So. My old fridge finally went and I will be getting a new one delivered. The company that I am buying the new fridge from is going to haul away my old one. I noticed that I don't have any type of "shut off" behind my fridge for the water line. When I checked my basement, I noticed that there is a single shutoff for my entire bathroom + fridge water line.

My problem is, in order to haul away my old fridge, it has to be disconnected, thus disconnecting it from the water line and, in turn, putting my bathroom out of commission. Is there an easy way to remedy this (I googled around and saw mention of a non-piercing saddle value that can be used?) or should I just deal with having all the water off during disconnect, haul away and re-installation?

Below is a picture of my current situation.

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I went to the hardware store and they gave me this. They said it was a bit overkill but it would work. Do you guys agree?

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  • how do you feel about doing a simple but totally worthwhile plumbing job?
    – Mike Perry
    Jul 11, 2011 at 23:17
  • @Mike - go on...
    – Brian
    Jul 11, 2011 at 23:38
  • 2
    installing a (proper) shutoff valve is an easy job to do and well worth doing in your situation. Trace the flexible copper pipe (1/4inch is standard I believe for water lines into fridges) back to where it connects into the live watering carrying copper pipe (normally 3/4inch OD), at that point put in an appropriately sized "T" piece & shutoff valve (that you will connect the flexible copper back into).
    – Mike Perry
    Jul 12, 2011 at 1:51
  • 1
    This is basically what @chris is talking about copper plug with male thread. Make sure you use PTFE tape to seal the threads.
    – Tester101
    Jul 12, 2011 at 19:47
  • 2
    The valve you got from the store should work, but it should not be a permanent solution. I'm not sure what the code says, but in my opinion valves on soft copper are not a good idea (but that is coming from a guy who hates soft copper).
    – Tester101
    Jul 14, 2011 at 16:13

3 Answers 3


If you're up for it, I would install a valve in the wall while you have the water shut off. When you're done, you'll have a separate shutoff for the fridge and your bathroom available again. To make it look nice, I'd go for a valve box that you mount in the wall:

Picture of wall-mounted valve

  • 3
    When shopping for a valve, make sure you get one that is made for flexible copper tubing. Unless you want to re-plumb the line with rigid copper to the valve, and then continue with flexible copper/PEX after the valve.
    – Tester101
    Jul 12, 2011 at 1:34
  • @Tester101, in a strictly standards compliant way, no. <-- Response is to "Tester101" comment prior to it being edited.
    – Mike Perry
    Jul 12, 2011 at 2:15
  • Please see my edit...
    – Brian
    Jul 14, 2011 at 14:40

Saddle shut-offs are very common, but often fail/leak. You can however install a simple no solder compression fitted shut off valve in the copper 1/4 inch line anywhere in the length. These shut-off valves are only 5 to 10 bucks, easy to install with a tubing cutter, pliers and an adjustable wrench. You will only have to have the water supply to the fridge line turned off for a few minutes to install. Good Luck.

  • 2
    Many saddle valves are really one-use: they are designed to pierce the pipe, then stay open. Usually after you open/close one a few times, it will no longer close completely. The best way is to permanently plumb in the line going to the fridge, and put a real valve on it (quarter-turn ball valves are the best choice, in my opinion).
    – gregmac
    Jul 13, 2011 at 21:47
  • Please see my edit...
    – Brian
    Jul 14, 2011 at 14:40

I don't like the hardware store's answer. While they're on the right track--a shutoff valve--I would use a ball type valve instead. Over the years valves like you picture tend to give trouble. In our house (only 16) I assume all the builder-installed shutoffs to be broken (to date, every one >5 years old has failed when I tried to actually use it) and if I need to use them I consider the first part of the project to be to remove them and replace them with ball valves.

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