Fixing a leak in a tight space

We were recently called out to repair a leak on a 3” PVC fitting hub-to-hub glue joint. The customer was a senior citizen on a fixed income. The leak was below the first-floor bathroom and above a finished tiled shower ceiling in a basement bathroom. I could reach the fittings that were in the joist space from the unfinished side of the basement, but there wasn’t enough space to allow the use of tools.

I cut a 4” piece of 4” PVC pipe and then cut a 2” section out of the top of the pipe. I cleaned, primed and glued the hubs of the fittings and the pipe, reached in and stretched the 4” and snapped it in to place around the 3” hubs. I cleaned and glued the 2” piece in to place at the top of my homemade repair coupling to complete the repair. The result was a permanent repair for $200 (instead of $2,000 to remove and replace the tiled shower ceiling) and a very happy customer.

Michael Letsinger

VP Pearson Plumbing

Rockford, Illinois


Matching new toilet to existing floor

You sell the customer a new toilet, but someone improperly installed the floor around the old toilet. Obviously the footprint won’t match, and the customer doesn’t want to re-tile. What do you do?

Cut pieces of 1.5” PVC pipe to whatever the floor depth is and fill the space in with cement. The PVC will provide a sturdy base for the toilet while the cement dries.

Jason Ravitz

Master Plumber, Inc.

Millville, Massachusetts


Kneeling in comfort

We all have to kneel down to get to shut-off valves, whether it’s behind a toilet or under a sink. I purchased some swimming kickboards from the local dollar store and/or discount pool store. These are the boards they use to teach children to swim.

They are perfect to kneel on or sit on. They are lightweight and don’t take up much room in the truck, and the best part is they protect your knees. No more kneeling on cold tile or concrete.

Greg Szumowski

GNZ Mechanical

Miller Place, New York


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