Installing A Saddle Valve: Copper & Galvanized Pipe

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Mr. Rooter's Tip Of The Day: One of the easiest plumbing installations: Self piercing saddle valve for both copper and galvanized.

One of the easiest plumbing installations: Self piercing saddle valves.

The advantage of using a saddle valve on copper pipe is that it can be installed with the line fully pressurized.

Saddle valves allow you to tap into a water line without cutting the pipe and inserting a T-fitting. According to Bob Beall, Mr. Rooter Plumbing Pittsburgh, “their only drawback is their small size severely limits the amount of water that can flow through them.”

One of the easiest plumbing installations: self piercing saddle valve.

Beall, the most referred plumber in the Southwest Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio regions, offers daily expert plumbing tips through the Mr. Rooter Media Center. “The use of saddle valves is limited to fixtures, according to Mr. Rooter, “such as ice makers and water filters, which do not require large volumes of water.”

Saddle valves have a sharp tip which can puncture a copper water line (do not use them on plastic water lines). “A small-diameter water line is attached to the valve with a compression fitting,” according to Beall. “The advantage of using a saddle valve on copper pipe is that it can be installed with the line fully pressurized.” Beall says, “As you puncture the line, water will spray out–but it is quickly stopped as you tighten down the valve handle.”

Mr. Rooter’s Tip Of The Day

Tip #1 Start by placing the rubber gasket on top of the pipe.

Tip #2 Arrange the saddle-valve body over the rubber gasket with a bolt on each side.

Tip #3 Assemble the nuts and bolts, finger tight.

Tip #4 Make sure the position of the valve is correct, then tighten down the nuts with a wrench.

Tip #5 Turn the handle clockwise. This will push the sharpened tip through the pipe wall.

Tip #6 You’ll feel a sudden give in turning the handle when the top has punctured the pipe. Go about a half turn more, then back the handle off to release the water from the main pipe, letting it flow through the valve.

Tip #7 If the outlet pipe isn’t already installed, turn the valve back off and do so now.

BONUS MR. ROOTER TIP: Galvanized Pipe

Tip #1 When installing a saddle valve on galvanized pipe, shut off the water, drain the p[ipe, then drill a 3/16″ hole in the pipe. To keep the drill bit from sliding off, tape a small piece of wood to the surface.

Tip #2 Once you’ve drilled the hole, remove the piece of wood and clean off any burrs on the hole with a file.

Tip #3 Set the rubber gasket over the hole and assemble the valve, making sure everything lines up properly.

Tip #4 Tighten the bolts, attach the water line, and regulate the flow by turning the handle.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing Pittsburgh offers the free second opinion and 24/7 emergency plumbing services.
There’s A Reason They Call Us Mr.™

Debra Santavicca PR, SMM, WebIT
Mr. Rooter Media Center

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Rooter (Pittsburgh)

Robert A. Beall
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