Recently, while doing an emergency water heater replacement, I needed some lube for the small O-rings on the mixing valve. Realizing I didn’t have any silicone lube in my solder box, and not wanting to take the chance of tearing the rings, my imagination kicked into gear. I remembered I had a stick of Burt’s Bees lip balm in my truck. The all natural beeswax was easy to apply and worked perfectly.

Mark Giese
Westfield, Wisconsin


JULY 2015

Here at McHenry County College, like any school, we have multiple floor drains in the bathrooms, kitchen and mechanical rooms. Some of these drains are seldom, if ever, used and are in obscure areas, resulting in work orders for a sewer gas odor. The repeat offenders are the drains that accept the discharge from the elevator sump pumps.

My solution: I pour RV antifreeze in these drains as it evaporates at a much slower rate and will not leave a funky smell as vegetable oil does. It is also cheap and nontoxic. When it comes to sewer gas, no news is good news!

Pat Sullivan // McHenry County College
Crystal Lake, Illinois


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