Do you have an ice maker on your refrigerator that’s not hooked up yet?
Not to worry, a simple saddle valve install will do the trick; here are some easy instructions to follow for a self-piercing saddle valve.
I’m not a master plumber and you don’t need to be either, the installation is fairly easy. I was lucky enough to have my supply line already in place, so all I had to do was install the saddle valve.
These instructions are for copper pipe only, with plastic or galvanized pipe you’ll need to drill a hole into the pipe, and that is a different set of instructions.
1. First find the cold water pipe that you want to use for the installation, usually a pipe under the sink or the closest cold water pipe in the basement. If you have to install a supply line now is a goods time to make a plan.
2. To run the supply line you’ll have to drill a small hole in the floor behind the refrigerator and snake the line through to the pipe where the valve is going to be installed.
3. Make sure the pipe is clean; use Steele wool or fine sandpaper to remove dirt and grim on the pipe. Then wash the pipe with some mild soap and water.
4. Make sure you have all of the parts. A saddle valve comes with the following
- A shutoff valve body
- Two clamp to fit over the pipe
- A rubber gasket to fit the clamp that the valve body screws into
- The needle to pierce the pipe
- Two screws to hold it all together
- A nut and compression ring for the supply line hookup.
- A 1/4″ supply line will be needed if one is not in place
5. Assemble the valve and clamps to the pipe. Make sure the rubber gasket is in place, it fits on the clamp where the needle comes through. Now tighten the clamps to the pipe using the screws. Be Careful here not to over tighten the clamps, as you can crush a copper pipe. Now tighten the packing nut, this is the nut at the base of the valve body.
6. Now some instructions will tell that you don’t have to turn off the water supply. Really, turn off the water supply and save the towels!
7. Now turn the valve clockwise until you meet resistance and it pierces the pipe. The valve is now in the off position.
8. Now turn on the water supply, get a bucket or a bowl and slowly turn the valve counter clockwise until water comes out, then turn it back off once you know that the water is flowing.
9. Now all you have left to do is hook up the supply line, to both the valve, and the back of the refrigerator.
Hooked up to the back of the refrigerator
ABOUT THE AUTHOR. SAM MONACO