Simple Flange Removal

Any plumber who has installed a toilet flange with a knockout, also known as a TKO flange, knows it can be difficult to remove in one piece. We also do HVAC work, so one day I drilled a 1-in. sheet metal screw into the center of the flange. I then wrapped a 12-in. to 18-in. piece of mechanics wire around the screw. I wrapped the wire around one hand, cut out the flange and removed it with no difficulties.

– Eric Farley
Hillard’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
Danville, Ill.


Hand off the Heavy Lifting

In Arizona, many residential water heaters are located on 18-in. platforms in garages. Removing the old water heater and placing the new one often is a back-breaking experience. Now that I’m older and cannot bear-hug the water heaters into place, I’ve come up with a lift that does the heavy work for me.

I bought an ATV/motorcycle lift from Harbor Freight, welded on a couple of 1 1/2-in. x 3-in. x 22-in. square tube pieces to the forks. This got me to nearly 18 in., and the forks stay level as you raise and lower the lift. I can walk an old water heater on the lift and the new one off more easily.  Now water heaters are now a one (older) man job.

– Jim Wray
Wray Plumbing
Green Valley, Ariz.


Clear the Lunch Stoppage

Working in commercial buildings and making general repairs to lavatory sinks and drinking fountains, a common occurrence is finding staff using the fixtures to wash their coffee mugs, lunch Tupperware and other utensils, causing stoppages in the drain pipe.

I have found that taking a flush meter vacuum breaker and using it as a plunger to clear the stoppage eliminates the use of a hand drill snake and avoids the removal of the drain pipe.

– Anthony M. Diana
Staten Island, N.Y.


Send Us Your Tool Tips

If you have an idea that has saved you time and money, Plumbing & Mechanical would like to share your tip with our readers. The first-place winner each month will receive a RIDGID Prize Package worth $200. Read here for more details.