Hydronics systems, seats and springs, drain cleaning
Tool Tips—February 2014
Removing water from hydronic system
This particular trick was used in my home where I was upgrading my hydronic baseboard to PEX radiant. With the PEX already installed, I was to remove the old baseboard and piping by using a high capacity wet/dry vac to suck the zones dry and free of water.
I simply isolated the zone, allowed it to cool, drained the loop by purge valve, and placed the vacuum on the drain. Let it run; you can hear the water in the pipes and see the vacuum hose shake as the water is removed from the system. You can then introduce air at bleeders or other mechanical openings. It makes a dry, easy and mess-free cleanup.
I’ve even used this as an opportunity to cut a pipe and install a valve that was not spec’d in a project. It’s also a good method to repair leaking valves and fittings.
Holland Patent Central Schools
Holland Patent, N.Y.
Easy seat and spring install
We have all been frustrated from time to time trying to install Delta-style seats and springs, especially in a bathtub faucet. Usually you grab a screwdriver or a pencil and get them in place, only to have them stick onto what you are using and come back out.
My very simple solution is to use a pencil tire pressure gauge. I prefer one with the square plastic extending gauge. Just extend it out, slide the seat and spring over it, place it into the hole and push them into place. They don’t stick to the gauge and it works perfectly every time — even when the faucet body is deep in the wall or a sink faucet is full of water.
Natrona Heights, Pa.
Alternate drain cleaning
When cleaning out a 1 1/2 in. kitchen sink drain with grease, I use a 5/16 in. hollow-core cable. Run the cable through the drain to the downstream cleanout, then pull it out. Then pull the cable out of the drum in the machine. Screw a toilet bowl lock cap bottom onto the cable with a wood screw.
Pull the cable through the drain with the lock cap attached. This will grab grease and the cap will move through the bends easily.
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.