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We have a leaky saddle valve feeding our humidifier. We eventually want to get a real valve installed, but for now are looking for a cheap near-term solution.

Here is my concern: the original valve was installed on the cold water line, but was put in very close to the water heater input (about 8" above it). If I turn off the cold water supply and remove this valve, is there any chance that i will get water spraying back at me from the water heater? Are there any sure ways to prevent this? Just looking to do an easy DIY repair without getting scalded.

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Yes, it's good possibility that if you don't purposefully depressurize the lines first, you will get spray. But this is easy to do.

  1. Turn off the hot water heater. If it's electric, there is usually an off position on the knob on the front, or turn it off at the breaker panel. If it's gas, just turn the knob to pilot.
  2. Turn off the cold water supply to the house.
  3. Open the hot and cold taps in a sink somewhere. When the water stops flowing, you're good. If you want to be really safe, you could drain a little bit of water out of the tank using the valve at the bottom.
  4. Complete your repair to the saddle valve.
  5. Turn on the cold water supply to the house.
  6. Open the cold tap on a sink. Wait for air to bleed out and a good water flow. Repeat with the hot tap. The hot water could take a much longer time to flow properly.
  7. Turn your water heater back on.
  • Thanks, I had read something similar to this, but wanted to get some confirmation before proceeding. – Daedalus Nov 25 '14 at 20:44
  • Shut the water heater off first. They burn out easily if they try to heat when there is no water in them (or if the top element is exposed, for electrics, which s a long way from empty.) Then purge air from the hot lines after you turn the water supply back on, before turning the heater back on. – Ecnerwal Nov 25 '14 at 20:48
  • In some parts of the world (e.g. UK) it is common to have a cold-water header tank in the loft. You should turn off the outflow valves from this before opening cold taps to drain your cold-water pipes - otherwise you'll end up taking a very long time and wasting a lot of clean water. – RedGrittyBrick Nov 26 '14 at 10:58

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