Clog prevention on jobsites

 This tip is to prevent clogs on a construction project jobsite by stopping other trades from clogging drains with Sheetrock, mud and other debris. Designate a plastic utility sink as a clean-out area and connect it to a water supply but have the tail piece empty into a 5-gal. bucket with a metal screen mesh across the top.

Drill a hole in the side of the bucket and, using an ABS tank connector fitting, connect into the waste line using a temporary coupling. The screen will catch all the big chunks of mud and other debris will settle to the bottom, with the cleaner water being carried out by the drain.

Jacob Cooper

Portland, Ore.


Easy toilet bolt removal

If you need to remove a floor-mounted toilet bowl and the nuts on the mounting bolts won’t come off but just spin with the bolts, here is a great tip to get them off without scratching either the porcelain fixture or the floor, which usually happens when we resort to cutting them off.

Using a hacksaw — preferably a small one — cut a slot about 1/8-in. deep right across the top of the bolt, even if you have to go through the nut as well. Then put a small flat-head screwdriver in that slot. Now you can hold back on the water closet bolt with the screwdriver as you back the nut off with a wrench.

Izzy Kieffer

Plumber’s Local Union No. 1

New York City, N.Y.


Visible marks for underground jobs

I do a lot of underground industrial retrofit work and struggled to find an effective paint-pen, marker or chalk stick that I could use to make clear, visible marks on different surfaces. Then I discovered Rustoleum flat-black chalkboard paint, which allows you to turn any surface into a blackboard.

It dries quickly and sticks to just about anything after a quick rag wipe-down. The best part, however, is how great the white chalk sticks out, making it quick and easy to find your marks later.

John Smith

WesTech Engineering

 Salt Lake City


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 Kinetic Water Ram from General Pipe Cleaners with a retail value of $325. Read here for more details.