Tool Tips -- May 2005
Homemade Seat WrenchMy timesaving idea got me out of a very frustrating situation. I was asked to rebuild a shower valve in a trailer home. When I inserted my seat wrench into the valve it only went about three-quarters of the way into the seat. It was long narrow seat very similar to a 1 19/32-inch Eljer seat.
My seat wrench was tapered, which is why it was only getting in three-quarters of the way. I went to the hardware store and got the correct seat and then went to the nut and bolt section.
I found a long narrow bolt that had a head that would fit into the hex shape of the new seat. I then got two nuts that I could jam together at the end of the nut. I got back to the valve, put the nuts on, slid the bolt into the valve head first until it fit inside the hex of the old seat, gave it some muscle and snap - it broke loose and out it came. That little homemade seat wrench now has a permanent spot in my toolbag.
No-Fuss Drain CleaningHere's a trick I use to get rid of a clog in a kitchen sink. Say you have a double-basin sink, with a disposer on one side. If there is just a little water, fill both sinks halfway up or possibly a little more.
Make sure the water is cool enough not to burn your hands. Stop up the drain tight in the side without the disposer.
Then turn on the disposer. It will act as a pump and make enough pressure to clear the drain. I've done it a thousand times.
Plumb E-Z Tools
Palm Springs, Calif.
Stop Spreading GermsDisinfect all your tools after each use. You can use Lysol spray. The can says it eliminates 99.9 percent of all bacteria and viruses.
Most important, when pulling a sewer cable back out of a line, keep the can handy and spray along the cable as it is fed back into the drum. And don't forget to spray the drum, handle and controls. Using disinfectant will help keep you healthy and eliminates the spread of germs to other customers.
North Metro Plumbing Inc.
Send Us Your Tool TipsIf 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.