10 Uses for PVC
What to do with those leftover scraps from your latest plumbing job.
Researching uses for scraps of PVC pipe, several scofflaw sources suggested we fashion a potato-projecting "spudzooka." That didn't fly. So while we can't give you an excuse to yell "fire in the hole," rest assured that the following ideas are safe for both you and your neighbor's windows.
Use PVC to:
1. Make C clamp. Cut a 2-inch section of pipe lengthwise and pull it open so the ring's jaws become a low-force clamp to hold rolls of non-adhesive backed wallpaper to a piece of plywood when pasting.
2. Store anything. Cap an end, label the side, and organize nails, screws, bolts, or blueprints in a tube cut to length.
3. Control stray cords. Run multiple workshop power cords through a PVC conduit.
4. Water plants in a strawberry pot. TOH executive editor Kathryn Keller drills small holes spaced 2 inches apart along the entire length of a 1-inch-diameter tube that's slightly longer than the pot's height. She then places the tube vertically in the center of the pot and packs soil around it. Water poured in the pipe opening slowly seeps out of the holes to evenly soak all the plants.
5. Collect leaves. TOH plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey rakes leaves into a PVC frame clamped to a garbage bag. The frame holds the bag open and works like a dustpan.
6. Extend a vacuum hose. Attach a 1½ -inch-diameter tube to the end of the hose with duct tape to clean ceiling-fan blades or suck up out-of-reach cobwebs.
7. Hang drapes. Hidden behind a valance, a ¾-inch-diameter PVC pipe is heavy-duty and cheaper than a curtain rod. Thread through ¾-inch eye bolts.
8. Build a sash-weight tunnel. To insulate sash-weight pockets without blocking the weights' channels, insert a vertical length of PVC for the mechanisms to rise and fall within.
9. Divert water away from the foundation. TOH landscape contractor Roger Cook secures a perforated 4-inch-diameter tube to the end of a downspout with a coupling, lays the tube in a shallow trench lined with plastic sheeting, and covers it with gravel.
10. Make a time capsule. Cap the ends of a tube filled with mementos and drop it between the studs before hanging drywall.