Choosing the right plumbing tools can mean the difference between an overflowing sink and a flooded bathroom. As you can tell by the weight of the tool-laden belt that so precariously hangs from your plumber's denim jeans, a plumber's life involves a lot of tools. Though the everyday homeowner will find most of a plumber's tools useless and overwhelming for their daily life, some plumbing tools are essential to have on hand in case of a plumbing emergency.
Keeping a wide variety of plumbing tools around can give you the flexibility you need to deal with any plumbing emergency. When a flood or leak occurs, the tools to stop the water and fix the problem quickly will save you money in water damage to your building and property. A good set of quality plumbing tools can help you do jobs quickly and more accurately, which can save you time and frustration.
Plumbing tools have a wide variety of functions. Some plumbing tools unclog sinks and drains, while other tools help you turn water on and off. In addition to the tools used to deal with the pipes, other tools are used to cut walls. These tools help make space in the wall or floor to plumb new fixtures. When metal pipes need to be cut away or shortened, a cast-iron pipe cutter is used to cut the pipes to size.
Plumbing involves a baffling array of tools, which can be classified best by task. For clogs, plumbing tools include plungers, closet augers--also called snakes--, hand augers and pipe cleaning tools. Plumbers also have saws to cut away parts of the wall to facilitate installing new plumbing, which are usually saber or reciprocating saws. Other equipment used by plumbers includes blow torches, pipe cutters, hammers, chisels and box cutters.
When using plumbing tools for home plumbing, avoid buying plumbing tools you will only need to use a few times. Consider renting equipment that is infrequently used or used only during major construction. By renting the equipment, you can save money and keep unwanted plumbing equipment out of your garage.
A good, basic plumbing kit for a homeowner should include duct tape, a standard plunger, a combination plunger, a set of adjustable wrenches and a closet auger. The duct tape can be used to temporarily plug small leaks, often called pinhole leaks. With the standard plunger and combination plunger, toilet, sink and tub clogs will be a breeze. For more serious clogs, a closet auger will help dislodge some of the major gunk in your toilet or deep drain. The adjustable wrenches will give you the ability to shut off your water in the event of a major leak or flood.
Plumbing tools must be used accurately, carefully and with correct technique to avoid costly, messy and dangerous errors. Before using a new plumbing tool, be sure you know how to handle it in a way that will not damage your fixtures of plumbing. Do not attempt any repairs on a fixture without first turning off its water supply with a wrench or pliers.
- Plumbing: Intermediate and Advanced Projects; Merle Henkenius; 2002
- Popular Mechanics; 12 Basic Plumbing Supplies For Home Tool Kits: DIY Guy; Joseph Truini; 2008
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