15 Essential Plumbing Tools for Professional Plumbers
#15 Essential Plumbing Tools for Professional Plumbers
In the plumbing profession, having the right tools is essential to get the job done efficiently and effectively. From basic hand tools like wrenches and pliers to specialized equipment like pipe cutters and drain snakes, each tool has its unique function in repairing and maintaining plumbing systems.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the essential tools for plumbing.
** Buy on Amazon - Borescopes**
Borescopes are equipped with high-quality cameras that provide clear images and videos of the inside of the plumbing system. They are also equipped with LED lights to provide illumination in dark areas, making it easier to see and identify any issues.
One of the biggest advantages of using a borescope in plumbing is that it helps to save time and money. By quickly identifying the location and nature of the problem, plumbers can make targeted repairs without having to tear apart the entire plumbing system. This means less time spent on repairs and less disruption to the property.
Borescopes are available in a variety of sizes and types, including handheld models, flexible models, and wireless models. They are also available with various features, such as adjustable lighting, image stabilization, and waterproofing, making them suitable for different plumbing applications.
2. Drain auger
** Buy on Amazon - Drain auger**
A drain auger, also known as a drain snake or plumbing snake, is a tool used to clear clogs from drains and pipes. It consists of a flexible cable or wire that is inserted into the drain or pipe and rotated manually or using a motor. The cable is designed to break up and remove clogs that are causing the blockage.
There are two types of drain augers: handheld and power augers. Handheld augers are typically used for smaller clogs in sinks, showers, and toilets, while power augers are used for larger clogs in main sewer lines and other larger pipes.
Handheld drain augers typically consist of a long, flexible cable with a handle on one end and a corkscrew or hook on the other end. The cable is inserted into the drain or pipe and rotated manually using the handle, which causes the corkscrew or hook to break up and remove the clog.
Power drain augers, on the other hand, use a motor to rotate the cable and break up the clog. They are typically larger and more powerful than handheld augers and are used for larger clogs in main sewer lines and other larger pipes.
One of the biggest advantages of using a drain auger is that it can clear clogs quickly and effectively, without the need for harsh chemicals or expensive plumbing services.
** Buy on Amazon - Jetters**
Jetters, also known as hydro jetters or water jetters, are powerful plumbing tools that use high-pressure water streams to clear clogs and debris from pipes and drains. They are typically used for larger clogs and more severe blockages in plumbing systems.
Jetters work by forcing water through a high-pressure hose and into the affected pipe or drain. The water stream is powerful enough to break up and flush out any clogs or debris that are causing the blockage. Jetters can be used on a variety of plumbing systems, including sewers, drains, and pipes.
One of the biggest advantages of using a jetter is that it is highly effective at clearing even the most stubborn clogs. Unlike drain snakes and other plumbing tools that can push clogs further down the line, jetters are designed to completely remove the clog and any debris that may be contributing to the blockage.
Another advantage of using a jetter is that it is a safe and environmentally friendly way to clear clogs. Unlike harsh chemicals and other methods that can damage plumbing systems and harm the environment, jetters use only water and do not leave any harmful residues.
Jetters are available in a variety of sizes and configurations, including handheld models, trailer-mounted models, and truck-mounted models. They can be used for both residential and commercial plumbing applications and are essential tools for professional plumbers.
4. Acid flux brush
** Buy on Amazon - Acid flux brush**
An acid flux brush is a specialized plumbing tool that is used to apply acid flux to pipes and fittings during soldering. Acid flux is a solution that helps to clean and prepare the surfaces of pipes and fittings for soldering, allowing for a stronger and more secure joint.
The acid flux brush is typically made of a small, disposable brush with nylon bristles and a plastic or metal handle. The brush is dipped into the acid flux solution and then applied to the surfaces of the pipes and fittings that will be joined.
One of the main advantages of using an acid flux brush is that it allows for precise and even application of the acid flux solution. This is important because too little acid flux can result in a weak joint, while too much acid flux can cause corrosion and other issues.
Another advantage of using an acid flux brush is that it is a cost-effective and easy-to-use tool. The brushes are inexpensive and can be disposed of after each use, eliminating the need for cleaning and maintenance.
5. Assorted pliers
** Buy on Amazon - Assorted pliers**
Assorted pliers are a type of plumbing tool that is used to grip and manipulate objects during plumbing work. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed for a specific type of task.
One of the most common types of pliers used in plumbing work is the adjustable pliers, also known as channel-lock pliers. These pliers have an adjustable jaw that can be opened or closed to grip objects of different sizes. They are commonly used for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts, as well as for gripping and bending pipes and fittings.
Another type of pliers used in plumbing work is the tongue-and-groove pliers, also known as pump pliers. These pliers have a series of teeth on their jaws that allow for a secure grip on objects of different sizes. They are commonly used for gripping and turning pipes and fittings, as well as for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts.
Needle-nose pliers are another type of pliers commonly used in plumbing work. These pliers have a long, narrow jaw that is ideal for reaching into tight spaces and gripping small objects. They are commonly used for bending and shaping wires, as well as for reaching and gripping hard-to-reach nuts and bolts.
Other types of pliers that are commonly used in plumbing work include locking pliers, diagonal pliers, and slip-joint pliers. Locking pliers, also known as Vise-Grips, have a locking mechanism that allows for a secure grip on objects of different sizes. Diagonal pliers, also known as wire cutters, are designed for cutting wires and other small objects. Slip-joint pliers are similar to adjustable pliers, but have a more limited range of motion and are used for lighter tasks.
6. PEX crimping tool kit with tube cutters
** Buy on Amazon - PEX crimping tool kit with tube cutters**
A PEX crimping tool kit with tube cutters is a specialized plumbing tool kit that is used to install and repair PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) piping systems. PEX piping is a popular alternative to traditional copper and PVC piping due to its durability, flexibility, and ease of installation.
The PEX crimping tool kit typically includes a crimping tool, tube cutters, and a range of fittings and connectors. The crimping tool is used to crimp metal rings onto the ends of PEX tubing, creating a secure and leak-proof connection. The tube cutters are used to cut PEX tubing to the desired length.
One of the advantages of using a PEX crimping tool kit with tube cutters is that it allows for easy and efficient installation of PEX piping systems. The crimping tool creates a secure connection between the PEX tubing and fittings, eliminating the need for soldering or glue.
Another advantage of using a PEX crimping tool kit is that it is a cost-effective and durable option for plumbing work. PEX piping systems are resistant to corrosion and scale buildup, making them a long-lasting and low-maintenance option for residential and commercial plumbing systems.
7. Deburring and reaming
** Buy on Amazon - Deburring and reaming**
Deburring and reaming tools are essential plumbing tools that are used to remove burrs and sharp edges from pipes and fittings. Burrs can occur during the cutting and fitting process, and if left untreated, can cause leaks or other plumbing problems.
A deburring tool is used to remove burrs from the inside and outside of pipes and fittings. The tool consists of a small blade or grinding wheel that is used to shave off the rough edges, creating a smooth surface. Deburring tools are commonly used on copper and PVC piping systems.
A reaming tool is used to enlarge and smooth out the inside of pipes and fittings. The tool consists of a cone-shaped blade that is used to remove any irregularities or roughness inside the pipe or fitting, creating a smooth and even surface. Reaming tools are commonly used on plastic and metal piping systems.
Using deburring and reaming tools is important for ensuring a secure and leak-free plumbing system. Burrs and rough edges can cause damage to fittings and lead to leaks, which can result in costly repairs and water damage.
When using deburring and reaming tools, it is important to follow proper safety procedures to avoid injury or damage to the plumbing system. This includes wearing protective gloves and eyewear, as well as properly disposing of any shavings or debris.
** Buy on Amazon - Hacksaw**
A hacksaw is a versatile and essential tool for plumbers that are used for cutting pipes and fittings made of various materials, including metal, plastic, and wood. Hacksaws consists of a blade that is attached to a handle and is available in different sizes and styles.
One of the advantages of using a hacksaw is that it can be used to cut pipes and fittings of different sizes and materials. The blade can be easily changed to accommodate the specific material being cut, making it a versatile tool for plumbing work.
When using a hacksaw, it is important to select the appropriate blade for the material being cut and to use the proper technique to avoid injury or damage to the plumbing system. It is also important to wear protective gloves and eyewear to avoid injury.
In addition to cutting pipes and fittings, hacksaws can also be used for other plumbing tasks, such as cutting bolts or screws. This makes them a versatile tool for plumbers who need to perform a range of tasks on a job site.
9. Metal file and brush
** Buy on Amazon - Metal file and brush**
A metal file and brush are two essential plumbing tools that are used to clean and smooth the edges of metal pipes and fittings.
A metal file is a hand tool that is used to remove small amounts of material from the edges of metal pipes and fittings. It consists of a flat or rounded piece of metal with teeth or ridges along the edge. The file is used to smooth out any rough or jagged edges that may be present on the metal, creating a clean and smooth surface.
A metal brush, on the other hand, is a hand tool that is used to remove rust, dirt, and other debris from metal pipes and fittings. It consists of a series of wire bristles that are attached to a handle. The brush is used to scrub the surface of the metal, removing any debris and leaving a clean and smooth surface.
Using a metal file and brush is important for ensuring a secure and leak-free plumbing system. Rough or jagged edges can cause damage to fittings and lead to leaks, while rust and debris can weaken the integrity of the metal over time.
When using a metal file and brush, it is important to follow proper safety procedures to avoid injury or damage to the plumbing system. This includes wearing protective gloves and eyewear, as well as properly disposing of any shavings or debris.
10. Pipe and tubing cutters
** Buy on Amazon - Pipe and tubing cutters**
Pipe and tubing cutters are essential plumbing tools that are used to cut pipes and tubing made of various materials, including copper, plastic, and steel. These tools provide a precise and clean cut, making them ideal for plumbing work.
Pipe cutters consist of a cutting wheel that is mounted on a frame with adjustable jaws that hold the pipe in place. The cutting wheel is rotated around the pipe, creating a clean and precise cut. Pipe cutters are available in different sizes and styles to accommodate various pipe diameters and materials.
Tubing cutters are similar to pipe cutters but are designed specifically for cutting tubing. They consist of a cutting wheel that is mounted on a frame with adjustable jaws that hold the tubing in place. The cutting wheel is rotated around the tubing, creating a clean and precise cut. Tubing cutters are also available in different sizes and styles to accommodate various tubing diameters and materials.
Using a pipe or tubing cutter is important for ensuring a secure and leak-free plumbing system. A clean and precise cut ensures that the pipe or tubing can be properly fitted with connectors or fittings, preventing leaks and other plumbing problems.
When using a pipe or tubing cutter, it is important to select the appropriate cutter for the material being cut and to use the proper technique to avoid injury or damage to the plumbing system. It is also important to wear protective gloves and eyewear to avoid injury.
11. Swaging and flaring tools
** Buy on Amazon - Swaging and flaring tools**
Swaging and flaring tools are two important plumbing tools that are used to create a tight and secure seal between pipes and fittings.
A swaging tool is used to compress the end of a pipe or tubing, making it smaller in diameter so that it can fit into a smaller fitting or connector. This creates a tight and secure seal between the pipe and fitting, preventing leaks and other plumbing problems. Swaging tools are available in different sizes and styles to accommodate various pipe and tubing diameters.
A flaring tool, on the other hand, is used to widen the end of a pipe or tubing so that it can be fitted onto a larger fitting or connector. This also creates a tight and secure seal between the pipe and fitting, preventing leaks and other plumbing problems. Flaring tools are available in different sizes and styles to accommodate various pipe and tubing diameters.
Using swaging and flaring tools is important for ensuring a secure and leak-free plumbing system. A tight and secure seal between pipes and fittings prevents leaks and other plumbing problems, ensuring that the system functions properly.
When using swaging and flaring tools, it is important to select the appropriate tool for the material being worked with and to use the proper technique to avoid injury or damage to the plumbing system. It is also important to wear protective gloves and eyewear to avoid injury.
12. Thread sealing tape, plumber’s putty, and putty knife
** Buy on Amazon - Thread sealing tape, plumber’s putty, and putty knife**
Thread sealing tape, also known as Teflon tape, is a thin, white tape that is wrapped around the threads of a pipe or fitting before it is screwed together. This tape creates a watertight seal between the threads, preventing leaks and other plumbing problems. Thread sealing tape is an inexpensive and easy-to-use tool that should be included in any plumber’s toolkit.
Plumber’s putty is a soft, pliable substance that is used to create a watertight seal between pipes and fittings. It is typically used on sink drains and other plumbing fixtures that require a seal around the edges. Plumber’s putty is applied with a putty knife, which allows for easy and precise application. Plumber’s putty is an affordable and effective tool that is an important part of any plumbing project.
A putty knife is a tool that is used to apply and remove putty, caulk, and other substances used in plumbing projects. It typically has a wide, flat blade that is designed for spreading and smoothing materials. Putty knives are available in various sizes and styles to accommodate different types of projects.
Using thread sealing tape, a plumber’s putty, and a putty knife is important for creating a watertight seal between pipes and fittings. This prevents leaks and other plumbing problems, ensuring that the plumbing system functions properly.
13. Spray lubricants
** Buy on Amazon - Spray lubricants**
Spray lubricants are an important tool for plumbers to keep their equipment and fittings in good working condition. They are used to lubricate and protect metal pipes, fittings, valves, and other plumbing components. There are several different types of spray lubricants available for plumbing use, each with its own unique benefits.
One of the most commonly used spray lubricants in plumbing is silicone spray. Silicone spray is a clear, water-resistant lubricant that is ideal for use on metal surfaces. It provides a long-lasting, non-stick coating that helps prevent rust, corrosion, and other types of damage to plumbing components. Silicone spray is also heat-resistant, making it ideal for use in high-temperature applications.
Another commonly used spray lubricant in plumbing is white lithium grease. This is a thick, white grease that is designed for use on metal surfaces that experience high levels of friction. It provides a long-lasting lubricating layer that helps prevent wear and tear on plumbing components. White lithium grease is also water-resistant, making it ideal for use in wet environments.
Penetrating oils are also popular spray lubricants used in plumbing. These are designed to loosen rusted or seized components, making it easier to remove them. They can also be used to protect against corrosion and other types of damage.
14. Washers and O-rings
** Buy on Amazon - Washers and O-rings**
Washers and O-rings are essential components in plumbing systems as they help create a watertight seal between two connected parts, preventing leaks. Here’s what you need to know about washers and O-rings in plumbing:
- Washers: There are different types of washers used in plumbing, but the most common ones are flat washers and rubber washers. Flat washers are used to evenly distribute pressure and prevent leaks between two flat surfaces, such as a faucet and a sink. Rubber washers, also known as gaskets, are used to create a seal between two non-flat surfaces, such as between a faucet and a curved sink.
- O-rings: O-rings are rubber rings that are used to create a tight seal between two parts that have a circular shape. They are commonly used in faucets, valves, and other plumbing fixtures. O-rings are available in different sizes and materials, depending on the application.
- Replacement: Over time, washers and O-rings can wear out and fail, leading to leaks. It’s important to regularly check and replace worn-out washers and O-rings to prevent leaks and water damage. Replacement washers and O-rings can be found at most hardware stores and are usually inexpensive.
- Installation: Installing washers and O-rings is a simple process. First, turn off the water supply to the fixture. Then, disassemble the fixture and remove the old washer or O-ring. Clean the area where the new washer or O-ring will be installed, and then install the new one. Reassemble the fixture and turn the water supply back on, and check for leaks.
15. Press fitting systems
** Buy on Amazon - Press fitting systems
Press fitting systems are becoming increasingly popular in plumbing due to their ease of use, reliability, and efficiency.
Press fittings are a connection system used to join two or more pipes together. They consist of a specially designed fitting and a pressing tool that is used to compress the fitting onto the pipes, creating a secure and watertight seal.
There are several types of press fitting systems available for plumbing, including copper press fittings, stainless steel press fittings, and PEX press fittings. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice will depend on the specific needs of the job.
Press fitting systems offer several advantages over traditional connection methods, such as soldering or threading. They are quicker and easier to install, require less skill and training, and are less prone to leaks. They are also less likely to cause damage to the pipes, as no heat or flames are involved in the installation process.
Press fitting systems require a pressing tool to be used to compress the fitting onto the pipes. The tool is typically operated by a hydraulic or battery-powered system, and the pressing force is carefully calibrated to ensure a secure and watertight seal. Proper training and certification are required to operate a pressing tool safely and effectively.
While press fitting systems are generally reliable and efficient, there are some considerations to keep in mind. They can be more expensive than traditional connection methods, and the initial investment in the pressing tool can be significant. It’s also important to use high-quality fittings and tools, as low-quality products can lead to leaks and other issues.
The plumbing profession requires a variety of specialized tools to effectively diagnose and repair plumbing problems. From hand tools like pliers, wrenches, and screwdrivers to power tools like drain augers, pipe cutters, and borescopes, each tool serves a specific purpose in the plumbing industry. A well-stocked toolbox with essential plumbing tools is crucial for any plumber to succeed on the job.
Moreover, it’s important to use high-quality tools and equipment to ensure accuracy and safety during the repair process. Technological advancements, new tools, and techniques are continuously emerging, making plumbing jobs more efficient and effective.
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