What Are Basic Plumbing Tools? A Guide

A plumbing business requires a variety of tools. From a plunger to a nipple extractor, this comprehensive guide covers the basic tools that every plumber should have.

A versatile tool, a plumber’s wrench has long handles and angled jaws to firmly grasp, twist or tighten pipes. It’s also used to remove fixture shutoff valves and compression fittings.

Adjustable Wrench

A wrench is one of the most basic tools every plumber must have. These sturdy stalwarts deliver the leverage and turning power needed to secure or remove many different fittings. Depending on the type of plumbing project, different sizes and designs of wrenches may be necessary. These specialized wrenches range from the robust straight pipe wrench to Johan Petter Johansson’s adjustable wrench that resembles a pair of pliers.

The pipe wrench is the workhorse of the plumber’s toolkit, designed to grip and turn pipes and fittings. Its jaws can be adjusted to fit a variety of sizes of pipes, making this an essential tool for plumbers of all skill levels. To use a pipe wrench, simply adjust the jaws to the size of the threaded portion of the pipe and twist to tighten or loosen. A ratchet wrench is another important tool for plumbers to have on hand. This specialized tool offers a hex-shaped clamp that can be adjusted to grip a variety of fasteners, including hex nuts, square nuts and unions.

Plumbers also need a good pair of pliers, like needle-nose pliers or regular pliers. These specialized pliers offer a narrow, strong grip on fasteners and are especially useful for reaching into tight spaces that are difficult to access with other types of pliers. These pliers are perfect for removing or installing sink faucets, since they can reach into small areas where the nut or bolt is located behind the sink.

A good set of pliers also includes a pair of stubby screwdrivers, which are ideal for tightening or loosening screws found on fixtures in hard-to-reach locations, such as behind toilets. These stubby screwdrivers have a shorter shaft and handle than typical screwdrivers, making them easier to maneuver in small spaces and fit tiny screws such as those found on cabinet hinges. Lastly, all plumbers should keep some Teflon tape, also known as plumber’s tape, on hand to seal pipe threads when repairing leaky pipes. This special tape adds an extra layer of protection against leaks by creating a smooth surface on the inside of the pipe that helps prevent rust and corrosion.

Strap Wrench

As one of the most common tools on a plumber’s toolkit, the adjustable wrench works well for gripping and turning nuts and bolts. It has a sliding joint that creates different jaw sizes for gripping objects of various sizes. It is also used for loosening pipe fittings and other parts that are harder to grip with a standard wrench.

Strap wrenches, which can be made of rubber or nylon, are a handy alternative to other tools for gripping and rotating pipes without damaging the surface. They distribute pressure evenly over the surface and are useful for tightening or loosening metal or PVC pipes that would be damaged by other types of wrenches.

A hole saw, which is attached to a drill, is another useful plumbing tool for cutting holes in pipes and other materials for routing wiring or other components. It can be especially helpful for removing drain stubs on the floor or a broken section of pipe before replacing it.

Another essential hand tool for plumbers, including the Baton Rouge plumbers, would be a pipe cutter, which is a sharp-edged blade on a handle that cuts through most types of pipes. It can be a good replacement for an electric wire cutter in many cases, and is commonly used when preparing pipe stubs to be removed or when making straightening repairs.

Besides the basics, a plumber’s toolbox should have a variety of other specialty tools for more specific tasks. These include a basin wrench and lock wrench, which are designed to reach and work on nuts in hard-to-reach areas such as behind sinks and faucets. Also, a hacksaw is useful for making quick and clean cuts through pipe and other materials when a straight pipe cutter won’t do the trick.

Finally, a stubby screwdriver is a handy tool for working with caulk and toilet wax, as it can reach areas that other screwdrivers can’t get to. Another type of specialty tool is the nipple extractor, which removes old nipples on pipe fittings without damaging them. Plumbers may also want to keep a supply of solvent weld on hand, which is a type of pipe thread sealant that helps ensure a leak-free connection.

Stubby Screwdrivers

A stubby screwdriver is an invaluable tool for plumbing jobs in cramped spaces. These compact screwdrivers have a narrow blade and handle that makes them ideal for tightening or loosening screws in hard-to-reach areas, such as beneath sinks or behind toilets. A good stubby screwdriver set will include various flathead and Phillips-head sizes to cover a wide range of plumbing applications. These tools are also useful for securing air vents in ductwork installations and for working on small maintenance tasks at home, like tightening drain knobs or replacing light fixtures.

A plumber’s screwdriver set should also include hex (Allen wrench) and torx drivers to cover a variety of other fasteners. A hex driver, which has an offset design that fits in tight spaces, is a great choice for turning pipe nuts and other fasteners that require more torque than standard screwdrivers. A ratcheting screwdriver is another handy plumbing tool to have because it can apply more force with less effort than a traditional screwdriver.

Most of the tools plumbers use have a specific purpose in mind. For example, a PVC pipe cutter is a handheld tool shaped like a cylinder with a blade at the end that works with a drill to cut pipes from the inside. This tool is a must-have for plumbing professionals working in walls or other confined spaces, and it can save them time and effort by cutting pipes from the inside rather than from the outside.

Another essential tool for plumbers is a spirit level, which is used to make sure that pipes are angled correctly. This can help to prevent water from leaking or bursting when a fitting is installed at an incorrect angle. Plumbers also use a hex key to turn and tighten threaded pipe nuts.

Many hand tools that plumbers use are designed to protect them from injuries. For example, a pair of rubber gloves can protect the hands from sharp edges or objects when handling piping and can help to reduce fatigue during long plumbing jobs. Plumbers’ tool bags should also contain safety glasses, a hard hat, and ear plugs to protect them from loud noises during plumbing work.

Teflon Tape

The Teflon tape is a common plumbing tool used to prevent leaks on threaded connections and to lubricate pipe joints. It is also known as PTFE tape, plumber’s tape, or thread seal tape and is one of the most important tools for plumbing projects. It is easy to use and can be found in most plumbers’ toolboxes. However, it is crucial to know how to properly use it to get the most out of it.

The key to using this plumbing tool is making sure that the threads are clean and free of dirt and other debris. Also, the piping should be cold before applying the tape. This will help the tape to stick better. Once the threads are clean and dry, apply the PTFE tape to the end of the pipe’s threading. Then, start wrapping the tape around the pipe in the direction that the pipe will turn. Make sure that the tape is snug, but not tight. Also, be careful not to wrap the tape more than six times. Excessive application of this plumbing tool can cause the threads to shear and break.

Besides being easy to use, this plumbing tape can provide a lot of benefits to pipe connections that don’t have a built-in rubber seal. This is because it can lubricate the connection and keep it from sticking. This makes it easier to disassemble or remove the connections. It can even help prevent water or gas from leaking through the joint.

There are a few different types of PTFE tapes that are available for different purposes. They vary in density and color, so plumbers should choose the right type for their job. For example, white PTFE tape is the standard variety that plumbers use for most jobs. It has a low density and is suitable for use with water pipes. Yellow PTFE tape is more dense and is intended for use with gas pipes.

As you can see, the plumber’s toolkit includes various items that are necessary for any job. It’s important for plumbers to have these basic tools on hand so that they can complete their work quickly and effectively. By using these tools, they can save time and money while ensuring that their work is done correctly.

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