Easy PEX runs

When running PEX lines from a manifold in residential plumbing, often many runs are needed. Instead of drilling large holes in joists to run the PEX tubing or having to attach on the bottom of each joist, I take pieces of oriented strand board sheeting leftover from framing and cut into 12-in. by 12-in. squares. Then I cut two 3-in. u-cuts into each piece.

I hang these on every other joist. PEX can be pulled easily through the u-cuts — cold in one slot, hot in the other — then turn on any joist over to the fixture.

I also predrill the tops of these hangers and screw onto the joist, which makes them easily removed, raised or lowered. I keep a stock of them in the shop ready for the next job.

Frank Norris

Norris Contracting

Williamsport, Pa.



Using USB connectors in the dark

Every electronic device has a plug, usually a USB connector or mini USB, that has to be orientated the right way up. To avoid getting the orientation confused — especially when it’s dark — I first make sure the connector is installed properly. Then I dimple the “up” side of the plug with a soldering iron and, if needed, the corresponding side of the component. With the plug dimpled, it is much easier to feel the “up” side of the plug and ensure the electronic device is installed correctly.

Jeff Dickson

Jeff’s Oilburner Service

Huntington, Mass.



Sensor valve templates

We do a lot of commercial bathrooms and they usually spec Sloan sensor valves for the toilets and urinals. If you look in the bathrooms where these valves are used, you will see many of them are not roughed-in right. Sloan provides a template, so I took a piece of foam board and attached the template with spray adhesive.

Once you have found the center and height of toilets and urinals, screw the template to the studs and mount electrical boxes per the template. Then you’re set to wire. This makes a finished product perfect. And you can save the templates for future use.

Rich Szostek Jr.

Cordone & Tonucci Plumbing & Heating

New Haven, Conn.



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