Saddle Valves

Noted a saddle valve installed in a hot water heater copper flex connector at the shank portion of the flex connector where it transitions to the PEX hot water distribution system. Valve was corroded and leaking causing damage to hot water heater . Valve feeds a hole house humidifier system. Granted valve is bad, HVAC company who installed it says it needs replaced, Question is it permissible install a saddle valve in a copper flex line in the first place. Cannot find and reference data on it.

I suspect it’s one of these things the valve manufacturer does not bother to prohibit because “No one would be stupid enough to do it”.

Even the handyman says not to install on the hot water line, even less one that is corrugated. :wink:

Marcel :slight_smile:

Also in the common sense code book first sentence of first paragraph;)

Hi. Charley;

Is there any of that left in today’s residential Builders. ???:wink: or most likely this was a DIY entrepreneur.

Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley:

Saddle valves are not allowed in Illinois.

Thanks all. “Common sense” was same term I used with home owner.

Some of the humidifiers from the “Big Orange” used to come with saddle valves in the box!

They are not allowed here.

Saddle valves are common here in Wisconsin.

They are used for:

whole house humidifiers
Reverse Osmosis drinking water units

saddle valves may not be allowed in Illinois but are incorperated all the time.
The bad thing about most saddle valves is that I can guarantee they will eventualy leak.
When used with copper they have a tendency to crush the copper pipe they are being used on.
When working with Sears we were instructed to use them.
Another problem they have is a tendency for the cutting tube to break off before it digs a good hole which also can cause leaks.
There is another type which is made for galvanised pipe which was better in that we would actualy drill a hole in the side of the pipe and screw it in.
In general however , the other problem with this item is the rubber gasket which does eventualt deteriorate.
These are my personal opinions , but I find them to be accurate from a practical standpoint which is what really matters.
P.S yes I know the galvinized will clog up, but can be repoked.

He said Repoked… :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Soon as I typed it I thought thought , hmmm, naw it’s just my dirty mind.

The point is, Rob, they are not allowed, per the state plumbing code (which, in this instance, is the same as the Chicago code. NOTE: In Illinois, there are only two plumbing codes. Chicago (and some surrounding suburbs) and the State code)).

In any case, they are wrong and should be called out.

If Sears tells their installers to use them, then Sears (as a corporate entity, open to suit) is in violation of the law.

Anyone want to join me in sueing Sears! :mrgreen:

CA Rules. . .

Saddle fittings are not allowed for use in DWV systems. They can be used on PVC piping, but only in exterior locations. In other piping systems, they can be used according to their listing when that listing does not conflict CPC requirements.

I’ll bet you a dollar that the listing doesn’t allow the fitting to be used on flex pipe.

New to me:**


**Section 890.1130 Protection of Potable Water… **5. No pipe or fitting of the water supply system shall be drilled or tapped nor shall any band or saddle be used except at the water main in the street. Exception: See Section 890.320(h) for potable water use only.

Section 890.320(h)** Brazed Joints.** Brazed joints shall be made by first cleaning the surface to be joined down to the base metal, applying flux approved for such joints and for the filler metal to be used, and making the joints by heating to a temperature sufficient to melt the approved brazing filler metal on contact. (See Section 890.330(b).) An extracted mechanical joint may be made in copper tube types K or L only for water distribution. The joint shall be made with a mechanical extraction tool and joined by brazing. To prevent the branch tube from being inserted beyond the depth of the extracted joint, depth stops shall be provided. This joint shall be for above ground use only.

But… does that apply in “Home Rule” municipalities?

Will are you picking a fight buddy?
I was simply stating facts, and see no conflict in my statements as I was trying to relay my experiance as I do have some, and can offer insight on some aspects even to you sir.
Sorry if you took offense.
By the way as some one I have worked with, you know my name is BOB.

Also in there:


**SUBPART I: ****Section 890.1130(****g)(7) **Closed water systems shall have a properly sized thermal expansion tank located in the cold water supply as near to the water heater as possible and with no shut-off valve or other device between the heater and the expansion tank… Exception: In existing buildings with a closed water system, a properly sized pressure relief valve may be substituted in place of a thermal expansion tank. For closed water systems created by backflow protection in manufactured housing, as required in Section 890.1140(i), a ballcock with a relief valve may be substituted for the thermal expansion tank.

Mike …you must be refering to one of these things.
lofton 009 (Small).jpg
Notice it is not a saddle valve. lol

Not at all, Rob.

I regularly see dept. stores and retail stores installing stuff wrong and in violation of local and state codes.

No saddle valve. Note the newer “under sink” valve installed, most probably for the humidifier (and DO NOT get me started about those!).