Removing a push-on hose

The most common way of removing the hose from a barbed fitting is to take a knife and cut down the hose. While that is efficient, it can do more harm than good. Using a knife or razor blade to remove the hose can damage the barb on the fitting and lead to a leak.

Instead of using a knife, remove the hose with a soldering iron. Just add a plastic cutting tip to it and bend it 90 degrees so it acts like a cutting blade. Then, after letting it heat up, slowly use it to cut down the hose.

While this method might take a little longer than using a knife, it will leave the barb perfectly intact. I know this because we did it over 800 times at a trade show without scoring the barb once.

Dick Raczuk

Koul Tools

Lake Havasu City, Ariz.


Removing plastic nuts

If you’re having trouble removing plastic nuts holding down a faucet or toilet flush valve etc., they can be removed easily with a sharp wood chisel and a few light taps with a hammer. For brass/metal nuts, you can use a drill bit on a cordless drill to cut away a section and peel off the nut with a flat head screwdriver. Wear safety glasses!

Joseph Simpson

George A. Green plumbing

Woodbury, Conn.


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.


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.