How to Install a Saddle Valve on a Copper Pipe

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A saddle valve is a small valve that connects to a copper pipe. The valve allows you to splice in a water line that feeds a refrigerator ice maker, refrigerator water supply or other appliance that requires a connection to your cold-water copper plumbing. If you have no plumbing experience, you can still connect a saddle valve to your plumbing without hiring a licensed plumber. Before you install a saddle valve, check your local building codes to ensure saddle valves are permitted in your area.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel wood
  • Clean towel
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Cordless drill
  • Wrench set
  • Locate the water main shut-off and turn it off. Most houses have a shut-off valve connected in-line with the plumbing as it enters the home. In some cases, you must locate the shut-off valve for the water company, usually located outside, and shut it off.

  • Turn on a faucet in your home and run water until the water stops coming out. This removes pressure from the water lines.

  • Locate a cold-water copper supply pipe as close to the appliance as possible.

  • Clean the surface of the pipe where you will install the valve. Use steel wool to clean off any old paint, residue or dirt. Wipe the pipe with a clean towel.

  • Place the rubber gasket supplied with the valve around the piercing pin protruding from the bottom of the valve.

  • Drill a 1/8-inch hole through one side of the copper pipe.

  • Place the tip of the piercing pin into the hole on the copper pipe and then place the bottom clamp onto the bottom of the pipe and valve. Thread the bolts into the threaded inserts on the clamp.

  • Tighten each bolt on the clamp one complete rotation at a time as you alternate back and forth until you completely tighten both bolts. As you tighten the bolts, the piercing pin will pierce the copper pipe and complete the installation.

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