Water heater replacement back-saver

When installing water heaters, I use the water heater carton as a tool. First, I cut the top of the box off at 32 in., flip it over and it becomes a “work table.” Next, I finish cutting the box along the bottom and down one side, unfold it and this becomes a “drop cloth” to protect the floor that goes into the mechanical room.

When finished, I turn over my work table and it becomes a trash can. This saves my back and saves time by putting my tools at waist height. It makes the most out of something most people just throw away.

David Perdew

Noble Plumbing Service

Pierce, Colo.


Water heater replacement time-saver

While I am draining the old water heater into a 5-gal.bucket, I use a float-style sump pump to automatically pump the water up and out of the basement. I do this while I am preparing the new water heater installation. This saves me a lot of time to remove the old water heater easily.

Kenneth Mucciarelli

Tri-County Plumbing

Newfield, N.J. 


Remove threaded drain plugs

Instead of chopping out brass 4-in. threaded drain plugs on a main sewer trap with a sharp chisel, I find I’m able to unscrew them easily. I simply clean the area where the plug is screwed into the sewer trap that’s cast iron with a strong wire brush. Then I melt a candle around the plug where it’s screwed in. I then put a wrench on the nut, give the wrench a quick tap with a hammer and unscrew the plug.

Bob Wachtel

Bob Wachtel Plumbing & Heating Co.

Goshen, Conn.


Send Us Your Tool Tips

If you have an idea that has saved you time and money, Plumbing & Mechanical would like to share your tip with our readers. The first-place winner each month will receive a Kinetic Water Ram from General Pipe Cleaners with a retail value of $325. Read here for more details.