Freeze a pipe to make repairs

I work in a hospital that is going on 50 years old, and a lot of the water shutoffs are hard to find or they cannot be shut off completely. So for the past year, if I can’t shut off a water line to fix it or to replace a fitting, I freeze it.

I use a pipe-freezing kit called Cold Shot. You take the special fittings to clamp around whatever size pipe you are working on and freeze it. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes, and then you have about 10 minutes to work on it. I have to say, it has paid for itself in the last year. 

Tim Lee

Goodland Regional Medical Center

Goodland, Kan.


Install or reinstall floor-mounted toilet bowls

After inspecting the flange, set the bowl on the flange and outline with a lead pencil. Remove the bowl, mix up plaster of Paris, fill in the entire outline area with plaster, set the bowl and wipe up the excess. The bowl will be rock solid — no need to shim and easy clean-up.

John Burns

John Burns Plumbing

Morganton, N.C.


Troubleshooting a submersible pump

If the well is producing low water volume, the submersible pump inlet screens may be clogged. If replacing the filter media doesn’t help, check the amperage — if it’s over 10 amps, you’re probably clogged.

Dave Bauerly

Ladd Service Co.

Tonganoxie, Kan.


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.