Removing Stuck Faucet
Getting Out Those Old Brass Nuts
Pain-In-The-Butt Winged Faucet Nuts


Picture yourself standing there in front of a single-handle Moen faucet, cartridge removal tool and cartridge innards in your right hand with the shell of the cartridge still buried in the faucet.

What to do?

Take a 3/8-inch NPT tap and turn into the buried cartridge. You'll tap threads until the tap bottoms out. Keep turning. The cartridge will start to turn and with a little force you can pull it out. Isn't it amazing what you can come up with late on a Friday afternoon?

Greg Alban
Ken Greer Plumbing, Heating, A/C
New Freedom, Pa.

Unstuck, Part II

I have a suggestion that I use to get those old brass or steel nuts that seem to weld themselves to the sink. I got a set of deep sockets with a few different sized extensions along with a good ratchet or breaker T handle. Put a socket over the nut (supply tube has to be unhooked first), find the right length of extension to get you below the trap, etc., and that nut will turn! It will save you a lot of frustration trying to use a basin wrench or trying to break the nut.

Michael H. Ward
Ward Plumbing & Heating
Dennyesville, Maine

Unstuck, Part III

My tip is for those pain-in-the-butt winged faucet nuts. The hardest place I have seen to tighten those things are on pedestal sinks, where a basin wrench won't fit and channel locks are knuckle-busters. What I did was take a piece of 1/2-inch pipe and cut four notches in the top in a plus pattern. You now have a “wrench” that is a perfect fit for those hard-to-reach places.

Jason Owens
Rick's Plumbing Service
Cleveland, Tenn.

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 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.

Ridge Tool Company is the sponsor of Tool Tips and does not necessarily endorse the readers' submissions.