Question about Aprilaire 550 Humidifier

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What is the saddle valve?

In the manual for my Aprilaire 550 humidifier, for summer shutdown it says, "Shut off the water supply to the humidifier by closing the saddle valve." What is a saddle valve and where is it? And if I turn the humidifier to "Off" is it OK to leave the water supply on all summer? Thank you.

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Your humidifier will have either a copper or plastic tubing attached to it. This tubing is the water tubing. If you follow that line to where it "taps" into a water line (near the water heater or a water line under your house), there should be a water shut-off valve. The water shut-off valve could be any type of valve but is normally a saddle valve. You could skip the step of shutting off this valve; however, it is good practice to shut the valve off for two reasons: 1. in the event of a water leak, you will be able to easily locate the valve to shut off the water. 2. if the valve is not "excercised" from time to time, the seals will dry rot and the valve will not be capable of doing it's job when the need arises.

Here is a video showing you how to trace your water line to your saddle valve. There is additional information on the video that you might find helpful as well.

Posted on May 07, 2010

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It's probably the saddle valve. The self-piercing needle rusts and clogs the water line. Replace the saddle valve with a non self piercing one. Also, check the voltage to the solenoid valve on the humidifier. You should be getting 24 ac volts. If not, replace the transformer. If voltage is present and still no water, then replace the solenoid valve (very expensive).

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Feb 27, 2011 | Aprilaire 550 Humidifier

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Hello, check to see that the inlet strainer into the solenoid is clean and no sediment has built up in it, also make sure the outlet of the saddle valve is clear and there is no sediment there.

Feb 14, 2011 | Aprilaire 550 Humidifier

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Yes a new valve seems in order. and yes having the valve on the cold side would create less build up in the filter pad so long as your water dose not come in at 37 degrees. but, I think you have it right.

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1 Answer

We have an old Aprilaire humidifier (Manual adjust)and having problems trying to figure out how to shut it off-for the summer.


close the by pass air flow valve. shut off the water supply and finally flow the thermostat wire to the transformer or the controller and shut off or disconnect. Unit should be serviced before winter. Cell may need to be replaced

Aug 10, 2009 | Aprilaire 550 Humidifier

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you should have a humidistat that should shut it off when set to zero. if the water solenoid is stuck, water will keep coming out even when the system is not heating. all humdifiers will have a water line ran to them. yours is most likely a 1/4"copper line that runs from the water solenoid on the side or bottom of the humidifier to a saddle valve on one of your water lines. this saddle valve is usually installed very close to the water heater. follow the line to the valve and shut the water off. sometimes you have to loosed the nut on the water valve to get it to turn easily. do not loosend the nut more the 1/4 turn and then make sure you tighten it back down after shutting the water off.

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Routing waterline to pad


1/4" flexible copper pipe. Tap into your cold water line using the included saddle valve (pierces the pipe), attach the 1/4" flexible copper pipe to the saddle valve on the cold water pipe and the solenoid valve on humidifier unit using the included compression fittings. Tada!

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