Loosen nuts with heat

To get a Delta Faucet cam nut loose, I add heat to the nut with my electric torch. No open flame! Heat helps expand the nut, causing corrosion to break loose. Also, the tool leaves the faucet finish intact.

William Allen King

King’s Plumbing

Broken Arrow, Okla.


Drain a tank using nitrogen

I always use nitrogen to pressurize the tank and drain the water twice as fast. [You need] a regulator set to 60 psi [and a] ¼-inch hose fitting (from regulator) to pressurize the tank. When I run into a water heater where calcium is clogging the drain valve, I use nitrogen to blow back and unclog the valve. A ¼-inch hose fitting with tapered rubber nozzle will fit into the garden hose (to blow back and unclog the valve). I used to use an air compressor. Locating an outlet and looking for extension cords takes too much time. One nitrogen fill ($15) can do four or five water heaters.

Peter Vagovic

Vagovic Heating and Air Conditioning Corp.

Augusta, Ga.


Hack regulators to test through

When having to test a large gas system with multiple regulators, we always have to pull regulators out because you cannot test through them. So, instead of cutting nipples for each one, we just use a bell reducer on either side with a water heater flex in between. That way, one size fits all and you can then test through!

Marty Pedrick

San Angelo ISD

San Angelo, Texas


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.