Tool Tips: tub installation, one-pipe steam radiators, one-man basket strainer installation
Easy tub installation on remodel job
Installing a tub on a remodel job can be difficult because the Sheetrock on the opposing back wall (adjacent room) is not removed. Installing the ledger board becomes a trial-and-error operation — mark the top edge of the tub, subtract the tub ledge thickness and set the ledger accordingly. If there is a gap as a result, the tub is not fully supported.
I found a method that permits a quick and sure installation. Using 1/2-in. plywood, I cut two J-shaped holders for the 2 x 4. I then cradle the 2 x 4 in the J holders and attach them to the studs at a slightly lower point than the tub ledge. After setting the tub, I draw the J holders up until the 2 x 4 contacts the tub underside, at which point I reattach the holders. I then remove the tub, permanently set the ledger and remove the holders, and then finally reset the tub.
Rising Sun, Md.
Pitching back one-pipe steam radiators
For one-pipe steam radiators to work properly, they must have pitch back to the supply side to allow the condensate to run back to the boiler. No pitch means no heat. Sometimes both sides need shims. In the past we have used all kinds of shim material, but nothing as good as this. Take an old oak or hickory shovel or rake handle and cut individual “biscuits” for shims — 1 in., 3/4 in., 1/2 in., etc. — and insert under the radiator. Works great, and looks great, too.
Fosbre Town Plumbing & Heating
One-man installation of basket and tub strainers
Cut a piece of 1-in. galvanized pipe 12 in. long (galvanized for cleanliness and strength compared to black iron pipe or copper pipe). Cut a notch on one side to fit strainers. On the other side, cut a notch to fit nuts on various faucets. A 10-in. wrench to hold back or tighten works well. I have used this for years and it allows for one-man installation.
Felix E. Courteau
Retired union plumber
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