Professional Plumbing Tools

July 3rd, 2012

What Plumbing Tools Does The Plumber Need?

Some of the most common plumbing tools are not plumbing tools at all. You may already have many of the tools necessary for most plumbing jobs because they are the same tools used for other do-it-yourself projects. However, you may need something a little more specialized to complete certain jobs like a professional plumber from Plumber Salt Lake City.

Live in a home long enough and you’ll eventually have to deal with clogged sinks, dripping faucets, plugged-up toilets and leaky pipes. There’s simply no way to avoid it: plumbing problems happen. However, calling a plumber for each and every repair is impractical, expensive and time-consuming. In most cases, you can fix the problem yourself long before the plumber even calls back to schedule an appointment, but only if you have the right plumbing tools on hand.

Plumbing Aids

Many of the basic home repair tools will also come in handy for plumbing fixes. However, there are specialized plumbing tools that you may need to see your project through to completion.

Plumbers’ snakes, or drain-and-trap augers, come in various lengths. A short snake is all that’s necessary for most plumbing repairs. A closet auger is a version of the plumbers’ snake designed specifically for clearing clogs in toilets. The closet auger is shorter than a regular snake, and it comes encased in a plastic or metal housing with an easy-to-use crank.

Not what you’re looking for?

  • Home Repair Tools: Whether you prefer to use the Yellow Pages for anything that needs fixing around the house or consider yourself a regular do-it-yourselfer, there are a handful of tools that everyone should have in their tool box.
  • Plumbing Tools: You may already have many of the tools necessary for most plumbing jobs because they are the same tools used for other do-it-yourself projects. Find out about special plumbing tools, such as pipe wrenches.
  • Pipe Wrench: A pipe wrench is a handy tool to have around for any plumbing issues. It makes quick work of tightening and loosening pipes and other connections. Learn more about pipe wrenches here.

Get the Right Tools

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve been called to help friends with a plumbing problem and discovered that their plumbing “tools” consisted of a butter knife, a straightened wire clothes hanger, and a roll of duct tape. Fortunately, most of the tools you need to maintain your home’s plumbing system are relatively affordable, and you don’t have to buy them all at once. Get these basic tools first, and then add more as you need them. And although Plumber Salt Lake City didn’t include them in the following list, you’ll also need some standard home-repair tools, such as a hammer, tape measure, screwdrivers, drill driver, utility knife, safety goggles, work gloves and, of course, a toolbox.

The Plumbing Tools

  1. Propane Torch: Required if you’re going to sweat copper pipe and fittings. Spend the extra money for a self-igniting torch head ($30-$60) that lights at the squeeze of a trigger. You’ll find it much more convenient than using a striker or matches.
  2. Tongue-and-Groove Pliers: Commonly called by the brand name Channellocks, these pliers are the first tool plumbers reach for when they need to grab, pull, twist, hold, tighten or loosen something. Be sure to get two sizes: 10-in. ($10-$15) and 12-in. ($20-$25).
  3. Hacksaw: Use this versatile saw ($15-$25) to cut through metal pipe, hardware, screws, nuts and bolts and plastic pipe. Make sure the blade is tense in the frame for tough cuts, and be sure to keep extra blades on hand. In tight spots, wrap one end of a loose blade in a cloth to create a handle to slip the blade in for the cut.
  4. Metal File: These tools removes burrs and smooth the edges of metal pipes after cutting. It’s best to have two files on hand: half-round ($10), which has both rounded and flat surfaces, and a rat-tail file ($8), which is round and tapered.
  5. Basin Wrench: An invaluable tool ($10-$20) for tightening and loosening nuts that hold sink faucets in place. The tool’s long shaft and swiveling jaw can reach up and into the deep, narrow space behind a sink and lock onto the nuts. There’s no other tool that can do what this one does.
  6. Pipe Wrench: These large, heavy wrenches are used to tighten and loosen threaded pipes, fittings and nuts. You’ll need two–one for turning and one for gripping and holding. The serrated teeth help the wrench hold its grip but can damage a fixture’s finish–when you need protection, wrap the wrench’s jaws in a cloth. Buy a 10-in. ($10-15) and a 14-in. ($20-$25) model.
  7. Hand Auger: Sometimes called a plumber’s snake, this hand-cranked drain-clearing tool ($20-$30) has a 25-ft.-long flexible steel cable that’s effective at clearing obstructions from tubs, showers, sinks, toilets and drain lines. Use it when the plunger (see below) fails to clear the clog.
  8. Adjustable Wrench: This versatile tool is required for working on compression fittings, supply lines and other plumbing parts that have hex-shaped nuts. When shopping, check that the moving jaw holds a firm setting so that it won’t slip loose under torque. Again, it’s best to get two sizes: 6-in. ($10-$12) and 10-in. ($15-$20).
  9. Tubing Cutter: Looking somewhat like a C-clamp, this essential tool provides the quickest, cleanest way to cut copper pipe. Get both a standard-size tubing cutter ($10-$15) and a close-quarter minicutter ($15-$20), which works in tight spaces.
  10. Plunger: This indispensable tool ($5-$10) isn’t called the plumber’s best friend for nothing. It’s the first tool to grab when you need to dislodge clogs from sinks, tubs, toilets, showers and floor drains. When using it in a toilet, press down, create a firm seal around the drain, and pull upward. The idea is to vacuum the clog out, not push it deeper.
  11. Closet Auger: A manual clog-clearing tool ($14-$40) that’s specifically designed for toilets. Its long steel cable is tough enough to grind through the most stubborn clogs.
  12. Fire-Resistant Cloth: A thick, specially treated cloth ($15) that’s used to protect nearby combustible surfaces when soldering with an open-flame propane torch. It’s always smart to keep a fire extinguisher nearby, too.

Plumbing Wrench

You’ll need a medium-size adjustable pipe wrench to tighten and loosen pipes and other plumbing connections. You can purchase one at hardware stores and plumbing-supply houses. A basin wrench is a specialized tool that allows you to reach tight spots under sinks and basins. The jaws of a basin wrench not only adjust to accommodate nuts of different sizes, but they also flip over to the opposite side so you can keep turning without removing the wrench states Plumber Salt Lake City.

A socket wrench set is useful for removing recessed packing nuts and for use on tub and shower fixtures as well as other do-it-yourself household repairs. For changing a toilet seat, you’ll need a wrench, or perhaps a deep socket wrench. If you need to remove a toilet for replacement or repair, you may need a spud wrench. Older toilets frequently have a large pipe — called a spud — that connects the tank to the bowl. The spud is held to the bowl and tank by extra-large hexagonal slip nuts. A spud wrench is designed to remove these slip nuts. The adjustable type of spud wrench is far more versatile than the nonadjustable type, which has a fixed opening at each end.

Leave it to the Professionals will Help in the Long Run

If you are not a professional plumber it is usually sensible not to attempt mending your own plumbing system. If you do it may lead to further damage that could even lead on to more expensive repairs or refits. This is simply due to the fact that professional plumbers carry the professional plumbing tools to do the job. Without specific plumbing tools and the knowledge that is required to use them you might not be successful in completing a repair. A skilled professional, Plumber Salt Lake City, who has past experience in using the tools, will be able to do so safely, and with the techniques and accurate methods which are required. Most expert plumbers will actually buy their plumbing tools from reputable stores or reliable online websites that specialize in plumbing and heating supplies. These suppliers will stock leading brands within the industry and you can guarantee high quality coupled with affordable prices.