Channeling water from a shower valve

When working on tub or shower faucets, most of the time you remove the cartridge and have to either look for it in your work van or drive somewhere to get the cartridge. Since there are an endless number of faucets, you have to take the cartridge with you to match it up to the new one to ensure a correct match.

Meanwhile, the water pours out the open shower valve and runs behind the customer’s wall. This makes a huge mess, an even bigger mess if the tub or shower is on the second floor! There’s an easy solution to this.

I carry a box of aluminum foil. I cut a paper-sized piece, fold it in half and slide it into the hole in place of the cartridge.

This creates a ramp to channel the water into the tub or shower, saving costly cleanup bills.

– Rick Collins
PR Plumbing Riverside, Calif.

Removing faucet bibb screws

When replacing a faucet washer, sometimes the bibb screw falls apart when trying to remove it. My solution is to pick out the faucet washer, exposing the bibb screw. I then clamp a pair of vise grips to the screw and place the faucet handle on the stem, turning the stem and removing the screw. It works for me every time.

– Mark Malcuit
GEM Plumbing & Heating Lincoln, R.I.

Caulking a straight line

When caulking a fixture like a tub, we get painters tape and edge the caulk line. This makes for a perfect, straight caulk joint.

– Chris Medany
Deptford, N.J. 

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