Straightening a Stud
Air Freshener Test
Picture-Perfect Drain Images

Straightening a stud to remove boiler's front plate

Servicing ancient boilers can be a challenge. A front plate, secured by nuts and studs, must be removed to perform maintenance. The studs normally sit perpendicular to the plate. Frequently a nut can’t be easily removed because the stud has been bent toward the adjacent side wall during previous servicing. The nut slowly unthreads with the use of an open-end wrench and, when reinstalled, doesn’t sit flush with the plate.

My solution? Find a similar nut and thread it partly onto the stud so that the hex faces align. Place a deep socket over the nuts. Install an 18-inch extension. Holding the extension, carefully lever the nuts and stud away from the wall until the stud is again parallel to the side wall. Unthread the extra nut. 

The nut can be removed more easily in the future and, when reinstalled, will fully contact the plate.

Barry London
Omega Performance
Syosset, N.Y.

Air freshener test for drain/vent leaks

When you are testing a large drain and vent system with air and you have a leak you cannot find, simply use a new cardboard-type car air freshener with a scent that will stand out from other scents around you.

Place the air freshener in the drain right at the point you are filling it. Make sure it is secured so that it won’t be blown through the drain. Fill your system with air, then walk around and find the air freshener scent. The scent usually shows up in about five to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the leak.

Jeff Jaruszewicz
Longo Plumbing Co.
Erie, Pa.

Picture-perfect sewer/drain images

Use Rainex on the head of a sewer camera before it goes down the sewer or drain line to keep the lens clean. Just spray on the lens and send it away. It keeps the picture perfect for real-time viewing and DVD recording.

Peter Jean
PJ Plumbing
El Dorado Hills, Calif.