Soldering near drywall

When soldering service stops or caps next to drywall, before I fire up the torch, I take one of those plastic oil bottles with an extendable spout that I have previously removed the oil and cleaned well. Then I put clean water in the bottle.

There is usually enough space around the pipe coming out of the wall for the small extender tube to fit into. I squirt in a small amount of water — not enough to create mold, but just enough to wet the inside of the drywall to keep it safe during soldering.

I find that doing this does not allow any little embers to start smoldering. I can sleep better at night.

Joe Gosselin

Queen City Plumbing & Heating Co.

Manchester, New Hampshire


Clearing a clogged toilet

I recently had a toilet that just wouldn’t flush. The siphon jet had very little flow to make the toilet flush.

I pulled the toilet and removed the tank, but found no apparent blockages. I took it outside and flushed the toilet from every angle with a garden hose, then reset the toilet, but it still wouldn’t flush.

I adapted my air compressor nozzle to a piece of ¼-inch copper tube pushed it up into the jet hole. I wrapped a rag around the tube to make a seal and gave it a few shots of air. Several flushes and shots of air later, the toilet was flushing like new again. This made my customer — who was also my wife — and me very happy!

Joe Zuback

T & J Plumbing

Pinedale, Wyoming


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.