• Keeping hands clean
  • Turkey baster tool
  • Use a toothbrush for flux


  • Clean Hands

    We all know that working on oil-fired equipment is messy and there is no way around it. I tried wearing gloves, but it is hard to work in them, so I found that Clorox does the best job of cleaning dirty hands.

    Mix a 50 percent solution of bleach and water and soak your hands for a few minutes. Then, rewash with a regular hand cleaner.

    Your hands will look the way they did before you first started and you won’t have to worry about getting anything dirty when you touch it. Your invoice papers won’t have black finger prints all over and you will look very professional when you arrive at your next call. It keeps homeowners and your tools happy, and that’s what matters most.

    Bob Sanzi
    S.J. Kowalski Inc.
    Hazleton, Pa.


    Getting Out Of Cooking

    I have a plumbing tool that I refuse to be without - a plastic turkey baster with a short piece of hose. I do not recommend the cheaper variety of turkey baster as they do not stand up to constant use and banging around in the tool bag. If you have a vertical pipe full of water, just slip the rubber hose on the end of the baster and suck the excess water out. The second use for the baster is to get the water out of a toilet tank and any water left in the bowl.

    A side benefit of using the baster is that, once your friends and family find out about your new plumbing tool, they stop asking you to cook the turkey on Thanksgiving.

    Bruce Williams
    Bozeman Plumbing
    Lewistown, Mont.


    Tooth Brush

    Instead of using an acid brush when fluxing copper fittings, try using a toothbrush. The bristles are at a 90-degree angle with the handle and can coat the inside surface with one revolution. It takes less time to do than with a conventional flux brush.

    Mike Chenevey
    TP Mechanical Contractors
    Columbus, Ohio


    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.

    Our first-place winner will receive the following RIDGID® Prize Package, consisting of eight professional hand tools with a retail value of $200:
    • 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 openings.
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