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I have an inline (10 Year Old) water filter that wasn't replaced.

I'm interested in replacing it (Just eliminating the filter and replacing it with a straight run of tube) as I suspect that it might be interfering with the flow rate of our newer refrigerator that has a built in filter.

The copper comes from a saddle valve.

What procedure should I use to replace it with a straight run of tube (either copper or something else, whatever would be easiest / reliable), and what components do I need?

Here are some pictures: enter image description here

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It appears to me that the copper tubing connected to the outflow of the filter is long enough to reach the saddle valve. ( upper right corner in Photo ? )

If that is the case you can eliminate the extra tubing feeding the inflow side of the filter and just go directly from the saddle valve to the copper tubing that is feeding the refrigerator.

You may be lucky and the threaded fitting on the outflow tubing will be the correct size and kind to attach to the valve.

The saddle valve could be a 1/4" OR 3/8" connection. If you turn off the valve and then disconnect the line from the valve to the inflow side of the filter you can then mark the valve end and the filter end of the tubing and take it to the store so you, or the associate, can determine the correct coupler fitting to use to connect your existing fitting to the saddle valve. ( the inflow threaded fitting appears to be the same as the one on the outflow side. )

If it were me i would replace the saddle valve, they are notorious for failing due to corrosion over the long term. This require shutting off your water removing the saddle valve, cutting out the puncture from the saddle valve and soldering in a Tee, ( or use a push to connect fitting ) Then put a 1/4 turn valve on the tee branch for the refrigerator and the correct fitting to marry to the threaded fitting on your exciting tubing that goes to the refrigerator.

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    +1 for getting rid of the saddle valve, bound to leak eventually. And for suggesting elimination of unnecessary additional tubing. Note- I don't like the look of the solder jobs on the existing 1", if OP is adding the tee for elimination of saddle valve, practice would be good... – Jimmy Fix-it Apr 6 at 19:58
  • @JimmyFix-it I didn't do the 1" solder jobs, the builders did :D – Sarah Szabo Apr 6 at 20:18
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The ends of that copper tubing are going to be 1/4" compression fittings which are pretty common in the world of "ice makers", so that's what you're going to look for at the home store. You will need to get a short "ice maker line" which are normally braided plastic lines to take the place of that filter. You might need to get one longer than needed, but that's the price of convenience. The ice maker line will probably have one male end and one female end, so you will also need to get a compression coupling to connect the female end of the line to your female copper fitting.

The other option is going to be to get a short piece of copper tube and use compression couplings on both ends to fill the gap left by the filter. You'll need a tubing cutter and will probably end up buying 10' of copper tube just for this repair.

You don't show the rest of the copper line you have installed, but since it is somewhat flexible, check and see if the two ends can just be pulled together. Be careful not to kink the tube, but it might be possible if there is some slack in the line that you didn't picture.

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  • It looks like the copper tubing from the left end of the filter just curves around and goes over to the saddle valve in the very upper right corner of the picture. There should be plenty of tubing there to flex the two ends together and use an appropriate compression fitting to join the two tubings. – Michael Karas Apr 6 at 17:41
  • @MichaelKaras, yea, that's why I mentioned it, but I couldn't really tell what was going on. That would be the easiest fix - one compression coupling and done, and filter could be added back easily later. – JPhi1618 Apr 6 at 19:12

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