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Are Saddle Valves Reliable

author
Elaine Sutton
• Thursday, 17 December, 2020
• 7 min read

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.

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

Contents

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. 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.

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

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. A friend or store associate might have recommended something called a saddle valve” and told you how cheap and easy it is to install.

A saddle valve is a plumbing device that can be used to add a water supply line from an existing pipe. Before you decide to go with a saddle valve to add a new water supply line in your home, it’s important to know the pros and cons of this method.

Are prone to leaking Should only be installed in visible areas Not as reliable as other methods such as tee, gate, or ball valves Are not allowed by some plumbing codes You may think that you’re saving money, but it could end up costing you more in the long run if the valve leaks and causes water damage to your home or personal property.

The better bet is to have a licensed plumber inspect your plumbing and recommend the proper and most reliable solution to get the outcome you’re looking for. 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.

saddle valve tap pipe self brass compression plumbing everbilt insert lead poly water line clamp inches tube valves pro handyman
(Source: www.homedepot.com)

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.

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.

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

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. 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.

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

It's all gross or creepy stuff we've seen over the past year as home inspectors. It is usually located under the kitchen sink, in the basement, in a crawl space, or in the cabinet next to the refrigerator.

Use a screwdriver or nut driver to remove the rear lower access panel from the refrigerator's back. Saddle valves tend to reduce water flow, causing them to become clogged and leak.

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.

Slide the appliance out from the wall to disconnect the power cord from the electrical outlet. 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. The solution is to create enough empty space in the pipe where you need it most, in the immediate vicinity of the end cap.

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

Insert 24 inches of a piece of thin vinyl or rubber tubing into the open end of the copper pipe. Tighten the nut that connects the copper line to the shut-off valve using an adjustable wrench.

Turn the not connecting the copper supply line to the shut-off valve counter-clockwise using an adjustable wrench to remove it. This means you don't need to worry about finding a shutoff valve to turn off the water supply to the fridge.

Install a short nipple, using PTFE tape on all threaded connections to the tee. A T-Line consists of the needed length of pipe, the tee valve (s) and an end cap that directs the water flow from the lines of the tee valves back into the main water system.

Piercing needle is designed for concentric and hardness to insure perfect seating every time. If you are unsure how, just follow the quarter inch water line from the humidifier.

Usage confine to within the fish tank. Access our comprehensive index to review and source biotech valve manufacturers with preview ads and detailed product descriptions.

waxman saddle valve lead camperid
(Source: www.camperid.com)

A quick and easy to use request for quote form is provided for you to contact these biotech valve manufacturers and suppliers. Read customer reviews and product specific news articles.

We have years of industry experience that makes us the leading manufacturer of biotech valves. Founded in 1981, Friend Industries has grown over the years into the world's largest provider of high quality pre-owned packaging and processing machinery.

Our equipment spans hundreds of categories and brands, including diaphragm valves, campers, car toners, cup fillers, and libelers. We don’t sell machinery “as is.” We verify that it will work for you and customize it to meet your needs.

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saddle valve dial needle angle plumbersstock valves
(Source: www.plumbersstock.com)

The saddle type valve has two openings that are in line with each other, so basically it is a round but flat structure. Biotech valves may be operated manually, or they may be pneumatic, hydraulic, or electric.

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