Tool Tips ― April 2008
Getting cameras un-stuck
Twist-tie to the rescue
Plumbing CompanionThe one I just can’t live without! Over the last 37 years, I have set thousands of toilets, most of them in small, cramped bathrooms. To help me do the job easier, I made a small, four-wheeled cart (pictured) with two swivel wheels and two fixed for when I lift the toilet. Now I simply walk the toilet over the cart, set it on, wheel it out of the way to work in a clean, unobstructed area.
This has multiple advantages:
- The extra height lifting the toilet on/off the cart is much easier on my back.
- I cut an opening in the base of the cart around the horn so I can easily clean off the old wax.
- I don’t have to lay it down, therefore causing no additional pressure to the toilet bolts.
- No water spills, no mess! No matter how carefully I removed the water the old way, some still spilled on the floor when I lifted it back up.
- If a customer thinks an object was dropped in the toilet, I can auger it right on my cart and look with a mirror in the outlet.
- Two men cannot set a one-piece toilet in a tight space so I just roll the toilet over the flange and have my helper pull the cart away.
- I have seen a majority of plumbers/floor installers place the toilet in the tub when doing a new floor installation in a bathroom, risking a chip/crack somewhere. With my cart, you safely wheel it into another room and wheel it back when the job is completed.
The Faucet Doctor
Harrison City, Pa.
Stuck CameraEver have a camera stuck in a drain, like when the spring head is caught on a fitting or broken section? A helpful way to dislodge it is to take the cable and twist a loop in the cable - at the same time keeping tension by slightly pulling back. That will rotate the camera head and it has saved me a bunch of times.
Twist-TieI keep a long twist-tie on the male end of my extension cord. If I unplug anything of a customer’s to use my cord, I twist that cord right to mine. Then I don’t forget to plug their washing machine or whatever back in. Or if a helper unplugs your cord, he’ll know to plug that something back in. Can save you a callback or worse if that “something” is, for example, a sump pump!
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