Every homeowner or tenant will eventually have to deal with a clogged kitchen sink, running toilet, dripping faucet, and water leaks. While you can always call a professional plumber to fix these things, in most cases, you can troubleshoot the problem yourself if you have the right plumbing tools on hand.
Most of the tools you need to maintain your home plumbing system are available at your local hardware store. Here are a few basic tools that every DIYer should have.
Plunger: The plunger is the plumber’s best friend, and every home should have one handy. If you need to unclog sinks, tubs, toilets, showers and floor drains, the plunger is the first tool you should grab. When using a plunger, press down to create a firm seal around the drain, and pull upward. Your objective is to vacuum the clog out, not push it deeper.
Adjustable Wrench: This versatile tool is required to turn hex-shaped nuts on compression fittings, supply lines and other plumbing fixtures. It is best to get two sizes: 6 inches and 10 inches. When buying an adjustable wrench, check that the moving jaw doesn’t slip loose under torque.
Closet Auger: A closet auger is a manual clog-clearing tool specifically designed for toilets. Its long steel cable is tough enough to grind through the most stubborn clogs.
Pipe Wrench: This large, heavy wrench is used to turn threaded pipes, fittings and nuts. You’ll need two pipe wrenches – one for turning and one for holding. Be careful not to damage the outer layer of a plumbing fixture with the serrated teeth of the wrench. When working on chrome or powder-coated parts, wrap the wrench’s jaws in a cloth to protect the finish. Get two pipe wrench sizes: 10 inches and 14 inches.
Basin Wrench: A basin wrench is used to tighten and loosen nuts that hold sink faucets in place. Its long shaft and swiveling jaw can reach up and into the deep, narrow space behind a sink and lock onto the nuts.
Tongue-and-Groove Pliers: 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 inches and 12 inches.
Plumber’s Snake: When a plunger fails to clear the clog, snake your way down the drain with this hand-cranked tool. Its 25-foot flexible steel cable is effective at clearing obstructions from tubs, showers, sinks, toilets and drain lines.
Hacksaw: You’ll need a hacksaw to cut through metal pipes, screws, nuts and bolts, and PVC pipes. Make sure that the blade is tense in the frame for tough cutting jobs, and always keep extra blades on hand. When cutting in tight spots, wrap one end of a loose blade in a cloth to create a handle before you slip the blade in.
Tubing Cutter: Use a tubing cutter to cut through copper pipes. Get both a standard-size tubing cutter and a close-quarter mini cutter for tight spaces.
Metal File: After cutting a metal pipe, remove burrs and smoothen out the edges using a metal file. It’s best to have two file sizes: half-round, which has a rounded and flat surface, and a rat-tail file, which is round and tapered.
Propane Torch: If you need to sweat copper pipe and fittings, use a propane torch with a self-igniting head that lights at the squeeze of a trigger. You’ll find it much more convenient than using a striker or matches.
Fire-Resistant Cloth: When soldering with an open-flame propane torch, use a thick, specially treated cloth to protect combustible surfaces. It’s always smart to keep a fire extinguisher nearby, too.
Of course, you’ll also need basic home-repair tools such as screwdrivers, hammer, utility knife, safety goggles, work gloves, tape measure, drill driver, and a toolbox to store them neatly.
Get these basic tools first and then add more as you need them. Get more ideas and info from Plumber Medford Oregon today.