Cutting brittle plastic pipe

When trying to cut through plastic pipe PVC, CPVC, etc. with ratchet cutters, sometimes the pipe is hard to cut through and may be a little brittle. So just as the blade starts to bite into the pipe, I take a little primer/cleaner and touch the blade with the dauber so that it runs over the blade and flows onto the pipe (you only need a little bit of cleaner). This instantly softens the pipe just enough to make the blade flow through the pipe like a hot knife through butter. This also works great if you are using one-handed 2-inch PVC cutters and you are cutting through 1-1/4-inch to 2-inch pipe. It makes cutting through any plastic pipe so much easier, and the brittle pipe won’t crack.

Kenny Waite

D.W. Waters Career Center

Tampa, Fla..


Securing an inside cutter

When using an inside cutter on a drill, you take regular masking or duct tape and tape the inside cutter to the drill. That way, the inside cutter won’t come loose from the drill and fall in your pipe.

Nick LeMeunier

Nick’s Plumbing

Slidell, La.


Changing an expansion tank

An expansion tank full of water can be as heavy as a lead bowling ball. I use a valve stem remover off my van tire to open the Schrader valve on the bottom of the tank. Put a bucket under it and turn it a few times just to let air get in, then drain. It saves my back and does not make a mess.

Ray Hurilla

Ray Hurilla Plumbing & Heating Co.

Lewiston, Maine


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.