Use a Cartridge Puller for Stuck Cartridges
Some shower cartridges pull right out, but some need a little convincing with a cartridge puller, and there are others that need a puller and some heat to persuade them to break free. Heat expands the valve body, decreasing the pressure on the cartridge. Heat also softens the rubber seals. Hook up the cartridge puller and put the flame on the valve body of the cartridge. Add pressure to the puller as you apply the heat. Set a heat shield on the back of the cartridge so you don’t burn down the house. And have a fire extinguisher at hand just in case.
Flange Support Bracket for Rotted Floors
If the floor is too spongy to screw down a toilet flange, attach a flange support bracket to the floor and then secure the toilet flange to that. This fix will work only if the majority of the floor under the toilet is solid. Probe the floor by poking it with a screwdriver. If more than an inch or so around the flange is rotten, you’ll need to repair the floor itself.
The bracket shown here is part of the QUIK-FIX Wobbly Toilet Repair Kit. You can find the kit at some home centers, plumbing suppliers or online. It will also work over holes in the floor that have been cut a bit too large.
Ream Out Broken Hubs
You can reuse an existing hub by reaming out the old pipe that’s glued inside it. This PVC fitting saver will do the trick. It has a guide that rides inside the pipe you’re removing so the hub won’t get wrecked. Since replacing a hub can mean having to open up a finished wall—or worse, busting up concrete—this inexpensive tool can save you a lot of time and money. The Socket Saver by Jones Stephens is available at home centers and online.