5

My new fridge has an ice maker, and I want to connect it to the cold water under the kitchen sink. This is how that pipe looks. Should I

  1. Use a saddle tapping valve to punch a hole in the bottom pipe?
  2. Insert some sort of splitter between the bottom pipe and the shut-off valve that's attached to the mesh hose?
  3. Something else?

Plumbing under kitchen sink

  • 3
    that looks kind of dodgy, is it leaking? – Jasen Nov 13 '20 at 5:17
  • 8
    Never use saddle valves. They're a garbage product and are completely unreliable. – J... Nov 13 '20 at 12:27
  • 2
    I edited to remove the request for "best" since that's opinion based and could be closed. This is getting good answers and it would be silly to close it for something simple like that. – FreeMan Nov 13 '20 at 12:35
13

Something like this? (Brass Quick Tee Adapter)

enter image description here

Do not use a saddle valve. In many places they are illegal...for good reason

  • How do I install a quick tee myself? – Jack Tanner Nov 13 '20 at 18:45
  • 1
    @JackTanner you see all those threads? – FreeMan Nov 13 '20 at 19:01
  • 1
    Ok fair enough 😂 I was just checking if it's more complex in some non-obvious way – Jack Tanner Nov 13 '20 at 19:42
  • Get the right size. If you search for "Brass Quick Tee Adapter" you'll find some helpful information. – Steve Wellens Nov 14 '20 at 5:26
6

The best way will be a matter of opinion.

In my opinion the best way would be to remove your existing valve and solder a male threaded adapter to the pipe. Then attach a brass threaded tee. Then install two separate valves, one for the sink faucet and one for the icemaker.

  • 1
    I edited to remove the request for "best" since that's opinion based and could be closed. You may want to adjust your otherwise excellent answer. – FreeMan Nov 13 '20 at 12:35
5

It depends on your experience level.

Can you solder?

Do you have pex crimp tools?

If the answer is no to the above two then I'd go for the quick tee adapter. When something in the house breaks that needs a plumber then have them tees and shutoffs in.

The shutoff in the picture is terrible and I always find those leak, if that isn't working anymore another DIY friendly option is to sharkbite a solution. The push fittings are a little more pricey and I wouldn't bury them in a wall but they are dead easy to use and have good reliability.

2

I'm not a professional plumber, but in my DIY opinion, I'd remove what's left of the old, green 1/2" valve and just start over.

In my limited experience, trying to desolder the valve will likely cause the joint on the other side of the wall to come free or leak, so I'd suggest cutting it. Use a pipe cutter, hack saw, oscillating tool, or whatever else it takes to cut it off.

Just remember to protect the pipes, electrical, wood, and other combustibles/fragile bits below and around it, or you'll have lots more problems. That includes when you solder on the new fitting(s).

Clean up the cut and maybe add a 6" extension so you aren't right up against the wall. Maybe instead of an extension, use a nipple to convert it to PEX or something easier to work with. The tools for PEX are inexpensive and the materials for PEX are less expensive and easier to work with than copper. CPVC is also an option and similar to using PVC piping in ease of use, but also has similar drawbacks when using it. Don't get me wrong, PEX has limitations, too, but so does copper.

Regardless, once you have a new starting point, you can do whatever you want to from there. You can add whatever valve (not vampire/saddle valve) or splitter/tee you want.

So yes, this will take time to complete the project, but it's better than having a leaky or cobbled together mess. The current 1/2" valve shows some leakage already, with the bit of white on the "top" side (WRT the pic), and it's almost guaranteed to leak at some point in the future, so just deal with it now, when you have eyes on it already.

And, as a reminder from the comments below, turn off the water before doing any work. Taking a shower shouldn't be done while you're trying to work. Well, at least not for this job.

BTW, what's that bubblegum mess near the fitting on the end? Is that just solder from a messy previous joint that was removed or is that some attempt at a sketchy repair? Also, I hate compression fittings like your current one. I just don't trust them. I've seen them leak too many times in my non-professional time working with plumbing, car repair, and doing other stuff. PEX uses a style of compression fitting, but it's a much more reliable fit, so I'm ok with it. I just replaced some of my own copper and it worked just fine. And I took the advice of my dad, who wasn't a professional plumber either, but worked closely with them for years and they used PEX enough for him to be comfortable with replacing some of his copper with it, too.

  • 1
    You forget: Turn the household water off before cutting and drain the pipes. – Chris Cudmore Nov 13 '20 at 20:21
  • @ChrisCudmore, I took that for granted, but you make a good point. Not everyone will think of that, especially if they are trying to use a saddle/vampire valve. – computercarguy Nov 13 '20 at 20:23
1

FWIW, here's the "after" pic of how a pro (not me!) installed the icemaker connection.enter image description here

  • I'm not surprised the Pro removed the old valve. I'm a little surprised they used compression fittings, though. I would have at least used threaded ends so a valves could still be replaced without solder, but that risks the valve being pointed down and hard to access, too. But, again, I'm a DIYer, and my advice to a pro means as much as the electrons it's written with. :-) Anyway, it looks sooooo much better! Those look like nice 1/4 turn valves, rather than the "normal" 20 (or whatever) turn valve you previously had. – computercarguy Nov 18 '20 at 20:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.