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Thread: Removing saddle valve

  1. #1

    Question Removing saddle valve

    Decades ago, a plumber used what looks like a self tapping saddle valve to connect my refrigerator's ice-maker's water supply pipe to the main cold water pipe under the sink. Now the saddle valve is leaking from the self-taping screw. If I turn this screw just right, I seem to be able to stop the leak though I do not know how long this will last. Any little twist of the screw and the saddle valve leaks again.

    How do I repair this leaking saddle valve?


  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default valve

    Remove it, cut the pipe off near the hole and install a new valve for the faucet. Use a two outlet valve with the proper sized openings for the sink and icemaker. Probably 3/8" and 1/4" compression. As long as the hole in the pipe is inside the valve socket it will not leak.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I am not a plumber, so cutting the pipe, etc. is beyond my capabilities ....

    Is there a simpler way to repace the saddle valve? Do they exist with "larger" tapholes or some other way to plug it for good?

    (My temporary twist of the saddle valve is not holding. It is leaking again through the tap screw hole). Should I bite the bullet and call a plumber?


  4. #4


    I'm not a plumber either...but I was able to removal of a leaky saddle valve. Mine was for a deceased humidifer on my furnance. Here's what I did:
    - shut off off the water
    - cut back the pipe with a tubing cutter
    - drained the water from the pipe by pulling it down a bit
    - put a real valve in (ball cock)
    - put a short 12" nipple(dead man) on that
    - soldered the thing up (clean w/emory and apply flux before soldering)
    - put a cap on the "dead man"

    Now when I buy a new humidifer, I can put the saddle on the dead man...if it ever leaks, I shut off the valve, remove the bad saddle, cut out that one inch of pipe and recap it. Done. I could do it about 12 times before it ever became a real issue again.

    All told, it took me maybe an hour to do.

    I have seen some putty that is *supposed* to seal a pipe - but I have no idea if it will actually hold for any duration of time or if it is just a band-aid.

    If you are able to get in there and do the work, or lack the ability/confidence to do the work...call a plumber.

    Side note: Do not use duct tape to try and seal it. I was over at my MIL's the other day..turned on the outside faucet and was given an unwelcome shower. Apparently, the pipe had burst at some point (from freezing) and the solution was duct tape. Sure, it held for a few years (judging from the layers of paint on the tape)..but it "blew" at a bad time - fortunately, I was there at the time otherwise who knows how long the thing would have ran for?
    Last edited by TonyBagadonutz; 04-14-2005 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Side note

  5. #5


    Suggestion, if it is beyond your capabilities it would be well worth your investment to have a plumber come in and do the installation for you. Saddle valves will always create a problem, it is just a matter of time.


  6. #6

    Smile Solved

    I think I solved the leaking Saddle Valve problem. I tightened what I believe is called the packing nut (around the self taping pin) and that stopped the leak. It was already tight but apparently not tight enough so that the extra tightening seems to have done the trick. Can't really blame the saddle valve. I figure it was installed a little over 30 years ago!

    Good thing too, because the pipe cutting and soldering is beyond my equipment and ability and I was just about to call a plumber but decided to try this final thing.

    Thanks everyone for all your help and hand holding.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by PEW
    Suggestion, if it is beyond your capabilities it would be well worth your investment to have a plumber come in and do the installation for you. Saddle valves will always create a problem, it is just a matter of time.

    I may well still do that, but at least now it will not be as an "emergency". Thanks for the advice.

  8. #8
    Plumber RioHyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio


    Saddle valves arent allowed by code here though "installers" from the appliance stores install them all the time. The piercing needle will rust out and the valve itself will leak. I replace these junk valves on what seems like a daily or every other day basis using either a two outlet stop as HJ suggested or a 1/2" sweat X 1/4" compression stop.

    Good luck


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