Harrington Plumber Tip: Common Plumbing Tools and Their Uses

Every contractor has his tool chest, and a Harrington plumber is no different. To the novice eye, some of these tools may seem alien and complicated, but in fact the most common tools are quite simple to use. They are specialized to the job they perform, but they are all in all pretty simple.

Below are some descriptions of the most common plumbing tools and their uses, so you can build your own DIY plumbing toolkit.

When many people think of plumbing tools, they think of that big orange iron wrench that plumbers on TV and in cartoons always carry around. That is a pipe wrench, which is a powerful adjustable wrench specifically designed to loosen and tighten plumbing fixtures like pipes. (Hence the name.)

Perhaps the most common plumber tool that people already have on hand is the versatile plunger, which is a lifesaver for clearing up most simple clogs. For stubborn clogs, a pipe snake can come in handy. Essentially a snake is just a length of sturdy but flexible metal or plastic with a spring on the end for snaring clogs, like bundles of hair or debris.

For tighter spaces, there is a basin wrench, which is specially designed to loosen and tighten connections under sinks and basins. A pipe wrench usually cannot reach these spots, so a basin wrench is called for in these situations.

For the tricky nuts, or spots where neither a pipe wrench nor basin wrench will do, a pair of slip-joint pliers is a necessity for plumbers. These pliers are adjustable and have sturdy teeth for gripping hexagonal nuts, such as those attaching a toilet to the flange in your bathroom.

While a professional plumber will have a much more comprehensive selection available to him, these pieces make a good starting toolkit for tackling most common DIY plumbing repairs and other jobs around the house.

Generally speaking, if you have a plumbing need that can’t be met with these tools and your know-how, it’s probably time to call a Harrington plumber and avoid any mounting headaches or damage.