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Are Saddle Valves Bad

author
Elaine Sutton
• Sunday, 27 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Saddle valves tend to reduce water flow, causing them to become clogged and leak. It is usually located under the kitchen sink, in the basement, in a crawl space, or in the cabinet next to the refrigerator.

gas saddle valve line bad idea
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Contents

There will be a small 1/4 inch copper line attached with a saddle valve (t- valve). And saddle valves are designed for water systems with a maximum pressure of no more than 125 PSI.

Sharking offers a full range of valves for controlling water flow. Sharking valves feature push-to-connect ends that make them quick and easy to install.

Use a screwdriver or nut driver to remove the rear lower access panel from the refrigerator's back. Reconnect the tube to the adaptor fitting and screw a 3/8” threaded brass cap onto the end that was connected to the fridge.

Saddle valves fit around existing water pipes and are clamped into place. The solution is to create enough empty space in the pipe where you need it most, in the immediate vicinity of the end cap.

Insert 24 inches of a piece of thin vinyl or rubber tubing into the open end of the copper pipe. Slide the appliance out from the wall to disconnect the power cord from the electrical outlet.

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

Turn the T-valve behind your refrigerator or under the sink clockwise to stop the flow of water through the line. Use pliers to grab the metal nut on the end of the copper pipe where it connects to the back of your freezer.

To replace a saddle valve or tee off an existing water line, start by obtaining the needed parts. I'm assuming the saddle valve is connected to a ½” copper water line.

If you're comfortable soldering copper tubing and you already have the equipment to do it, this project will cost about $10. If you are unsure how, just follow the quarter inch water line from the humidifier.

Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and unplug the appliance to prevent electric shock. Step 6: Connect the Water Line to the Supply Valve.

Attach one end of the copper tubing to the refrigerator's water pipe, using a nut and ferrule. Cut the cold water line under the sink or in the basement and attach a copper T-fitting.

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

Then you acquire the correct type fitting (your size requirement may differ from picture) to rejoin the cut Ex with “T” fitting and a branch connection for an added Ex tubing to go off toward the ice maker. I blogged about how saddle valves are illegal products in Minnesota nearly five years ago, but it's time for an update on that topic with some more information.

These are devices that allow for a very fast, cheap, do-it-yourself installation of a ¼” water supply line, typically used to supply water to ice makers and whole-house humidifiers. The needle just pokes a hole in the pipe, and I've heard it can be done without even turning off the water... not that I've ever tried.

These saddle valves are prone to leakage, and they're not allowed by the Minnesota State Plumbing Code. There is actually nothing in the Minnesota State Plumbing Code that specifically prohibits these types of valves ; they're just not approved.

Section 4715.0420 of the MN State Plumbing Code gives a list of approval standards. When installing an ice maker or whole-house humidifier, tap off of an existing water line with a proper tee fitting and have a proper shutoff valve installed.

There has been a saddle valve installed for the ice maker at my own house since I moved in over four year ago. I haven't touched it and it hasn't leaked, but I thought this would make for a nice little project where I could lay out the basic steps of replacing a saddle valve.

rodi saddle unit valves pressure low pex reef2reef doubt plumber water
(Source: www.reef2reef.com)

To replace a saddle valve or tee off an existing water line, start by obtaining the needed parts. I'm assuming the saddle valve is connected to a ½” copper water line.

If you're comfortable soldering copper tubing and you already have the equipment to do it, this project will cost about $10. Push fittings are extremely easy to use, requiring no special tools to make connections to copper, Ex, or CPC tubing.

This should leave a small gap in the water line, which you'll bridge with the tee fitting. Stick the short length of copper tubing into the open end of the tee fitting; this is what you'll need to connect the stop valve to.

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.

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.

saddle valve turn plumbing won clockwise humidifier wont stack
(Source: diy.stackexchange.com)

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.

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.

saddle plumbing valves code valve leaking state structuretech1 leakage minnesota piping allowed wrong cheap easy codes prone re there these
(Source: structuretech1.com)

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.

I blogged about how saddle valves are illegal products in Minnesota nearly five years ago on my website, but it's time for an update on that topic with some more information. These are devices that allow for a very fast, cheap, do-it-yourself installation of a ¼” water supply line, typically used to supply water to ice makers and whole-house humidifiers.

The needle just pokes a hole in the pipe, and I've heard it can be done without even turning off the water... not that I've ever tried. These saddle valves are prone to leakage, and they're not allowed by the Minnesota State Plumbing Code.

There is actually nothing in the Minnesota State Plumbing Code that specifically prohibits these types of valves ; they're just not approved. Section 4715.0420 of the MN State Plumbing Code gives a list of approval standards.

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

When installing an ice maker or whole-house humidifier, tap off of an existing water line with a proper tee fitting and have a proper shutoff valve installed. There has been a saddle valve installed for the ice maker at my own house since I moved in over four year ago.

I haven't touched it and it hasn't leaked, but I thought this would make for a nice little project where I could lay out the basic steps of replacing a saddle valve. To replace a saddle valve or tee off an existing water line, start by obtaining the needed parts.

I'm assuming the saddle valve is connected to a ½” copper water line. If you're comfortable soldering copper tubing and you already have the equipment to do it, this project will cost about $10.

Push fittings are extremely easy to use, requiring no special tools to make connections to copper, Ex, or CPC tubing. This should leave a small gap in the water line, which you'll bridge with the tee fitting.

Stick the short length of copper tubing into the open end of the tee fitting; this is what you'll need to connect the stop valve to. FLIR has a relatively new pocket-sized infrared camera with all the bells and whistles of the much larger and expensive E6.

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

I recently had an informative email exchange with a past client that highlighted the discovery of some especially nasty water damage behind the stone siding at her town home. I thought she had such a great story to share that I invited her onto our podcast, which you can listen to below.

This stuff is failing left and right all over the country, and most time the homeowner has no idea when their wall is a rotted mess behind the siding. Take a look around any room full of home inspectors, and you'll notice we look a lot alike.

It's as if there's an unwritten rule that you have to be an old white guy to be a home inspector. It's all gross or creepy stuff we've seen over the past year as home inspectors.

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