parts always fail on the “hot” side of a faucet first.

I can't tell you how much “life” you are losing, but I can tell you that NO manufacturer I am aware of encourages installation of saddle valves on hot water lines. Even companies that manufacturer sink-mounted “hot water machines” recommend installation on the cold line.

If the body of the saddle valve turns, use a second wrench to hold it in place while tightening the packing nut. Concerning the issue of freezing, I would suggest that you wrap the tubing in Fiberglas pipe insulation... just in case.

Don't depend on the connection to the hot water pipe to give you much freezing protection. A dropper seat post is also the number one upgrade we recommend for new mountain bikers.

saddle valve self brass compression inch tap lead copper everbilt tapping sioux chief tubing laiton fitting po valves supco od
(Source: www.homedepot.com)

Unlike a few short years ago, most dropper posts are pretty reliable these days. Like any good bicycle component, a quality dropper should function without you thinking about it.

PNW Component's Loam stands out from the crowd of dropper seat posts with a great price, short stack height, and tool-free system to adjust the amount of seat post drop. The silky drop and return makes this dropper feel like a premium component, with very little side-to-side play.

It's incredibly reliable but does need a bit of quick and easy maintenance now and again. Occasionally, (and usually only after lifting the bike the saddle with the seat post lowered, which you should avoid doing) the post will sag a few millimeters.

Thankfully, Bike Yoke makes it easy to remove air trapped in the dropper's hydraulic circuit. Resetting-or reviving-this seat post just a matter of actuating the bleed port lever and compressing the post to allow air to escape.

The Revive comes in a wide range of lengths and diameters to fit virtually any modern mountain bike. This is a huge advantage for shorter riders who want to run 150 mm or even 180 mm droppers on small and medium-sized frames.

saddle valve inch 1008 piercing self rainfresh
(Source: rainfreshstore.ca)

One of our test droppers is going on its fourth season of hard riding without the slightest amount of maintenance. For the 2021 model year, Fox has introduced an updated version of the Transfer.

If you have an older mountain bike-or even a gravel bike-that uses a narrower, 27.2 mm seaport, PNW's Pine dropper is your best bet. This externally-routed dropper has a smooth action, performs reliably, and comes with a wallet-friendly price tag.

We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. I can confirm that the Bike Yoke IS in fact 'thee' best not electronic post made hands down.

However, the electronic Hockshop post is just as good as the Bike Yoke in terms of reliability and actuation / smooth function, though it does cost more of course, it has allowed me to remove yet another cable...which is very nice as I am now down to just two brake line cables on my Evil. But the electronic version is flawless and works incredibly well and is also very smooth just like the Bike Yolk.

I'm glad to read you're loving the BikeYoke Revive. The Reverb AXS is a very cool dropper, but it didn't make the cut because it's prohibitively expensive for most mountain bikers and it's not as easy to bleed air from the system on the trail as the BikeYoke. My Revive has a lever just below the seat to “bleed” the post, there is no screw to remove or replace.

saddle valve parts plumbing danco water print repair valves
(Source: www.danco.com)

Its very simple and requires no tools unless you lose or break the lever, then you use a 4 mm Allen key from your multi tool to reset. You can reset it while riding. At least in the Enduro MTB article on the same topic, they didn't leave out a player because of cost.

If a brand is going to charge a premium for a product, it better back it up with outstanding performance. Value is determined by the end user and what is important to them, making it highly subjective.

Exclusion of something based on price has zero reflection on its performance...turning this list into a subjective rather than objective piece. I am not saying anything is better or worse, however, I suspect that the one that is not the “best value,” does not fall to number 6 in this list based off of performance and reliability.

For those that do not find it “prohibitively expensive,” your decision to exclude it has leaded those readers astray. I clearly laid out the shortcomings of the aforementioned posts and why they didn't make the cut in my previous comment.

I have the 185 and 160 Revive, and they are super smooth, easy to service and great in cold temperatures as well. Understand your logic for limiting to five but feedback shows this is too narrow a range.

saddle valve pipe water intake humidifier residential connect wikipedia
(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

For the record I am totally satisfied with my Thomson dropper after 2 years hard use in Moab summers. I have been running the Bike Yoke for a couple of years now and it has performed flawlessly.

The rarely needed bleed is super easy and only takes a minute, if that. Since then, they've started offering the Revive with an integrated mini-reset lever, so you don't even need a tool anymore.

The mini lever is retrofit table and owners of the original Revive can purchase it online.) Consistently ranked as one of the top posts by BikeRadar, MBR, ... Buy this dropper, save your money for some tasty pints.

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