Quickly empty a water heater

For years, when replacing a defective water heater, I simply hooked a garden hose to the bottom drain valve and put a 3/4-by-1/4-inch bushing into the relief valve. Then, I hook my little diaphragm air compressor to it, hold open the relief valve, and in less than ten minutes, the tank is empty. It even leaves the garden hoses empty.


George M. Farago

Farago P+H Co.

Bristol, Conn.


Prevent scratches to bath tubs

When replacing a whirlpool faucet mounted on the tub, sometimes the old valve hole is too small. Drill a new rough-in valve-size hole in a piece of scrap plywood or 1x4, then put it over the existing hole; hold or clamp in place and drill out. This keeps the bit from wandering and scratching the tub.


Sam Schultz

Peine Plumbing & Heating

Farmington, Minn.


Use a hose to lift a water heater

Getting a water heater onto a stand when you are alone can be a challenge. Many of us have the strength to lift an empty heater up but don’t have the grip. An easy solution is to take a short piece of tubing or an old garden hose that is about 3 feet long and wrap it around the back of the heater so that you can hold onto each end with your hands. The hose allows you to keep the heater pulled to your chest. Once you have a good grasp on it you can let your legs do all the work as you lift the heater up onto the stand. 


Shane Wolcansek

Sterling Craft Plumbing & Bath

Boiling Springs, S.C.


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.