Split nipple extraction

When removing a stubbed-out nipple from a wall with an extractor, you can put a coupling or thread protector on the nipple to reinforce it and to prevent it from splitting at the weld seam. However, when dealing with old nipples, I always run into nipples that are so old they are broken at the thread diagonally or completely severed, where adding a coupling or thread protector is not an option. When using a nipple extractor on an old nipple, they tend to split.

In this case, I clamp the split with a pair of vise-grip pliers. Using one side of the jaws, I wrap it around the split, bridging it at the split, then tighten and clamp it down. The jaws are rounded, so they will form around the nipple.

This allows you to continue without the nipple splitting further to the fitting. I have also had the vise grips angled out toward me when tight space was a factor, such as wall tile, and it works just as well.

Jason Shirey

Sir Jack Russell Plumbing

Tucson, Ariz.

Saw blade tube holder

This tip has saved me time looking for misplaced saw blades and saved me money from buying new ones. Take a piece of 1 1/2-in. PVC and cut it at 12 in. Glue a 1 1/2-in. permanent cap on one end. Glue a clean-out adaptor on the other end. Screw a 1 1/2-in. clean-out plug in the adaptor. The plug is removable for safe blade storage.

Cory Miller

Columbus, Ohio

Cleaning wire for clogged torch

If you have a clogged orifice — such as a pilot, cook stove or torch — a handy cleaning wire is already in your tool box.  Just extract a single wire from your wire brush. It’s narrow and stiff enough to do the job.

Dave Bauerly

Ladd Service Co.

Tonganoxie, Kan.

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.