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Repairs to galvanized 1/2 supply

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  • Repairs to galvanized 1/2 supply

    I was asked by a client to disconnect a faulty humidifier attached to a furnance. The 1/4" supply to the humidifier disappeared between a joist and a duct. I was able to locate the spot where the saddle valve was in the finished ceiling, because it had been dripping and staining the drywall. The stain was only about an inch and a half in diameter, so I figured it was only dripping due to summer humidity levels.
    Upon cutting a hole in the ceiling, I discovered that the saddle valve had been installed on galvanized pipe. I have never seen this before, and have no idea how they managed to pierce that pipe with a brass saddle valve.
    Initially I was going to just close the valve, patch the drywall and call it a day, but the valve pissed out water in anything except the wide open position.
    I could cap the humidifier end of the 1/4" copper, but the clamps on the valve are badly corroded, and I told the client there was a very real flood potential by leaving it in place.
    I could try and remove and replace the saddle valve, but I run the risk of blowing apart the pipe, or not getting the new one to seal properly.
    The obvious thing, as far as I'm concerned, would be to remove this 100 year old galvanized completely. Unfortunately this woman is on a fixed income, and ripping out the entire ceiling is not an option. Also, I have no idea how much galvanized there is. Copper is coming out of the wall on the main and second floors, but what is in the walls?

    Any suggestions on how to deal with this scenario?

  • #2
    The galvanize is sacrificial to the copper and will continue corroding. As a temporary repair you may be able to use a repair clamp where the saddle valve was installed but it would only be a temporary repair.


    BTW: They likely installed the saddle valve by drilling a hole in the galvanize. Those saddle valves are illegal to install and should never be used.
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!


    • #3

      A longer lasting repair would be to remove the galvinized section and replace it with copper or better yet, pex
      One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.