Fiber optic flashlight
Installing faucets
Nail pullers

A Little Light

I have a little fiber optic flashlight, the kind with a 3-inch wand and an LED bulb. I removed the bulb cover. Now it’s perfect for inspecting Moen valves. Whenever I pull cartridges with torn rubber sleeves, I can inspect the ports. A regular flashlight really doesn’t work well here since you can’t see into the ports. I then pull the bits of rubber out with a set of dental picks.

Jeff Bexson
Joy Plumbing
Manhattan, Ill.

P.S. I was taught by a pipefitter to brush clear fingernail polish on a stick rule. It protects the hash marks from wear and tear.

Stubborn Situation I

Although installing a new kitchen or lav faucet is easy, sometimes removing the old faucet is not. The nuts holding the faucet to the sink are often corroded and frozen in place.

I make quick work of these nuts with a deep sharp 1-inch hole saw in an arbor with the pilot bit removed. The hole saw slides right over the threads and cuts the nut in seconds.

Rich Kleindienst
Rich Kleindienst Plumbing
Blairstown, N.J.

Stubborn Situation II

When a shower arm breaks off and the threads are stuck in the fitting inside the wall, easy outs don’t work in this fitting. So I’ve found the old-style nail pullers (nail puller on one end and the other end is just hex stock) can get the pieces out. Tap the hex end in and put an adjustable wrench on the hex stock and unscrew it out.

John Clark
Clark Plumbing
Thomaston, 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.