Send PM your tool tips for the chance to win $200 worth of RIDGID tools.

Tight-Spot Triumph

I have a great tool that has really helped me out in tight spots. I use my basin wrench like a pipe wrench. I leave the jaws of the wrench flat or in-line with the handle. I then use it like a pipe wrench. The handle expands outward for extra leverage. It can reach in many spots without busting your knuckles.

My favorite application is using it to remove tough-to-loosen expansion tanks. Regular pipe wrenches won't fit in between the top of the expansion tank and the air scoop. The basin wrench fits perfectly, and gives me extra leverage to do the job with ease.
Mike Magliaro
Magliaro Plumbing
Seabrook, N.H.

Not Just For Teeth

I have a suggestion for a very inexpensive yet valuable tool box addition. I carry a half-dozen or so new toothbrushes on my service van. I emphasize new. There are countless times when I need to scrub faucet stems, valve bodies, filter housings, etc. You do not want to reuse old, greasy cloths or brushes when dealing with potable water systems.

I generally buy the cheap kind. A couple toothbrushes with angled heads are also good to have. We owe it to our customers to maintain the integrity of their water supply systems and this is a great way to do it.
Chris Bess
Bess Plumbing
Suffolk, Va.

Coupling Coup

When I need to remove a rotted 1 1/2-inch nipple from the waste tee in the wall, putting a pipe wrench on the nipple only crushes the pipe. Instead, I pound a 1-inch steel coupling (the kind that's shipped with a length of pipe) into the nipple first. Then, I apply the pipe wrench to the nipple. The coupling prevents the nipple from collapsing and, usually, I can turn the pipe out with relative ease.
Frank Giordano
Giordano Plumbing & Heating
Leonia, N.J.

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.