If you’re a plumber, you’re skilled in your trade and good with your hands. Of course, on the job, you’re constantly faced with several challenges like navigating tight spaces, avoiding health hazards, and other issues.
So how can plumbers tackle these challenges?
Whether you’re a residential or commercial plumber, you need the right plumber tools to get the job done right. Specialty plumbing tools, for example, are a must in every plumber’s toolbox.
Let’s take a look at some of the best plumbing tools every plumber needs.
Plumbing Tools and Equipment
Here’s a list of the best plumbing equipment and tools by category:
Plumbing Tools for Pipe Work
Plumbers work with pipes, so it’s essential to have the right pipe tools. You need to use a specific set of tools and techniques to repair, alter, replace and install piping in spaces around the home.
Plumbers need to carry a hacksaw to cut through a wide range of hardware. These may include pipes, nuts, bolts, and screws. Some hardware can be tough to cut through, so make sure your hacksaw blade is well secured before using. You should also keep spare blades on hand just in case.
2. Tube and Plastic Pipe Cutters
If you're dealing with copper and plastic piping regularly, you may need to remove, replace or resize them with a pipe cutter. To do so, you will need some handheld tube and plastic pipe cutters. There are several models available on the market, so you can choose which models work best for you.
3. Plumber’s Torch
Some plumbers seal copper piping by soldering it. Soldering requires an intense heat source. A plumber’s torch is a small handheld unit that you can use to apply intense heat where needed. This can include specific areas when soldering and sealing new piping for installs and replacements.
4. Thread Sealing Tape
You can use thread sealing or plumber’s tape to patch or prevent leaks where threaded joints connect in piping. A high-quality plumber’s tape will be resistant to high and low temperatures. It can also stretch for a better fit and won’t dry out.
Pliers are a must since they’re used almost every day. They allow you to loosen and tighten nuts and bolts too small for your wrench to grip. Pliers also fit better in your hands, so it can make it easier to work in tight spaces where a wrench won’t fit.
6. Press Fitting Systems
Connecting pipes securely is one of the most critical factors to a successful plumbing project. Iron Pipe Size (IPS) press-fitting systems allow plumbers to press a connection onto a pipe. This results in a watertight connection or seal.
These can help you save money and time because you can make connections faster than if you were to weld or solder the pipes.
No plumbing toolbox can be complete without the mighty wrench. Unfortunately, there is no single-use all-purpose wrench. However, there are numerous models for specific purposes. Your toolbox will need a few of them.
7. Pipe Wrench
A pipe wrench is the largest wrench in your toolbox. You can use it to tighten or loosen nuts and fittings on pipes. Some plumbers use two of these at the same time. One is used to hold the pipe in place, while the other rotates a nut or fitting.
Pipe wrenches are available in various lengths, and most plumbers work with an entire set of these wrenches.
8. Basin Wrench
A basin wrench or sink wrench is a T-shaped plumbing tool used when working on faucets. The unique clamp-like mechanism on one end allows plumbers to work better in confined spaces. They allow you to tighten or loosen nuts that keep faucets working as they should and not leaking.
9. Adjustable Wrench
An adjustable wrench goes by many names, including adjustable spanner or crescent. It can tighten or loosen hexagonal nuts and fittings on pipes. These wrenches come in several sizes, but the 7 and 10-inch versions seem to be the most popular choices to keep in your toolbox.
10. Faucet Key
A faucet key is not a wrench, but it is crucial for your toolkit. Faucet keys are small X-shaped tools that open and close spigots and sillcocks. You’ll find several options available with different fittings, including 1/4", 9/32”, 5/16”, etc.
Plumbing Tools for Clearing Clogs
In some instances, the pipes themselves aren’t the problem. Sometimes it’s what’s inside the pipes that are causing the issues. Plumbers need to know how to deal with a stubborn clog and the right tools to get rid of it.
Most people have a plunger in their home, but you also need to own it. This is because the standard household plungers will not have the suction power to clear a clog effectively. Numerous heavy-duty flange and cup plungers with excellent suction power are available on the market. These will make it easier to clear clogs than your average household plunger.
12. Hand Auger
A hand auger allows you to clear clogs located deep in a drain. This tool has a long, flexible metal wire to break and clear clogs via a hand crank. You can also find hand augers with updated designs and capabilities that make clearing a stubborn clog easier.
13. Snake Machine
A drain snake machine is larger than a hand auger and motorized. This is better to tackle clogs deep in drains or clogs that you’re having a tough time getting rid of.
Plumbing Safety Tools
When you think about plumbing, danger may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are ways that plumbers can get hurt on the job. This is why it is essential to have a few safety tools in your toolbox.
Plumbers check for leaks, solder pipes, and do other things that can be dangerous for the eyes. This is why a good pair of safety goggles should be in your toolbox. You may not need it for every job, but it’s there when you do need it.
Plumbers get down and dirty. They may sometimes have to touch things people don’t want to touch with their bare hands. A quick search online or check at your local hardware store may stock several heavy-duty gloves to keep your hands protected, grip slippery items easier, and other benefits.
16. Heatshield and Pads
If you’re soldering and dealing with intense heat, you need the proper safety equipment to protect yourself and anyone nearby. Heatshields and pads can protect you and the surrounding area from heat damage or fire when using a plumber’s torch.
Emerging Plumbing Tools
Emerging technologies are leading to redesigned hardware that is changing the plumbing industry. You’ll always find new tools and solutions to old problems. This can help your business stand out from your competitors.
17. PEX Pipe Expander and Fittings
PEX piping is one of the latest innovations in the plumbing industry. It’s a resilient, flexible plastic piping that offers excellent reliability and convenience. A PEX expander is a drill-like device that allows you to widen the mouth of a pipe to insert a metal fitting. PEX piping retains its original shape, so when you remove the expander, the mouth closes in on the metal fitting and creates a perfect seal.
Crimp tools are necessary for PEX-related plumbing. However, plumbers can also use them with other types of piping. Crimping tools join multiple pieces of metal or other materials together. These tools either deform one piece or both pieces of metal to hold each other.
19. Stubby Screwdriver
A stubby screwdriver may not seem that important, but what happens when you need to get to a screw in a tight space? A stubby screwdriver can help tighten or loosen a screw in places where an ordinary screwdriver won’t fit.
Borescopes allow you to take advantage of new technologies in the plumbing industry. These were once used as top-of-line tools for plumbing, but now more plumbers are including them in their toolbox.
A Borescope is a small camera tethered by a long flexible cable. It can be inserted into drains and sewer lines to get a better look at the current state of the piping or what is clogging it.
21. Plumbing Business Software and Solutions
The plumbing industry has advanced so much in the past couple of years. Now, fewer trade professionals use pen and paper to work out estimates and create invoices. They use plumbing software to organize and manage their daily operations in the office and the field.
The best plumbing software and solutions allow you to:
- Schedule your plumbing jobs without any hassle
- Manage plumbing jobs in the field
- Access customer information in just a few clicks
- Create, view, track, and send invoices
- Collect payments in the field easily
- Market your business effectively
Let Scorpion Help You With Your Plumber Marketing
While this is not an exhaustive list of plumbing tools, the tools in this article will help you get through most plumbing jobs with ease. The right tools in your toolbox can set you up for success every time.
However, there is a lot more behind the scenes when it comes to your plumbing service. This can include marketing tactics and how you manage day-to-day activities. Feel free to reach out to Scorpion for a consultation on scaling and growing your plumbing business.
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