You don’t have to call a team emergent plumber 24 hours nearby every time you face a plumbing problem. Some plumbing issues, including clogged drains and leaking faucets, are minor and require some basic knowledge to fix them at home. You can solve such issues yourself. You will, however, need some basic plumbing tools to do so. The following are eight essential tools to address minor plumbing issues.
1. Sink Auger
A sink auger is your go-to tool for dismantling and clearing clogs in the kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as bathtub drains. This instrument is more effective and safer than chemical cleaning agents in removing clogs. The use of this tool does not include toilets. You will require a toilet auger or closet auger to fix your blocked toilet instead. The tool features a huge spinning drum canister that breaks down the clogs and cleans the drain. As such, this instrument is also known as a “canister auger” or “drum auger.”
The drum canister contains a flexible metal cable. It also features a handle and a thumbscrew that joins the cable to the drum. When you put the metal cable into the drain and rotate the handle, the drum pushes the cable through the pipe. This enables the cable tip to penetrate the clogs and draw them out of the pipe easily.
2. Toilet Auger
This tool is specifically designed to clean debris and other obstructions in toilets. You cannot use this for the kitchen and other standard sinks. The tool features a long metal cable with a bend to access a standard toilet drain.
A rubber sleeve encloses the bend to keep the porcelain inside the bowl from getting scratched. After inserting the auger into the drain, you can push and turn the cable to drive it through the clog.
Your toolbox should contain two types of plungers: flange and cup plungers. The flange plunger is ideal for standard toilets. It features a long handle with a soft, tiny cup for sealing the drain. The plunger generates enough hydraulic pressure to remove most obstructions from your toilet.
The cup plunger is ideal for dislodging clogs in the kitchen sink, shower, and bathtub drains. It contains a wooden handle and a cup-like shaped rubber for sealing the drain, creating a vacuum, and forcing out the clog.
4. Drain Snake
A drain snake is an essential plumbing tool. It’s easy to use and perfect for serious plumbing issues without calling a local professional plumber. It dislodges stubborn blockages when plungers fail to do the work. You can use it to remove hard-to-reach blockages inside the piping because of its strong yet flexible design. Drain snakes are perfect for cleaning bathtubs and toilet drains.
5. Adjustable Wrench
Also known as a monkey wrench, an adjustable wrench is a must-have tool for every homeowner if they are facing any plumbing repair issue. It enables you to fasten or unfasten hex nuts of different sizes. In fact, one adjustment wrench can perform the function of a whole set of open-ended wrenches. The only problem is that adjustable wrenches tend to damage hex nuts because of their inaccurate fit. So, consider purchasing a set of open-ended wrenches that suit the size of your hex nuts if you are working with nuts too often.
6. Plumber’s Tape
Plumber’s tape, also called Teflon tape, helps keep pipes sealed correctly and strongly at the threaded joints. It is a thin yet sturdy tool you apply to threads on pipes and fittings before joining the parts together. These tapes come in several different sizes. You can use them on pipe connections, faucet connections, shower heads, irrigation systems, and other fittings.
A hacksaw features a tensioned blade and sharp teeth for cutting pipes. It can cut through plastic and copper pipes with ease. You can turn its blade upwards and downwards based on the type of cut you are making. You can use it repeatedly without any danger of injuring your hand, provided you exercise caution and take proper measures.
8. Tubing Cutter
This tool is a must-have if you are dealing with copper pipes. It allows you to make clean, square cuts on your copper effortlessly. It features a thin cutting wheel that makes a perfect cut on the metal. It also has a flat pressure wheel that exerts pressure when you twist its knob.
Minor plumbing problems can strike at the least expected time. They can arise at night or on weekends. Having the right plumbing tools and understanding how to use them can be instrumental in fixing minor issues. Fixing small plumbing concerns can save money and the hassles of calling an emergency plumber for minor repairs.
Even if you don’t think you are a passionate do-it-yourselfer, having the right tools in your toolbox can prove helpful in the face of plumbing disasters. Be sure to call a plumber if the plumbing job is complex and above your abilities.