As the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you recently bought a new refrigerator or another small appliance that uses water, you may be looking to add a new water supply line to your plumbing system. A friend or store associate might have recommended something called a “saddle valve” and told you how cheap and easy it is to install.
Is this a legitimate plumbing method, or a case of something too good to be true? Let’s discuss.
What is a saddle valve?
A saddle valve is a plumbing device that can be used to add an additional water supply line from an existing pipe. It’s called a saddle valve because it mounts on top of the host pipe that it is tapping into. Because saddles valves are only able to provide low-volume, low-pressure water, they are most commonly used for small applications such as:
- Water dispensers
- Swamp coolers
Before you decide to go with a saddle valve to add a new water supply line in your home, it’s important to know the pros and cons of this method.
Pros of using a saddle valve
- Easy and easy to install
- Can be attached to 1/4 in. water supply lines
- Does not require soldering or special tools
Cons of using a saddle valve
- Are prone to leaking
- Should only be installed in visible areas
- Not as reliable as other methods such as tee, gate, or ball valves
- Are not allowed by some plumbing codes
In our opinion, the convenience of saddle valves does not overweight their downsides and risks. You may think that you’re saving money, but it could end up costing you more in the long run if the valve leaks and causes water damage to your home or personal property.
The better bet is to have a licensed plumber inspect your plumbing and recommend the proper and most reliable solution to get the outcome you’re looking for. Serving Oahu and Maui, Emergency Plumbing & Solar is here for all your plumbing needs. Call (808) 691-9309 to schedule an appointment with an experienced plumber today.