Tool Tips - October 2009
Expanding Foam To The RescueEver try to repair a squeaky shower pan without creating structural damage to the home? I simply remove the compression gasket from the drain assembly and drill a small 1/4-inch hole inside the void where the gasket seats at the very bottom shoulder of the drain assembly. Be careful not to touch the drainpipe!
Next I fish some flexible 1/4-inch poly tubing into the hole and attach the tubing to a can of expanding spray foam. I inject the foam into the void under the shower pan. This usually requires one or two cans of foam. I then reinstall the rubber drain gasket. The foam expands and fills all the voids under the shower pan and prevents the pan from shifting and squeaking. Remember to water test the pan. (This repair is only effective on first-floor concrete slab installs.)
Christianson Plumbing Service
Round Rock, Texas
Double Duty For BootiesWhen soldering near a smoke detector, I’ve found that if you double-up a pair of booties (shoe protectors) and slip them over the smoke detector, it will keep it from going off. Your ears will appreciate this as much as your wallet - some fire departments charge a fee for responding to false alarms!
Professional Plumbing Inc.
Heated HacksawWhen you have a nylon adaptor break or crack at a water meter, it may break off while you’re trying to remove it. Take an old hacksaw blade, heat it and insert it where the threads are still in the brass fitting. Push the heated blade down into the plastic and it will melt the plastic to the threads of the brass fitting. Then take a screwdriver and knock it out. This makes the job a lot faster and you’re not standing on your head too long.
M & M Plumbing
St. Elmo, Ill.