A little plumbing knowledge can go a long way in keeping the plumbing systems in your home in tiptop shape. Minor plumbing tasks pop up all the time and those who consider themselves handy at DIY will be more than equipped to deal with them.
Tasks like bleeding radiators, turning off the water supply, unclogging drains, fixing leaky taps, changing shower heads, replacing a kitchen sink sprayer, caulking a bath tub or shower, and cleaning a sink trap are more than manageable by a DIY enthusiast.
There are thousands of written and video tutorials online that are filled with great how-to videos for these simple plumbing tasks – all you need to ensure is that you have the right tools to hand.
Be prepared for any minor plumbing problems by keeping the following six essential tools in your toolkit:
Many plumbing tasks will rely on the use of a pipe wrench so it’s an absolute necessity for your tool kit. The bolts on a water heater, pressure regulators and any iron piping will all need to be tackled with a pipe wrench. Ideally, you should keep a couple of pipe wrenches in different sizes so you are equipped to manage various sized nuts and bolts.
You won’t get too far completing any plumbing jobs without the use of a channel lock pliers. A channel lock pliers can quickly and easily take apart any plumbing appliance, although having a spare pliers in your kit is always a wise idea. A time will often arise where you will need to use one set of pliers to hold a pipe or bolt in place and the other for unscrewing.
When trying to tend to leaks, repairs or new installs relating to a kitchen, bathroom or ensuite sink, you will find yourself having to try to navigate tools at awkward angles to loosen or tighten many of the fittings. That’s where a sink wrench becomes incredibly convenient. These self-tightening wrenches can reach even the most difficult of angles, especially those that can log into 90-degree positions by themselves.
An Allen key isn’t just useful for opening an electrics box as it is your key to opening many modern showers and sink faucet handles too. Keep a set of loose Allen keys in your tool kit so you can easily pick an Allen key to fit the fixture and open it within seconds.
Once you have repaired or installed a faucet or drain, the only way you can ensure an airtight, watertight seal is to surround the joint with sealant. Adding some “plumber’s putty” (a soft substance that will harden and effectively seal valves, pipes and sinks) to your toolkit will prevent any leaks of water or pressure.
Sometimes you will find yourself with no choice but to cut through pipes, screws and nuts. To do this, you’ll need a tool with a tense enough blade to master tough cuts – a hacksaw is simply the only tool for the job.
Stock up your tool kit with these six essentials and you’ll be ready for whatever your plumbing system has to throw at you.