Replacing steam radiator vents

When replacing steam radiator vents, sooner or later one will break off at the threads. Sometimes you can extract old threads. When you cannot, I’ve had luck drilling it out with a larger drill bit than the threads and using a two-part epoxy — the putty type — to fill; then, tap the putty with a tap and die set to 1/4 inch. Let set and the new vent will thread in. It’s a delicate operation, but it will get the radiator back up and heating to avoid a cold room.

Mike Fiore

Armor Plumbing

Exeter, Rhode Island


Removing a bonnet nut

While trying to remove a bonnet nut for a Delta shower valve, if the nut is frozen, apply heat from a torch to free up the bonnet instead of trying to cut it off and possibly damaging the threads or twisting the valve off in the wall. Also, grease the threads when you are done.

Robert Brandow

C.J.R. Plumbing

Chandler, Arizona


Changing out valves from washing machine boxes

It is difficult to change out valves in washing machine boxes, as there is limited space to turn and hold back these valves. I use a hose adapter, ¾-inch female hose by ½-inch FIP, and screw it on the spigot of the boiler drain with a ½-inch-by-12-inch nipple. Then I have enough room to hold back with another wrench to break it loose. Finally, I use channel locks to compete the job.

Fred Weber

Local 130

Gurnee, Illinois


Send Us Your Tool Tips

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