Clear grease
Freeze-away stud remover
Sticking gate valve help

Clear grease with cold water

Trouble with grease stoppages? I have a solution. There is a misconception that, after clearing a grease stoppage, running hot water down the drain is the key. A better idea is to use cold water. Once you get the water level to drop, use a full-scale blade for the size pipe you are snaking and run cold water. Once you’ve done this, snake the line again - the cold water will solidify the grease and break it off into chunks to ensure a better cleaning and prevent future issues.

Nick Perdo
Platt Technical High School
Milford, Conn.

Freeze-away stud remover

We needed to replace gaskets on a 20-year-old cast-iron 12-in. NPS fire main gate valve. This job needed to be done quickly for safety reasons. Two of the fasteners were studs and an inexperienced worker broke off one of the studs. Not able to use heat due to the area we were working in, we needed an alternate plan. We drilled for an easy out, but what to do next? Then I came up with the idea to use Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away wart remover; it can be purchased at any drug store. After using three bottles, the stud finally came out.  

Rob West
Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.
Newport News, Va.

Sticking gate valve help

If you come across a sticking gate valve with no handle, especially when the stem wants to pull into the valve body, use a fender washer and a bibb screw in place of the handle. Turn the stem with a wrench or vise grips. The wrench will act as a spacer between the packing nut and the fender washer and help pull the gate up, if possible. This can help avoid an emergency shutdown to replace an old valve.

Bill Turner
Jim’s Plumbing
Orlando, Fla.