Saddle Valve leaking

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by janels, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. janels

    janels New Member

    Dec 14, 2011
    Madison, WI

    The in-line shut off valve for the line coming out of the hot water heater to the stand alone ceiling mounted humidifier is leaking when turned off and is also leaking at the valve when turned on. Can it be fixed or does it need to be replaced? I have not worked with one of these before and do not know anything about them compared to a regular shut-off valve.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2012
  2. DaveHo

    DaveHo Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    SE PA
    If it's leaking around the stem, tighten the nut slightly & see if that helps.
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  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    Saddle valves appeal to DIY because they are cheap and simple to install, but they are not a very good choice for tapping into a water supply line. They tend to fail. You can try to tighten it up and perhaps have some success, but the best thing to do is eliminate it. To do this, remove the valve, cut the pipe where the puncture is and install a tee. Put in a ball valve after the tee then transition to the size pipe/tubing going to the appliance.
  5. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Jan 6, 2010
    Saddle valves are illegal in alot of places. Check your code. We want everyone to follow their code. They tend to clogg up because most of them have a steel piercing point that rusts closed.

    I've never used one but have removed enough of them to fill a dump truck.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    One problem with a saddle valve is that when it is tightened to the pipe it often deforms the pipe so when you cut the pipe to install a tee, it may not go into the tee.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Saddle valves are quick and easy to install, but their long-term reliability is very poor. Best thing to do is replace it with quality items (which doesn't include a new saddle valve!).
  8. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Dec 28, 2009
    "retired" and still building and troubleshooting
    northfork, california
    Saddle valves are how you get water into about 200 million houses in the USA. Its about the quality of the valve, and about not using a self pierce but drilling a hole. Everyone shops on price and the rubber portion is chopped chinese tires.

    You can get a copper 'half' tee that clamps [12g copper wire works even nicer and can be soldered] on the undisturbed pipe, drill the hole, and solder it on, for those that cannot find a good saddle valve. But since plumbers charge by the hour, such things and especially good saddle valves are not often offered to a homeowner. Gotta pay for that shiny truck!

    "And while we are here, mam, for another 200$ we might save your life with an expansion tank..." even though grandma is on a well with no prv and a 80 gallon expansion tank.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2016
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Normally a plumber would solder on a tee and a section of pipe and install a replaceable shutoff valve.

    If it's copper, you can always cut and solder if needed. Turn off the water, you will need to at least do that. Pick up some flux, solder and a torch and go at it.
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