I've been living in my current house for almost a year now, it was built in 1955, so there is a lot of work to be done.

During the pre-purchase inspection I was told that a saddle valve in the basement would inevitably pop open and leak and that we should get rid of it as soon as possible. Now might be a good time as I have other plumbing work planned.

Here is a picture of the saddle valve:

enter image description here

I have soldering equipment in the house, but have never done any soldering other than for electronic components. I don't really want to set the house on fire, so I was thinking maybe of using a sharkbite, there is a sharkbite already used on the same pipe further down:

enter image description here

I have an angle grinder which is probably fine for cutting the pipe once the saddle valve is removed.

Is sharkbite the way to go? Should they be used sparingly?

  • 6
    I would use a proper tubing cutter. Almost always get nice straight cuts, which sharkbites like.
    – crip659
    Sep 25, 2023 at 23:10
  • I have a cutter but I think it's meant for PEX. Are copper cutters the ones you clamp to the pipe and rotate around the pipe?
    – PaulG
    Sep 25, 2023 at 23:15
  • 6
    @PaulG: Yes. Give the knob a half-twist tighter each time you go around, and it'll just push copper out of the way until it cuts through. They're cheap enough.
    – keshlam
    Sep 25, 2023 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


That is not a saddle valve, it is a grounding clamp. You can even see the tip of the old wire still sticking out from under the screw clamp.

enter image description here

  • Really? So you're telling me it's not even penetrating the pipe?
    – PaulG
    Sep 26, 2023 at 2:08
  • 2
    Yes, really. That’s what it is.
    – nobody
    Sep 26, 2023 at 2:09
  • @PaulG; yeah, although I do have concerns about it being there because the rust on it indicates that it is steel (as opposed to bronze, brass, or copper). Steel placed on copper pipe can cause electrolytic corrosion due to the dissimilar metals. I would remove it, while praying that corrosion didn't cause a pinhole under it. I don't see any wires connected to it, so no reason to replace it... Sep 26, 2023 at 2:49
  • 1
    Another thing... I hope the "other plumbing work planned" includes moving that stop valve in the background of your picture to an accessible location. It is really not helpful for those valves to be in crawlspaces, walls, or other areas not readily reachable by the occupant. It might also not be correct by code. Sep 26, 2023 at 2:53
  • That explains why it's a ball of rust on what would be brass. DO NOT TOUCH. Unless you're going to isolate it from the metal straps back there too, and all the other ones we can't see. W/o it being a 'break' in the pipe, dielectric concerns should be low. "Steel placed on copper pipe can cause electrolytic corrosion" to the steel so w/e. It's actually a good thing? But I suspect your actual dielectric needs a look at (or isn't to be found...).
    – Mazura
    Sep 28, 2023 at 6:11

Aside that what you are shoving is not saddle valve but a grounding clap, here are some tips how to cut a pipe.

Using a tube cutter is old way, but cleaner than angle grinder.

It will give you a clean cut and perfectly perpendicular to the tube.

The shark bite is somewhat sensitive to uneven tube cut.

Using the angle grinder is fastest way but requires skills to make a perfectly perpendicular cut. It also leaves lots of residue even inside the pipe which you must clean up, otherwise it will get stuck in the valves. With that said, I use angle grinder, but put a mark on the pipe as guide. For that I use masking tape and wound two around the pipe leaving a small spacing between them to act as my guide.

  • 1
    Not wrong, but not really relevant as the thing in the picture is not a saddle valve.
    – nobody
    Sep 26, 2023 at 2:12
  • Just close it and leave it. If it isn't dripping, it's fine. Even if it is dripping, it's likely to clog itself in a week or two. Leaking out of the actual supply, then get a 1/4" compression cap and use tefflon tape. +1 because the question is Getting rid of an old saddle valve which is a no if it doesn't leak. Or what you said if it doesn't stop.
    – Mazura
    Sep 28, 2023 at 6:18

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