I need to shut off the water supply to my leaking GE profile fridge. I
figure I can buy ice at the grocery store, and we don't use the water
dispenser because there's no filter. In the basement, the small copper pipe
going to the fridge joins the main water supply with some sort of small tap
that seems to screw into the main pipe. It has a thin bar that you can
tighten/untighten. I turned it clockwise, but water started to drip out.
Counter-clockwise again, as far as it will go, but flow still getting
through. Is this type of fitting capable of being shut off? Or do I need
to pull the thing out... Is there another way of closing it down?
What you are describing is called a "saddle valve".
I'm assuming you are saying that the drip is coming from the vicinity of
the valve and not from your leaking GE profile fridge, though your
description wasn't that specific.\
If it is from the valve:
Chances are the rubber washer which seals the body of the valve against
the surface of the pipe has dried up and shrunk, or rotted out.
You can try tightening the screw(s) which hold the valve onto the pipe
to see if that squeezes the washer enough to make it seal again.
If it doesn't, and since you say you don't want to fix the fridge, you
could just remove the saddle valve and block the hole in the pipe with a
clamp type pipe patch. (This ssuming you don't have the tools and
experience to tackle a full blown soldered slip coupling repair.)
If the valve is leaking where it connects to the copper tubing and you don't
want to use the water anyway then the repair is easy. Turn off the water,
remove the valve, install a compression coupling.
You will need a tubing cutter so that you can cut the tubing on each side of
the hole made by the valve. Buy a cheap one. No soldering required.
Do not use power tools on a tube filled with water, power tools are not
required for this job anyway. All you need is two wrenches and a tubing
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