# Simple Solutions

## SidebarSAFETY FIRSTIn all cases, even if not specifically mentioned in the writeups, verify that the tip does not violate any relevant code, standard, or practice. Always use the appropriate safety equipment and procedures when applying the maintenance tips.Pounding the unionProblem: Stubborn pipe unions occasionally leak or cannot be taken apart.

01/01/1970

Pounding the union

Problem: Stubborn pipe unions occasionally leak or cannot be taken apart. Using oversized pipe wrenches or a saw and cutting torch to disassemble the pieces can be strenuous and time consuming. How can I loosen the union nut?

Solution:
First, ensure that the system pressure is turned off and put on your safety glasses. Use a one-hand sledgehammer as an anvil, and a ballpeen hammer to pound away on the flat side of the union nut, opposite the "anvil." Go around, if there is room, to repeat this action on each of the four flat sides of the union nut. Make sure the "anvil" is always in contact with, and opposite, the hammered area.

The resulting shock waves loosen the union nut and allows its removal or retightening.

Contributor: Luc Raeckelboom, Curing Engineer, Michelin Tire Corp., Easley, SC

Full or empty?

Problem: It is often difficult to tell if a tubular sight glass is completely full or completely empty of clear liquid. Is there a quick and easy way to make this determination?

Solution: Place a long object, such as a finger or pencil, behind the sight glass. If the object looks normal, there is no liquid in the glass. If there is a distortion, the sight glass is full.

Contributor:
Joe Ivie, Maintenance Manager, Dynamic Foods, Lubbock, TX

Pushing tape through conduit

Problem: Pushing a standard steel fish tape through aluminum conduit is almost impossible if there are more than two 90-deg bends to negotiate. Is there a way to get "through" this problem?

Solution: Tie a string onto a1/4-in. nut and blow the assembly through the conduit with an air hose. Then use the string to pull the wire through the conduit. If the wire is too big to pull, use the string to move a pulling rope through the conduit.

Contributor: Dave White, Titan Wheel Corp. of Illinois, Quincy, IL

SAFETY FIRST

In all cases, even if not specifically mentioned in the writeups, verify that the tip does not violate any

relevant code, standard, or practice. Always use the appropriate safety equipment and procedures when applying the maintenance tips.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
40 Under 40; Performance-based design; Clean agent fire suppression; NFPA 92; Future of commissioning; Successful project management principles
BIM coordination; MEP projects; NFPA 13; Data center Q&A; Networked lighting controls; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
Emergency lighting; NFPA 3 and 4; Integrated building systems; Smart lighting, HVAC design
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.