Send us your Tool Tips for a chance to win $200 worth of RIDGID tools.

Poor Flushers: One Solution

I have a suggestion for diagnosing a possible stoppage in a commode. Too often, we flush a commode only to watch the water swirl and swirl, but not go down. The real cause may be the age of the commode. The jets and rim flush are loaded up with corrosives that restrict the flow.

The difficulty is getting the customer to appreciate the difference. We make this clear by putting a few ounces of dish soap on the flapper, then flush and watch as the commode drains must better. The soap lubricates the jets, but after it's all gone, the commode is once again a poor flusher.

I have sold many commodes using this technique without wasting any time auguring the unit first. All of our customers love the trick and completely understand the concept.
Mike Roberts
ABC Plumbing & Rooter Co. Inc.
Chandler, Ariz.

Poor Flushers: Another Solution

Take an old screwdriver and heat it with a torch until you can make a 90-degree bend. After sharpening the end, use it for cleaning rim holes in closet bowls, which always seem to fill up with lime. This works great.
Dave Roskens
Dave's Plumbing Repair
Maynard, Minn.

Trip-Lever Trick

This tool tip will help with cleaning tub drains with trip-lever style overflow and wastes. After removing the trip-lever, cover the overflow opening with a blank plate that has had its center drilled out 1 inch. You can snake through the 1-inch hole while having the overflow held securely in place. This handy tool will easily fit in your toolbox. It can help you avoid what can turn into a tough repair if the overflow would move and develop a leak behind the tub.
Mathan R. Shor
Shor Plumbing & Heating
Brooklyn, N.Y.

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. You can e-mail your idea directly to PM editor Steve Smith at smiths@bnpmedia.com, or mail it to him c/o PM, 1050 IL Route 83, Suite 200, Bensenville, IL 60106.

Our first-place winner will receive the following from Ridge Tool Co. The RIDGID® Prize Package consists of eight professional hand tools and has a $200 total value:

  • 14-inch and 18-inch HD RAPIDGRIP™ Self-Adjusting Wrenches for easy, one-hand operation.
  • One-Stop™ Wrench, a compound tool for installing compression couplings.
  • 10-inch Wide-Mouth Adjustable Wrench featuring tapered jaws for tight areas.
  • 10 1/2-inch Plumber's Tongue-and-Groove Pliers with extra-wide opening jaws.
  • No. 117 Midget Tubing Cutter for use in confined areas.
  • No. 151 Quick-Acting Tubing Cutter for smoother operation.
  • 6-in-1 Multi-Purpose Screwdriver with two Phillips heads, two flat heads and two nut drivers.