Plumbing issues can be as simple as clogged toilets or as complex as replacing or rerouting pipes in your network. Your mileage for fixing these issues may vary as much as the next guy, but one thing is clear: they are inconvenient.
While electricity and other home utilities are important, a good supply of clean water and a means to dispose of waste likely outweigh the rest. You will survive in a house without a central air system or a slow internet connection, but very few people will be willing to live in a house with faulty plumbing.
Having some basic plumbing knowledge and tools can go a long way in ensuring that your home’s pipes serve you well. It may even help you put in a temporary fix while you’re waiting for a professional plumber near you to implement a more permanent solution.
To be able to do this, however, you will need some basic plumbing equipment. Here are four basic plumbing tools that you should have in your toolbox.
The most basic and often the most used tool is the plunger, which is used to get rid of any debris clogging your pipes. You’ll know when your pipes aren’t clear when you observe the water in the sink or toilet taking longer than usual to drain completely. Once you spot the symptoms, grab the plunger and start plunging!
There are two main types of plungers designed for different functions that you should keep in your home: cup plungers and flange plungers.
Cup Plungers are rubber suction cups with a long piece of wood as a handle. The suction cup of a cup plunger is often flat, akin to a rubber ball that has been sliced in half. The rubber cup provides an air seal around the drain that helps dislodge any food particles, hair, and grease debris when pushed.
Flange Plungers are used generally for toilet clogs. Like the cup plunger, it’s made of a rubber suction cup with a handle, except it has a flap at the bottom of the cup instead of a flat lip. This shape is better at making a complete seal of the toilet’s bottom hole. Its design also helps it eject water straight down to the pipes to dislodge anything that’s causing the clog.
Whenever plungers fail to do the job, plumbers turn to their augers. Also called the plumber’s snake, augers are usually made of a coiled steel cable with a hook on the end. Augers are inserted into the drain and into the pipes until you reach the clog point and hopefully pierce through or pull out the debris that’s causing the clog. If using an auger didn’t clear your pipes, then it’s best to let a licensed plumber such as those at Lasiter to help you out.
Wrenches and Pliers
Adjustable pipe wrenches are used to get a strong grip on metal pipes. This grip, which is controlled by the action of the worm-screw, allows the user to turn pipes and bolts to loosen or tighten them. Depending on your needs, you may have to get several sizes to make sure that you can work on any pipe size around your home.
Like wrenches, pliers can be used to get a grip of pipes, bolts, or screws in order to hold and turn them. Instead of being limited by the adjustability of a wrench, though, adjustable jaws give pliers grip. Aside from gripping objects, many types of wrenches have a sharp inner jaw, which can be used to cut anything from galvanized wire to remove the rubber casing of copper wires.
Plumber’s putty is a soft and pliable sealing material that is used to patch up holes or leaks. They maintain a long-lasting watertight seal quickly, but are soft enough to be easily removed when needed. Unlike caulk, putty doesn’t have to dry, which makes for quick and easy applications. While plumber’s putty is useful for sealing sink strainers of pop up drain fittings, it’s not a universal caulk replacement. It should not be used in applications where you need caulk’s adhesive properties, and should not be used to fix holes that are exposed.
Being able to deal with simple plumbing issues such as a busted showerhead or a leaking faucet is a skill that every adult should have, regardless of gender, education, or income. While it’s always best to let a professional plumber near you to handle major problems as they come, it’s good to have some ability to at least come up with a temporary solution on your own, while waiting for the licensed plumber to arrive.
Our team of licensed plumbers in Fort Worth, Texas are ready to handle your plumbing concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Aside from fixing issues, we also offer remodeling and plumbing work for new construction projects. Contact us today to know more.