The Plumber’s Arsenal: The Essential Tools for Every Plumber

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Plumbers face battles most folks are ill-equipped to deal with. Besides the typical faucet leaks and running toilet, they also help defend homes and buildings from faulty water heaters, low water pressure, jammed garbage disposal, and sewer system back-ups.

While some concerns can be fixed by a regular Joe with handyman skills, some other more serious concerns require the help of a professional. It will be best to call someone with the right know-how and extensive experience — the plumbing expert. However, despite their knowledge and experience, a plumber is only as good as the weapons they have in their arsenal, or in this case, their toolbox and utility belt.

11 Tools Every Plumber Should Have

1. Plungers

Plungers are used to unclog drains, sinks, tubs, and toilets. There are two types of plungers — the first one is the cup plunger which is ideal for drains in sinks, tubs, and showers, while the other one is the flange plunger which is best for water closets.

2. Snakes

Also known as drain augers, snakes are coiled metal cables that are inserted into drains and force-rotated through pipes to unclog them. These are typically used when plungers don’t do the trick.

3. Wrenches

While there are a variety of wrenches that can be used by plumbers, the most common wrench in a plumber’s toolbox is the dependable adjustable pipe wrench, especially when the job involves galvanized steel or iron pipes.

4. Pliers

Like wrenches, there are several useful pliers that plumbers can use. Among the different variations, the channel-type pliers, also known as channel locks, are commonly used by most professionals since they are versatile.

5. Pipe Cutters and Saws

Saws and pipe cutters are used to cut through different types of hoses, pipes, and tubes. There are several types of cutters and saws available.

A heavy-duty pipe cutter is handy when it comes to major on-site projects or special workshops. It is recommended you get one that works for you best.

6. Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are one of the most important tools everyone should invest in. These are important for installing and removing fixtures and appliances hooked up to any water system.

7. O-Rings and Washers

Having a stock of replacement o-rings and washers is handy especially when dealing with simple jobs such as pipe leaks and faucet drips.

8. Plumber’s Tape

Also known as Teflon tape, this thin white tape is used to prevent leaks from threaded connections.

9. Pipe Bender

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A pipe bender, well, bends pipes into the same shape as the pipes you are replacing. It is also handy for bending pipes around corners.

10. Plumber’s Torch

This propane-fueled small torch is used to melt solder when putting copper pipes together.

11. Metal File

Metal files smoothen rough edges on pipes, especially PVC pipes, after cutting them.

While this is not an extensive list of all plumbing tools, having these in your toolbox is a good enough start to help any plumber — or would-be plumber — face and conquer each battle with the household water system.

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