Wall-Mounted Surgery Here's a simple way to prevent a broken nipple in the wall when replacing a wall-mounted faucet. Many times when you are replacing a wall-mounted faucet, the old galvanized nipples coming off the wall have just a few threads showing. Trying to put a wrench on the threads may just break the nipple. And even if you use a nipple extractor, it may split open the nipple causing it to break, leaving you no choice but to open the wall.

Here's what I do: Hand-tighten a 3/4- or 1/2-inch galvanized reducer on the end of the nipple coming off the wall. Then, insert the nipple extractor. This allows the nipple to remain one and not split open. Then the nipple will come out fairly easy without causing a catastrophe.

Edward P. Klein
L.K. Plumbing & Heating Inc.
Valley Village, Calif.

Color Picture

I've never understood why the fitting brush companies haven't done this. I spray paint the different brush sizes different colors so they're quickly identified in dark cellars and crawl spaces.

Bill Walsh
Bill The Plumber
Boothbay, Maine

Color Picture, II

I've found that using a red (for hot) or blue (for cold) Sharpie marking pen on the metal ends of washing machine hoses make a new installation or reconnect a piece of cake, especially when those slippery hoses get away from you.

It's also great for tagging new water lines on rough-in.

Stanley J. O'Bara
Stanley J. O'Bara Plumbing Contractor
Fairfield, Conn.

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, 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 Plumbers 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.

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