• Repairing frozen pipes
  • Gaining an extra hand on the job
  • Suction out the water


  • Unfrozen

    Some plumbers have problems repairing frozen and split horizontal copper water lines because most of the time water is still dripping from the pipes (possibly some with ice still in them). What works for me after cutting out the split with my pipe cutter is to install a copper tee with a threaded side outlet pointing downward. That allows easy soldering with the steam blowing out the threaded outlet. When done soldering, simply screw in a plug.

    P.S. Don’t forget to turn the water back on before leaving.

    George Patterson
    George’s Plumbing & Heating
    Libby, Mont.

    Extra Hand

    Need an extra hand when plunging a two-basin kitchen sink? I use a 3-inch expandable plumbing test plug to seal off one basin. That allows me the use of both hands on the plunger for extra force.

    Craig LaPoint
    LaPoint Heating & Plumbing
    Interlaken, N.Y.

    Spray Bottle

    When you have a vertical pipe full of water that needs to be drained before soldering, take the top from a spray bottle and insert the suction tube in the pipe and pump out the water.

    Jim Kirby
    Kirby Plumbing Inc.
    Lexington, Neb.

    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:
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    • 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.
    • No. 117 Midget Tubing Cutter for use in confined areas.
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