If your water has a lot of calcium and magnesium salts in it and it limes up the manifold of a tub faucet, turn off the water and pour muriatic acid down the inverted or fitting-rigged shower arm with both the faucet handles turned on — or just the side that has less output. It will clear that lime quickly and completely.
Bruce David Johnson
Licensed Master Plumber, self-employed
Installing a shower arm
When installing a shower arm in wall, instead of using a strap wrench, I have found it easier to use the handle of my Chan-nellock or screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver handle inside the shower arm and spin around until tight.
Repairing a sabotaged toilet
A 75-year-old American Standard with a wall-hung tank wasn’t working. On the first flush, it would fill, but the deteriorated Korky flapper would not hold water. I replaced it. On the second flush, no water would fill. It had a new Fluidmaster PRO fill valve. I took the cover off and flushed. Water squirted 6 inches over the fill valve. I put the cover on, but no water would come through. I decided to remove the fill valve. Problem solved! Someone had put a penny over the fill valve water intake in the toi-let tank, probably for revenge for no maintenance man service! The penny almost fit, it would shift, allowing a little water to fill at times. In 45 years of plumbing, I have never seen such a crafty trickster as this!
Christianson Plumbing and Heating
Albert Lea, Minnesota
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