No sewer gas in floor drains

Here at McHenry County College, like any school, we have multiple floor drains in the bathrooms, kitchen and mechanical rooms. Some of these drains are seldom, if ever, used and are in obscure areas, resulting in work orders for a sewer gas odor. The repeat offenders are the drains that accept the discharge from the elevator sump pumps.

My solution: I pour RV antifreeze in these drains as it evaporates at a much slower rate and will not leave a funky smell as vegetable oil does. It is also cheap and nontoxic. When it comes to sewer gas, no news is good news!

Pat Sullivan
McHenry County College
Crystal Lake, Ill.


Threading PEX through Sheetrock

I was running 1/2 in. PEX tubing for a new outside hose bib and had to make a run through an extra-wide chase Sheetrock wall about arm’s length. I didn’t want to make the holes any larger than 1/2 in. but was having a heck of a time getting the PEX to come out the other side.

Looking around, I found an archery arrow. The PEX fit perfectly on the tip of the arrow and as I pushed the arrow through the wall, the PEX tubing followed. The customer told me to keep the arrow and I now have it as part of my tool arsenal. I don’t leave the shop without it.

Brian Murphy
Murphy’s Plumbing
Piedmont, S.D. ?


Foaming leak detector

I use a foaming soap dispenser filled with liquid leak detector for locating leaks on refrigerant and gas lines and fittings. I put foam on the line or fitting. If it leaks, bubbles will show. Sometimes I fill my hand with the foam and close it around the pipe; it does not run off as liquid detector can. The bubbles will indicate if the line or fitting is leaking. I also use a foam dispenser for WD40.

James Deal
Deal’s Service Co.
San Antonio, Texas


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.