• Warm PEX on a cold day
  • Cut in tight spaces
  • Sticky wrench solution

  • Warm PEX On A Cold Day

    In cold weather, PEX tubing is hard to work with because the material becomes stiffer, causing it to kink or not bend as well. So my Tool Tip is to build a hot box out of a metal cart with doors on wheels and place a small electric baseboard heater inside to warm the PEX tubing spools before installing. Modify the box to hold spools and you’re on you way to making your job easier - this cuts down on time and installation problems due to the cold weather.

    Matt Bernstiel
    M.B. Construction
    Birdsboro, Pa.

    The Versatility Of String

    If you have to cut some PVC pipe in a tight space, such as right up against a wall or in a joist space, and you can’t use a saw, try using some nylon string. Place it behind the pipe and pull it back and forth toward you. The friction will melt the string right through the pipe. You might have to use a couple of pieces of string, however. I’ve used all kinds of string and it’s worked every time. 

    David Sciortino
    McHenry, Ill.

    No-Stick Solution

    The jaws in pipe wrenches always get gummed up with pipe dope and pipe sealant when pipefitters use the wrenches on big projects. To clean the jaws, you have to take the wrench apart and use a wire wheel grinder to keep the jaws clean or else the wrench will slip. This will cause an injury and lost time. My tip is to brush some Vasoline on the jaws each day before using the wrench. This way, pipe dope will not stick to the jaws. At the end of the day, wipe the Vasoline off.

    Mike DeVito
    Vito Mechanical
    Inver Grove Heights, Minn.