Homeowners are always looking for ways to save money when maintaining their home, but most homeowners don’t have the correct tools to do so. There are times when our customers ask if it is possible to do the plumbing repair themselves. In this article, we will discuss the tools needed to maintain your home plumbing system.
As a homeowner, you know that plumbing issues can happen any time of the day or night. That’s why it’s wise to have a collection of tools that can help you handle a situation that needs your immediate attention. Checkout eight essential tools to keep in your household’s tool box for emergencies or to help you handle simple tasks.
A Cup Plunger
Did you know there are different types of plungers? They are all made to remove clogs, but some work better for different types of jobs. A cup plunger is the plunger with the traditional design that most people are familiar with. It is essentially a rubber cup on the end of a stick. Some have short plastic handles and others long wooden ones. It is designed to unclog drains that sit on a flat surface such as those found in bathtubs, sinks or showers. You simply lay the cup flat over the drain and push straight down to make the seal. Pull the stick up to create negative pressure to remove the clog from your plumbing system. You may have to work your cup plunger for a while depending on the stubbornness of the clog.
A Flange Plunger
A flange plunger is another member of the plunger family, but it is made to do different work than its cousin, the cup plunger. The flange plunger has a wooden stick and a rubber base with a cup formation at the bottom of it. This makes it easier to fit into a toilet’s drain and remove debris that is clogging the pipe. The design of this plunger also makes it useful for unclogging sinks. But, it’s best to have a separate plunger to use for your sinks and toilets. You don’t want to spread germs and bacteria by using one plunger for every item in your home.
A Pipe Wrench
A pipe wrench is a valuable item to have in your collection of tools. It is a durable tool that should last you for years. The width of its serrated jaws can be adjusted to get a firm grip on all types of pipes. So, when you install a pipe under a sink or elsewhere, a pipe wrench can help you ensure that the connection is tight. Or, if you have to take out a pipe that needs to be replaced due to wear & tear over the years, a pipe wrench allows you to get a solid hold on the pipe in order to disconnect it from other connections. If you’re in the market for a new pipe wrench, take some time to try some in-person. Pick up a few in the store to a get a feel for the grip and weight of the tool. This can help you to select one that you’re comfortable using.
An Auger & Snake
Both an auger and a snake are tools made to unclog a toilet if the clog can’t be removed with a plunger. The design of an auger includes a plastic tube and a long cable. The sole purpose of an auger is to unclog a toilet. To unclog a toilet, unhook the end of the cable from the handle of the auger and stick the head of the cable down into the drain of the toilet. There is usually a rubber backing on the handle of an auger to protect the porcelain from scratches. Use the hand crank to send the cable into the toilet drain and through the pipe. When the head of the cable breaks through the clog, the water in your toilet will go down the drain. The amount of cable you have to push into the drain depends on where the blockage is in the toilet’s pipe.
The appearance of a toilet snake is different from an auger. A snake is a rolled length of cable kept in circular metal or plastic housing with an attached crank. By turning the crank, you send the cable into the toilet or other drain to seek out and remove the clog. Once again, when the head of the snake reaches and removes the clog from your plumbing system, the water in your toilet will drain out. Snakes and augers can be found with cable in many different lengths. You may choose an auger with three feet of cable for your home or a snake with 25 feet of cable or more. The length of cable you choose depends on the length of your pipes.
A Caulking Gun
A caulking gun is a very useful item to have in your tool box. Maybe you want to replace the old, worn line of caulk around your bathtub, sink or shower to keep water from leaking out while making your bathroom more appealing. Or, perhaps you installed a new sink or tub and you want to do the caulking work yourself. All you need is a caulking gun and a tube of quality caulk to get the job done. First, snip off the top of the caulking tube by putting the tip into the hole on the side of your caulking gun. There is a blade there that is engaged when you squeeze the handle of the caulking gun. Next, place the tube into the caulking gun and make sure it is firmly in place. Squeezing the handle on the caulking gun allows you to put the line of caulk exactly where you want it to go. You can increase or reduce the amount of caulk you use by applying more or less pressure on the gun’s handle.
Plumber’s tape comes in roll form just like regular tape. It is put over the threading of a pipe to give you a watertight seal when that pipe is connected to another. It is also known as Teflon tape. You can rip this tape with your fingers or use a pair of sharp scissors to take a length off the roll.
A tube or container of plumber’s putty is another must-have for your tool box. It looks just like regular putty but is used to make a seal that is water tight. You may apply it around a faucet or put some around a drain in a bathroom sink. This putty serves as an extra barrier to prevent leaks.
So, check your tool box for these eight must-have tools to make sure you’re ready to tackle the next plumbing emergency with confidence!