Plumbing Equipment Buyers’ Guide
Plumbing issues are part and parcel of living and working in buildings. Leaks, clogs, drips. They happen. When they happen it’s far from fun and it can be costly. For major issues you’re going to need a professional plumber, but you might be able to sort out minor issues and save yourself some money. It’s a good idea to have some essential plumbing tools at hand for those common plumbing concerns that don’t need the professionals. Let’s have a look at the plumbing tools every home should have.
Give a neater and more accurate cut than hacksaws and are safer to use. A built-in reamer removes burrs and rough edges. Buy the right diameter pipe cutter for the pipe concerned.Not advised for plastic piping.
Mini Pipe Cutter
A circular-shaped pipe cutter for work in confined spaces.
Plastic Pipe Shears
To cut Speedfit or HEP2O or similar plastic piping, not copper pipe.
To bend copper pope around obstacles, forming angles and curves to assemble a plumbing circuit. Pipe benders are quicker and cheaper than fittings and avoid the risk of leaks. Size must be appropriate for the diameter of the pipe.
Pipe Cleaning Rods
Flexible metre-long polypropylene rods to screw together to reach blockages in drains and inspection chambers. A range of cleaning heads, such as scrapers, corkscrews and plungers, are available.
Pipe Wrench/Stillson Wrench
Toothed jaws that self-tighten with the application of force. Useful tool for loosening and tightening threaded pipes. Choose the size to suit the application.
Pipe Repair Clip
A rubber-lined collar clamps over a leak, and screws can be tightened to seal the leak, when you need an immediate, but temporary, solution.
To bend copper pipes using your hands. Insert a bending spring into the pipe and kinks won’t occur. Bending springs vary in size.
A temporary ice plug in the pipework so you don’t need to drain the whole system to do plumbing work.
Half Metal File
Removes burrs inside the ends of cut copper pipe.
Torches for high-temperature welding of steel and brazing of copper. Only use if you are competent in their use.
Low-temperature welding of metals like lead or tin. Easier to handle than a welding torch, but certain precautions are still required to ensure you don’t burn yourself.
Slip-Joint Pliers/ Water Pump Pliers
Long handles having a slip jaw with a sliding pivot offering a wide range of jaw openings. The unique box joint adjusting system facilitates quick and easy one-hand adjustment
To hold, tighten and loosen.
Basin Wrench/Crow’s Foot Spanner
A pivoting jaw to tighten or loosen tap connectors in confined spaces. Different basin wrenches for different applications.
Double-ended wrench for tap connectors.
Choose the right size and length of adjustable wrench.
A ring-shaped saw blade attachment that is used with a power drill to cut holes in wood, metal, plastic, brick and similar materials before installing plumbing fittings and drainage pipes.
The bulb-head has a compression-wrapped inner cable to clear blockages.
Radiator Bleed Key
Releases trapped air from a radiator.
Manual models are called ferrets and are only used for small diameter pipes. Higher pressures are obtained using spray gun nozzles; these suit larger diameter pipes, such as wastewater pipes. Vacuum pumps operate by suction and can unblock toilets. Small blockages may be dislodged with a plunger.
We love our hot showers, running water, flushing toilets and all the modern facilities made possible by plumbing but we don’t like leaks, blockages and overflows. For less common and serious issues, it’s time to call in the professionals and get a plumber. You don’t want to take chances with water damage. For those bothersome but minor plumbing issues a little elbow grease and the right equipment can save the day (and some money, too!).