Smoke-testing waste, smartphone tricks, faucet replacement
Tool Tips—January 2014
Smoke-testing waste and vent piping
On a recent job where the customer complained of a chronic sewer gas odor in an existing building, we decided to smoke-test the waste and vent piping as is still required by code in some New Jersey towns.
Rather than simply placing the smoke bomb in a piece of sheet metal and inserting it into a cleanout as usual, we put the smoke bomb in an old coffee can. We put the can in our RIDGID shop vac, hooked up the hose to the discharge end of the vacuum and blew the smoke into the cleanout. The leak showed up quickly; the vac worked great.
Fosbre’s Plumbing & Heating
Photo records of customers’ fixtures
When I go to a customer’s house for a service call, I find it invaluable to have my smartphone with me. I am able to take pictures of the customer’s faucets, shower valves and toilet fixtures. I download the pictures into a separate catalog on my computer for future reference.
When the customer calls me again with a problem at a certain fixture, I already know what he has in his home. If I don’t have the part(s) I may need in my truck, most of the time I can get them from the supply house on the way to the call. This saves me time and keeps my customers happy.
Barlog Plumbing Co.
Granada Hills, Calif.
Faucet replacement for deep sinks
Two-, three- and four-compartment stainless-steel, commercial-deep sinks usually must be completely removed to replace the wall-mount faucets. The rear connection must be held to remove the front union connectors.
Removal of the sink can be avoided by placing two 3/4-in. pieces of copper pipe, about 2 ft. long, on the handles of a pair of tongue-and-groove pliers. This allows a helper to hold the rear connection behind the sink so the front unions can be removed by the plumber and the new faucet installed.
L.J. Hood Plumbing
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