Removing a lead poured joint

Normally when removing a lead-poured joint it can be very difficult and dangerous to do in an enclosed space. I have found that by using the right size hole saw, the lead can be cut out of the joint allowing the pipe to be easily pulled out. This removes the need to melt the joint out and cause a fire hazard.

Jonathan Sweeney

Twin City Plumbing and Heating

Fitchburg, Massachusetts


Converting a cast iron bell-and-spigot system to PVC

Install a neoprene gasket into the bell socket. Apply silicon grease on the inside ofthe gasket. Fabricate a driver tool to consist of ¾-inch plywood cut to a 6-inch square. Fasten a floor flange to it. Install one nipple 8 to 12 inches in length with a threaded cap. Now you can drive the PVC pipe into the neoprene gasket. You can use ¾-inch flange and nipple and threaded cap. I made it out of 1-inch material and it works great.

John Burns

John M. Burns Heating, Air and Plumbing

Morganton, North Carolina


Removing plastic shank nuts

When replacing a kitchen or bathroom sink faucet and you have plastic shank nuts to hold the faucet down, you try to remove them with a basin wrench. If they are old and brittle the fins will brake off. I found the best way to get them off is take a 3/4 wood chisel and heat the tip to cherry red, then press the wood chisel through two sides of the plastic nut and it pops right off. Melts through them like butter. I keep a old wood chisel just for that job.

Alec Garrenton

A.T. Plumbing

Roanoke, Virginia


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