5 Tools Every Plumber Needs
Tools are an essential part of every Plumber’s day. The following is by no means a complete list and is simply an example of what we, as Plumbers, require to do our job on a daily basis.
These are probably the most used tool in any Plumber’s tool box. Pliers are not just another tool for a Plumber, they become an extension of their arms. Most people think that sounds odd, but pliers are more than just a tool to grab or turn things.
Sometimes a piece of copper pipe won’t quite go into a fitting. By using the handle end as a mallet you can gently force it in without damaging/denting the pipe or fittings. Or, when a brute force is needed the jaw end becomes a hammer. On an old pair of pliers I took a grinder to form one side of the handle into a flathead screwdriver/pry bar.
An old co-worker truly used his pliers as an extension of his arm by picking up change on the floor. This was his way of not having to bend over as far. To this day I still have no idea how he managed to do that.
Pliers are however mainly used for what they were designed. From tightening bolts on a newly installed toilet or faucet to safely holding hot copper during soldering.
This tool should be #2 on every Plumber’s list. When installing pipe you want to make sure it is true and plumb. Drain piping needs to be sloped at a specific angle in order for waste water to drain properly. I remember working for a Plumbing company in Whitby, I was exiting a local coffee shop when a gentleman outside stops me and says “You must be a Plumber!?” I had no company logos anywhere on me. All the man saw was my channel lock pliers in one pocket and a level in another.
Tape measures are pretty self-explanatory. All trades people need one, from Plumbers to Carpenters. Measuring pipe to be cut becomes so second nature that we don’t even realize how often we use a tape measure.
Tube cutters, or pipe cutters, come in a variety of styles and sizes. Some are used specifically on plastic such as PVC or ABS while others are used on copper. Preference is given to using tube cutters to get a straight cut line and thus a proper fit for pipe into fittings. A hacksaw may be a suitable alternative as it can be quicker.
This tool is used to solder copper pipe. The flame on the torch head is used to heat up the joint being soldered to a minimum temperature. This allows the solder wire to melt and seal the connection. Most Plumbers in Whitby, or Durham Region will also have a set of PEX crimpers. These are used when plastic piping is substituted for copper. Although soldering copper is the preferred method PEX piping is becoming more and more common place.
These last two tool are ones that you might find in every home or toolbox. A multi-bit screwdriver and utility knife. I find myself constantly using a screwdriver to secure hangers or adjust flush valves. My utility knife comes in handy for opening boxes or packages of new plumbing fixtures and parts.
There are always varied uses for these tools as well as the multitude of others not mentioned here. Tools are an integral part of being a Plumber and we are not able to succeed without them.
Your Whitby Plumber
Thanks for reading