Tool Tips - May 2011
An End To Frustrated Wrapping
Where’s The Leak?
Leak-Proof Cast-Iron Toilet FlangesWhen packing and pouring new cast-iron toilet flanges in residential or commercial applications on the second floor, third floor, etc., I like to have a perfect watertight joint. After packing and pouring the flange with lead and oakum, I cut a toilet wax ring in half and lay it on the lead. Sloping the wax downward from the top of the flange to where the lead meets the pipe with my fingers, I make sure I don’t see lead around the joint.
Apply a little heat to the wax ring - just enough for the wax to start melting. This will melt the wax ring into the lead but still cover the entire joint. Let the wax cool and you do not have to touch it again. Set the toilet and you’re done. This will ensure that the lead joint will never leak, that toilet paper and debris will not stick or remove the wax because heat makes the wax smooth so it adheres to the flange and lead.
This also applies to re-caulking old toilet and shower flanges; repeat the same process with the wax after caulking. This will save you time and the homeowner money, which is critical in today’s economy.
Kenco Plumbing and Heating
North Attleboro, Mass.
An End To Frustrated WrappingWrapping Teflon tape around a small fitting can be a challenge, and more so when the surface is plastic, which is ultra-slippery to begin with. With most water systems using plastic fittings, you sometimes need to use Teflon tape exclusively to ensure a tight-fitting connection.
That first wrap can be frustrating as the tape tends to slide off due to the composition of both materials. By applying a small touch of most liquid pipe joint compounds at the tape leader, you’ll find the tape will stick to the threads and allow an easy wrapping experience.
In addition, this method will help anyone who has lost dexterity in his fingers due to injury or age, or works with gloves on.
San Diego, Calif.
Where's The Leak?When you have a stain in the ceiling below a bathroom and you are not sure what fixture might be leaking, take up the toilet above the stained area. Drill a 3/16-inch hole beside the edge of the flange. Then take a 1/8-inch brass brazing rod (or any rod), sharpen the end and push it down through the Sheetrock ceiling below.
This will give you a reference point to cut the ceiling or make a repair above. The hole can be repaired easily by spackling.
L.J. Hood Plumbing & Mechanical