Replace the flange, save the floor
Fittings on frozen water lines
Simple solution to locate gas pipe leaks

Replace the flange, save the floor

When replacing an existing tile shower flange, slurp the trap dry with a suction gun. Next, figure out where the drain arm is located beneath the floor decking. Pay attention to adjacent pipes and wiring. Make a plunge cut using a reciprocating saw, creating a 1-inch slit in the floor directly above the drain arm, while remaining in the same joist bay as the existing drain. Cut the drain arm through the slit, then lift out the flange and trap.

Work through the hole and rebuild the shower drain, starting with the coupling, and move toward setting the flange. This will save you the time of cutting out the floor and the carpenter the time to repair it!

Paul Danner
Danner Plumbing & Restoration
Eagan, Minn.

Fittings on frozen water lines

Living where it gets very cold in the winter can create problems with water lines. When working with frozen pipe that has expanded and there is not enough room to cut it back far enough for the fitting to slide on, here’s a small tip.

Take the base of your flaring tool and put it over the tubing about an inch back or so from your cut. Now start tightening it down and work your way toward your cut. The fitting should slide over the tubing.

Ryan Dyson
Dakota Plumbing
Dakota, Ill.

Simple solution to locate gas pipe leaks

I’m a plumbing student at a technical high school and my teacher showed us this cool trick he used to make the job a little easier. He fills a squirt bottle with water and a little bit of laundry detergent. He uses it to test for leaks on gas pipe, and to clean off flux and dirt from soldered copper. The good thing about it for the customer is the laundry detergent leaves behind a good smell.

Scott Orfino
Plumbing technician
Milford, Conn.