Useful Plumbing Tools to Have at Home
A plunger is one of the most basic (and one of the most helpful) plumbing tools you can have in your arsenal. It might very well be the at-home plumbing tool you use the most when confronting a clog. There are two major types: a cup and a flange plunger. A cup plunger is your typical plunger with a rubber cup that goes over the drain. Use these on the sink, tub, or shower drains. A flange plunger is typically what you use on a toilet. They have an inner section that is narrow and can fit well into the pipe for better suction. It is good to have both because they both work better on the fixtures they were intended for.
Drain Snake or Auger
For the especially stubborn clogs, snakes or augers are great plumbing tools to have. They consist of a cable that feeds into the pipe and will break up and free a clog. Just like plungers, there are different types of augers. Toilet augers are designed for easy use in toilets. They have flexible cables able to bend and maneuver in the complex plumbing of a toilet. These can either be manual or have powered options. If you were looking for an auger to clear a sink or bathtub a standard drain auger will work. These usually have a corkscrew tip at the end of the cable for breaking up clogs.
Wrenches are always useful to have for things other than plumbing as well. A pipe wrench works when dealing with your more heavy-duty plumbing projects. The idea is that you can tighten the wrench around the round surface, and the serrated edges can firmly grip the pipe to give you the leverage you need. However, these are only meant for heavy-duty steel or iron pipes because they can leave marks. Your standard adjustable wrench is for more delicate pieces like valves and nuts. Adjustable wrenches are a must-have when it comes to plumbing tools.
Teflon Tape or Plumber’s Putty
Plumber’s tape and putty are for protection against leaks in areas prone to them, such as threaded connections. Wrap the tape around the threaded area before twisting it into place to create a better seal. Plumber’s putty, on the other hand, is used to seal fixtures. The putty will create a watertight seal between the faucet or drain and the sink.
Like wrenches, pliers are another toolbox must-have. They generally help with many of the motions required when fixing plumbing and vary in size and type. Water pump pliers with an angled jaw are great for gripping pipes, and longer handles allow for better leverage. When looking for the perfect pair of pliers for your plumbing tools, look for adjustable options. Wrench and tongue and groove pliers are two choices available.
If you need to do any pipe cutting, tubing cutters are much easier plumbing tools to use than your typical hacksaw. Although a hacksaw is still a handy tool to have at home, a tubing cutter can make cleaner cuts on copper pipes. There are different tubing cutters for different types of pipes, including PVC as well. Figure out what type of pipes you have at home to know what tubing cutter is best for you to purchase if you would like one of these at home. However, most projects like these should be left to professionals.
Of course, there are a few other basics that you will need for plumbing DIY projects. A bucket is first on the list. It should be able to fit under your sink. The point of the bucket is to catch any water or spill to keep the mess to a minimum. Safety glasses are another must-have. It is best practice to wear them when you cut anything. A tape measure will also come in handy for cutting or identifying what size parts you will need. If you need to seal a plumbing fixture, caulk is always good to have. However, it has a shelf life generally up to a year, so do not buy it unless you feel you need it.
At Valley Fire Protection & Plumbing, we have all these plumbing tools and more to help you with whatever plumbing projects you need doing. If you find that your at-home tools are not doing the trick, call us! We can bring in heavy-duty equipment.