Tool kit tip
Keeping copper stubouts clean
Cast-iron warmup

Tool kit to take apart tankless water heaters

For this kit, you will need:
  • Two long-blade magnetic-tip screw drivers (one cross and one blade)
  • One 4 in. x 7 in. magnetic parts tray
  • One pack of assorted color Sharpie pens

Using a black Sharpie, divide the parts tray into 10 equal sections. Number the sections 1 through 10. Before removing any set of screws, use a colored pen and color the head of each screw in the set and the area around the head of the screw.

Remove and place the screws in section No. 1 on the tray. Continue with disassembly, using a different color pen for each set of screws, placing the screws in the numbered sections.

When undoing an electrical connector, mark both ends with a different colored pen. Use a different color for each connector.

When you reassemble the unit, just reverse the steps above. Everything is color-coded and numbered. This has saved me a lot of confusion about which screw goes where.

Bruce Williams
Bozeman Plumbing of Lewistown
Lewistown, Mont. 

Keeping copper stubouts clean

Like many other plumbing companies, we install PEX piping but prefer copper stubouts for fixtures. Painters often will not bother to take precautions to prevent painting the stubouts or will use masking tape and paint over them, making it difficult and time-consuming to clean the copper before installing the angle stops.

We found that scrap pieces of 3/4-in. PEX are the perfect size to slide over the 1/2-in. copper stubouts. When we return to install the angle stops, all we have to do is slide the PEX tubing off and we have clean copper.

Ed Harrison
American Craftsman Plumbing & Heating
Kent, Wash.

Cast-iron warmup

Have you ever tried to pull out an old cast-iron sink that it is stuck to the countertop? The old caulk seal doesn’t want to let go easily and often causes damage to the Formica top during the removal process.

Here’s a cool trick for removing the sink without hurting your back or the countertop: Simply take a heat gun and warm up the perimeter of the cast-iron sink until it is warm. The warm cast iron softens the old caulking and makes sink removal a breeze.

Remember to wear gloves!

Jerry Sprague
Christianson Plumbing
Round Rock, Texas