• Finding the right pitch
  • Cleaning a stub-out
  • Removing sweat caps


  • Perfect Pitch

    Levels with pitch indicators are nice but sometimes hard to see, especially when the tool is dirty or the lighting could be better. I’ve cut pieces of 3/4-inch pipe to match 1/8-, 3/16- and 1/4-inch per foot pitch for my 2- and 6-foot levels.

    On the jobsite, all you have to do is tape one of the correct spacers to the end of the level. In other words, 1 1/2 inches long equals 1/4-inch per foot when using a 6-foot level, and 1/2 inch long equals 1/4-inch per foot when using a 2-foot level. When placed upon a horizontal pipe, all you need to do is read the level as level. Automatic pitch.

    Frank Sgambati
    Ranshaw Fuel Oil & Plumbing
    Whitestone, N.Y.


    Easier Cleaning

    Concerning copper plumbing pipe, often copper stub-outs will be covered with paint at trim-out time. I’ve found that using a short, 6-inch or so piece of unreemed 3/4-inch copper pipe works fine to clean paint off by sliding it over the stub-out. Saves time cleaning and sand cloth also.

    Larry Taylor
    Taylor Plumbing
    Radford, Va.


    Removing Sweat Caps

    Situation: Removing 1/2-inch sweat caps from hot and cold water pipes under sink vanities.

    Solution: When you heat the caps and put the pliers on them, they seem to get out of shape. Try screwing in a sheetrock screw at the end of the cap with your screw gun. Then heat your cap and pull on the screw head with your pliers. The cap comes off easy without crashing the cap. By putting a hole in the end of the cap, it also allows air into the pipe to help the water drain out.

    Bill Scaglione
    Main Stream Plumbing & Heating
    Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.


    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, or mail it to him c/o PM, 1050 IL Route 83, Suite 200, Bensenville, IL  60106.

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