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  • Nifty Plumbing Tricks

    There is so much experience in this forum, I would love learning some of your butt-saving tricks.

    This is one you all probably already use -- when you have to replace a pvc collar that's glued on or inside 4" pvc. I use a 3" coupling with as much 3" pvc as necessary to make the span from the pipe to the floor.

    I put some pics on a website for some young plumbers here that were curious.
    http://raisecollar.timrbaker.com/

    The new tile floor scenario is a pretty common occurence. I had one last week though, where the former jackleg had used a fluidmaster collar (the one with the rubber ring at the bottom and allen screws at the top--made for cast iron) inside of 4" pvc pipe and screwed it to the tile floor. After about a year it leaked into the downstairs condo everytime it was flushed. (I've got pics of that somewhere I'll dig out if anyone wants to see it).

    What are some of your favorite time saver, get your head out of a noose tricks? Or favorite homemade or revamped tools?
    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

  • #2
    Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

    Use your tape measure to cut nylon lay-out string for walls and elevations.Pull the string tight and hold 3-4 inches of tape out rigid in front and between your thumb and forefinger,use the sharp edge to cut in one stroke.Some of the old timers don't even know they don't have to waste time going to the truck to get a knife.

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    • #3
      Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

      use a rag on the bottom of the tank when changing ballcocks instead of draining


      when new seats are no where to be found i wire brush and fill with solder, i have even repaired seat-less faucet with solder and the dremel them smooth

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      • #4
        Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

        slimtim what's with the face on the w.c tank

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        • #5
          Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

          I have so many tricks I do, I couldn't possibly post them all here. One thing I do regarding ballcocks, is use a hand-pump to suck all the water out before I take out the old one. It takes only 30 seconds and makes for clean, dry work.
          Also I use a small, electric pump with hose connections to pump out water heaters for changeouts, its 10x faster than gravity draining.
          These are just basic stuff that most guys already do, I might post more weird ones as I think of them.
          Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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          • #6
            Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

            The pics on the website are the same ones I sent to the customer, on a single page, along with their invoice. I faded a picture of my eyes onto their toilet tank. It may be a little disconcerting for some but you would have to know this client. She thought it was a hoot.
            "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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            • #7
              Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

              if you ever get a frost free hose-bib and the stem has snapped you can bevel both ends at the break and braze them.


              this is only if it not easily accessible

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              • #8
                Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

                For just the ballcock change out I use either a piece of rubber (like the kind in a repair clamp) or if I forgot to bring that in with me, the cardboard end of the ballcock box is super.

                If I have to reset a tank or bowl, I suck the water out with my cordless dewalt wet-vac. That is one of my favorite cordless tools. Whether it's a hole in the yard with water in it or a toilet or trap that "sucker" is the best. If it broke down today I would have a new one on the truck by tomorrow.
                "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                • #9
                  Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

                  Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                  For just the ballcock change out I use either a piece of rubber (like the kind in a repair clamp) or if I forgot to bring that in with me, the cardboard end of the ballcock box is super.

                  If I have to reset a tank or bowl, I suck the water out with my cordless dewalt wet-vac. That is one of my favorite cordless tools. Whether it's a hole in the yard with water in it or a toilet or trap that "sucker" is the best. If it broke down today I would have a new one on the truck by tomorrow.


                  I never knew they had one i might have to go shopping tomorrow

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                  • #10
                    Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

                    Originally posted by rombo View Post
                    I never knew they had one i might have to go shopping tomorrow
                    It uses the 18v battery. It also has a 120v cord. I do alot of sprinkler pipe repairs so I keep this beside me to suck the water and dirt out of the pipes before glueing.

                    Oh, and when you scape all that cr*p on the inside wall of the shower drain. This will suck it out of the trap in a second.
                    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                    • #11
                      Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

                      ya i usually lug in the big ridgid to suck the shower drains

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                      • #12
                        Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

                        Our ever so knowledgeable and not heard from here recently Bob D told us we could cut cast iron with a chisel.

                        That one really saved me a trip down 22 floors to my truck to get a pair of snaps when the general told me the owner wanted to lower the washing machine box under the granite counter top for the new front loaders.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

                          [quote=drtyhands;132528]Our ever so knowledgeable and not heard from here recently Bob D told us we could cut cast iron with a chisel.

                          Do you mind explaining that one? I'd be afraid of splitting it.
                          "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                          • #14
                            Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

                            [quote=SlimTim;132534]
                            Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                            Our ever so knowledgeable and not heard from here recently Bob D told us we could cut cast iron with a chisel.

                            Do you mind explaining that one? I'd be afraid of splitting it.
                            Just tap the chisel around the pipe, progressively hitting harder each time around the pipe. 4" cracks after about three times around for me.

                            If I have to solder a line with standing water, I'll blow nitrogen in the pipe(i also do ac so it's on the truck). When you turn off the nitrogen, it'll come streaming out. You can do the same thing by injecting air with your mouth into the pipe.

                            Carry a foam pad with you, great tool you'll wonder how you did without it.
                            Last edited by gear junkie; 03-30-2008, 11:34 PM. Reason: so my post count stays down so Greg doesn't complain
                            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Nifty Plumbing Tricks

                              Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                              Our ever so knowledgeable and not heard from here recently Bob D told us we could cut cast iron with a chisel.

                              That one really saved me a trip down 22 floors to my truck to get a pair of snaps when the general told me the owner wanted to lower the washing machine box under the granite counter top for the new front loaders.
                              This can also be done on clay pipe.
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