A professional plumber is always your best bet for fixing a plumbing problem, especially a plumber with 24/7 service. Even so, there are a few plumbing tools it’s handy for any homeowner to have. In a pinch, they could help you stave off a bigger plumbing problem, keeping things under control until a plumber is available to assist and saving you money on damage and repairs in the long run.
If you find a crisis in your home—a toilet is overflowing, a clog in the sink just won’t go away, or a pipe springs a leak—we can help. Call us at 972-395-2597, day or night!
Here are nine useful plumbing tools that can help in a wide range of situations.
No home should ever be without a plunger. These little babies can help you get out of sticky situations before things gets worse. Why deal with an overflowing toilet and the resulting damage to your bathroom when you can stop it before it gets out of hand?
While you probably do have a plunger, do you have the right one? There is more than one kind of plunger, including flange and sink. The flange plunger is designed specifically for use in the toilet because of its unique tiered shape. The cup-shaped sink plunger, though often mistakenly used in the toilet, should be used to unclog sinks and showers. Both plungers are inexpensive and helpful when you’re in a jam.
Pro Tip: When using your plunger, be sure to apply pressure, but not excessive force. Too much force can break the seals with the drain or the wax ring under the toilet.
2. Teflon Tape
This handy tool, also known as plumber’s tape or thread seal tape, is one of the least expensive and most all-around useful items you can have on hand for plumbing fix-ups. Teflon tape should be used when threaded connections don’t use a rubber seal. The tape is wonderfully strong and can be used to seal connecting pipes or close up leaky pipes or shower heads. As a bonus, it can also be used to close holes in dryer connections!
Pro Tip: When you’re at the store to pick up some of this great tape, ask for “plumber’s tape.” Although it is unofficially called teflon tape, it’s not made by Chemours™, the maker of Teflon™, and not everyone knows it by that name!
3. Pipe Wrench
The good old-fashioned pipe wrench has far less devious uses than Colonel Mustard may have made it seem. In fact, it’s an essential multipurpose tool for quick plumbing fixes. Designed with an adjustable grip size, the pipe wrench’s serrated jaws give it a strong hold over whatever it grasps. It’s a must-have for many small plumbing jobs that don’t require the skills of an expert, from loosening nuts and bolts to turning soft iron pipes and more.
Pro Tip: Use the pipe wrench with care! The serrated teeth can cause damage if used with too much force.
4. Basin Wrench
Another wrench you should have in your toolbox is a basin wrench. While a pipe wrench can be used for nuts, bolts, and pipes, a basin wrench is made entirely for tightening or loosening nuts on your sink faucet. Its unique shape makes reaching up behind the sink so much easier.
You can easily pick up this invaluable tool at your hardware store for $10 to $20.
5. Drain Snake
Unlike a plunger, you probably don’t own a drain snake, but it can be an invaluable tool for tougher clogs. Also known as a hand auger, the drain snake is a flexible, yet firm coiled wire that can navigate through your pipes. Most commonly used for sink or shower clogs, the drain snake can reach much farther than a plunger. It can pull out clogs from hair, grease, soap scum, and similar issues. If your plunger isn’t working for a stubborn clog, you will want to grab this tool.
There are many varieties of drain snakes, or augers. If an auger doesn’t fix your problem, you will definitely need the assistance of a plumber.
6. Caulking Gun
Every once in a while, cracks will appear where your bathtub, sink, or shower meet the wall. To prevent leaks, a caulking gun can keep these seams nice and tight.
Caulking guns are fairly inexpensive and invaluable tools just to have around the house. In addition to your plumbing, caulk can be used around doors and windows to seal up leaks and keep cold air in and hot air out in the summer, and vice versa in the winter. Not only can it save you money by preventing shower and sink leaks, it can cut down on your energy costs!
A pair of tongue-and-groove pliers are important for loosening and tightening screws, and they’re extremely convenient for holding things in place while you work on them. The 12-inch and 10-inch varieties should handle most situations.
8. Your Plumber’s Phone Number
Some problems are best solved by a professional, either to give you peace of mind or simply because a plumber has greater access to the equipment and materials that may be required. If you have concerns about plumbing issues or questions about a project or a fix, don’t hesitate to call your plumber at C&W Plumbing for advice.
These are just a few of the plumbing tools it’s helpful to keep in your toolbox for emergencies and small, do-it-yourself projects. Some projects and clogs are best left to the professionals! If you find or suspect a serious problem in your plumbing or a clog that won’t go away with an auger or plunger, give us a call at 972-395-2597. We’re available for routine service and emergencies—ready to get your life, home, and plumbing back to normal.
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