Degreasing PEX tools

As I receive Pro PEX loaner tools off of commercial job sites, they always need cleaning and degreasing. I use a camp fuel like Coleman or Crown — it is less expensive, works quickly and does not smell like other solvents. It evaporates fast and does not leave a film.

Joe Alahverde

Uponor North America

Hainesport, N.J..


Installing wax rings

I install two wax rings as follows.

Place a wax ring in position and pound it with your fist to make sure it seals to the cleaned surface of the closet ring. Then, stretch the second wax ring so that it is 1 inch larger in diameter; pound it down to seal it to the first wax ring. Finally, set the toilet by placing it into position with the closet bolts and gently sit on the bowl to make the final seal, forcing the wax into the bottom side of the bowl.

This method prevents the wax from blowing out when plunging and prevents resetting the toilet. If your riser on the closet bend is below the floor level, a short piece of 4-inch pipe can be leaded in or glued in to bring it flush with the top of the closet ring.

Loren D. Sanders Sr.

Retired Plumber

San Diego, Calif.


Fixing leaky shower valves

I clear small drains using General Super-Vee slide chuck. For below-counter applications — i.e. a kitchen drain, basin, etc. — sit cross-legged and rest the Super-Vee on your knee (long pants help!). Run the Super-Vee, open chuck, fast-feed the cable with the opposite hand into the drain until resistance is felt, and slide chuck closed.

Work the cable back and forth until resistance is gone. Proceed till the line is clear. This takes much less time and causes less fatigue.

John Burns

John Burns Plumbing

Morganton, N.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.