Tool Tips - February 2010
Checking For Hidden Shower Leaks
Leak Detection While Working Alone
Flushing Out Sediment From Water HeatersI hadn’t had any luck in flushing out sediment in water heaters just using the water coming in through the dip tube, so I constructed a water heater cleaning tool using a length of 1/2-inch PEX tubing, a push fit adapter and a 1/2-inch boiler drain. By disconnecting the hot water side of the heater, I can slide the PEX down to the bottom of the tank. With PEX being so flexible, I can bend the tube any direction I choose to blast the sediment away. The push fit adapter allows the tube to swivel, while the boiler drain allows control of the water flow.
I have no problem showing my customer the value of the process as I collect the sediment in a clean 5-gallon pail.
R.W. Salemme Plumbing and Heating
East Haven, Conn.
Where Is My Shower Leaking?When I go on a service call and the homeowner is stating that it is wet around the shower but there are no visible leaks, it is easy to assume that it is a shower pan problem. To avoid making a poor diagnosis, the first thing I do is remove the showerhead and put a ball valve in the closed position on the shower arm. Then I turn on the shower faucet. This will allow you to see if there are any hidden leaks on the riser to the showerhead.
Mullin Pumping Inc.
Broken Arrow, Okla.
Working Alone While Checking For LeaksI’ve been working alone these days with no helper. If I’m alone in a house and I walk down to the basement and turn the water off to work on the water pipes on any floor, I walk down to turn the water on and run back to the site were I was working. If I find a leak, I run in a panic back down to the basement to shut the water off, praying I don’t break my neck and do any water damage to the property.
I now carry a baby moniter into the area I'm working and listen to the moniter for any leaks. I may have to only walk out to the truck once for stock. Works great!
Steven R. Petti Inc.