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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

When I had my HVAC replaced, I also purchased an Aprilaire 700 humidifier that the HVAC company said they would install for me. When they did this it has never actually worked properly, first because they wired it wrong (and placed the sensor/control on the supply rather than the return). I have it wired correctly; however, I have no water going into the humidifier. I can hear the solenoid clicking when in test mode but I do not feel the pipe getting warm as it should if filling with hot water. I have no water coming out of the drain either.

I believe the line or the saddle valve may have gotten corroded since I had this installed prior to having a water softener. The problem I am having with troubleshooting is that they installed the saddle valve on the main hot water pipe coming directly out of the water heater. I am curious if I shut down the main water supply to the house, but detach the saddle valve will all the hot water in my water heater come rushing out? Should they have not tapped the main pipe hot water pipe coming from the water heater? What would be the best way for me to remove the saddle and replace it without making a complete mess or having hot water spray from the hole? Do I need to shut down the main water supply and then run hot water until nothing comes out to make sure the water heater is empty or will this potentially cause damage to the water heater?

Much appreciated!!
 

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If you turn off the main supply to the house and take off the saddle valve, water will come out. However it will just be the water in the higher pipes, its won’t be the water in the tank. You could close the saddle valve, install a new one next to it, and move the copper tubing to the new tap.

In the close-up picture of the tap, looks like the bottom bracket is in direct contact with the copper hot water pipe. It should be isolated. A wrapnwith electrical tape would work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you turn off the main supply to the house and take off the saddle valve, water will come out. However it will just be the water in the higher pipes, its won’t be the water in the tank. You could close the saddle valve, install a new one next to it, and move the copper tubing to the new tap.

In the close-up picture of the tap, looks like the bottom bracket is in direct contact with the copper hot water pipe. It should be isolated. A wrapnwith electrical tape would work.
Installing a new one next to it sounds like a good way to at least see if the valve is the problem. Should I still turn the main water off to the house before doing this? Or could I get away with closing the old one and applying a new one in front of it, I would assume when the pipe gets pierced the valve closes it as it punctures through? Then swap the copper tubing and open the new one up.

What would be the concern with having the bottom bracket in contact with the copper hot water pipe?

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
do you have a shutoff for the water heater ? use that, then open a hot water faucet somewhere for a minute.
The blue handle beside the white pipe shuts off the water going into the water softener from the main. The blue one to the right of that should shut off water to the water heater. So just flip that one and then run the hot water until the water heater empties or is that even necessary (I wasn't sure if hot water from inside the water heater would come up through the hole or not)?

Thanks for your help!
 

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YEP.... Saddle valves cn be a PIA....in new work, I always try to avoid them and do a 1/4 turn ball valve.

If i did not see all the evident corrosion there, I would say just try screwing that in and out to see if you can dislodge any blocking corrosion...you coud also try tightening down slighly the packing nut which might be the cause of the exterior corrosion.

But, I think I would turn off the hot water and drain as much will drain from your plumbing as above explained, and remove that valve and polish up any corrosion on the pipe and reinstall a new needle valve in its old hole....it should seal fine.
I guess I don't like putting in a complete new one and leaving that in place.

(If that pipe was somehow deformed or would not polish up, I think shark bite makes a saddle valve replacement that all you have to do is cut the copper and snap it in.)
 

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The blue one to the right of that should shut off water to the water heater. So just flip that one and then run the hot water until the water heater empties or is that even necessary (I wasn't sure if hot water from inside the water heater would come up through the hole or not)?

Thanks for your help!
turn off the water heater valve. then open a hot faucet that is lower that your saddle valve until the faucet water stops coming out
 

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Assuming that is a self-piercing saddle valve; The "installers" may not have fully pierced the copper pipe. Try fully "closing" the saddle valve by turn the handle clockwise, into the body of the valve, thus driving the point down into (and hopefully through) the copper pipe. Then see if you get water into your system.

If it is NOT a self-piercing saddle valve (they do make them) they had to drill a 1/4" holed and then position the valve and gasket over the hole and clamp it down - if they missed the hole, the gasket could be blocking the water flow - in which case - turn off the water and drain the excess as described by others, remove the valve and reposition it correctly.
 
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Wherever you do your tap you need to throw that saddle valve in the trash asap. They are junk - leaks waiting to happen and generally in out of the way place so you do not notice it until damage has taken place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ultimately I would like to replace the saddle valve as I know they are junk, but I was not sure about cutting into the hot water pipe that comes directly from the water heater. Following lenaitch's advice, I turned off the saddle valve and removed the pipe from the solenoid to discover that I do have water flow, so now I am thinking I have a faulty solenoid. I can definitely hear it click on but it does not seem to be opening to allow any water to go through it. Looks like a $25 Amazon purchase and hopefully I will finally have this thing up and running.

I appreciate all the advice and humor. First time home owner, but I enjoy learning how to do these things myself, just make sure I put in enough research before doing any damage. Thank you for allowing me to pick your brains.
 

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Easy peasy to get rid of the saddle valve. Cut the HW pipe someplace convenient and install a T and then a 1/4 turn ball valve off to the humidifier. Then use a butt coupler to repair the pipe where the saddle valve is. Or install the T in the current location if that's what you want. If you are new to soldering practice on some scrap before you get into this.

Ultimately I would like to replace the saddle valve as I know they are junk, but I was not sure about cutting into the hot water pipe that comes directly from the water heater. Following lenaitch's advice, I turned off the saddle valve and removed the pipe from the solenoid to discover that I do have water flow, so now I am thinking I have a faulty solenoid. I can definitely hear it click on but it does not seem to be opening to allow any water to go through it. Looks like a $25 Amazon purchase and hopefully I will finally have this thing up and running.

I appreciate all the advice and humor. First time home owner, but I enjoy learning how to do these things myself, just make sure I put in enough research before doing any damage. Thank you for allowing me to pick your brains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Humidifier is finally running. After I removed the solenoid, I noticed that the water line going into the humidifier has a tiny pinhole sized orifice inside the pipe that had some blockage. When I scrapped it away, water started to bead up. Put it all back together and now functioning. Of course it was the last thing I checked and probably the easiest fix if I would have started there, but after rewiring the thing and moving the sensor/controller to the return, I went with the largest issues that could have been wrong.

Thanks again! One project down!
 
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