The role of plumbing in our lives as humans is simply remarkable. Plumbing has continued to solve the urgent need of delivering fresh clean water, whilst draining out the foul liquid wastes simultaneously from our homes.The fresh water is transported by pressure from your water storage unit, a well or from your city’s public fresh water system. The other, often referred to as waste water is taken out of your home through gravity applied to the “discharge pipes” to a place called a “sewer” or “septic tank”. All these processes are done through the water pipes. The slimmer ones are typically the ones holding your clean water while the fatter ones, well you probably guessed right–waste water; basically.
Plumbing is a delicate profession. Installations, repairs, analysis are often done by professionals called plumbers. You could do some of the installations–the less complex ones–yourself. However, you may stumble on plenty of faults if you have little or no knowledge about plumbing tools, what they are used for, where you should fit them and how to maintain them. That being said, this article is for you.
PLUMBING TOOLS; CATEGORIES, USES & ALL YOU MIGHT NEED TO KNOW
When it comes to handling plumbing problems, using your hands can only take you through one-tenth of the journey, if at all it does take you anywhere. Hence, the plumbing tools make plumbers and DIYers more efficient, precise and faster. Below is a table of some basic fundamental and special plumbing tools every homeowner should know, including the ones they should own, in case of emergencies. Further information required “e.g. maintenance, types, pictures”, can be sought after in the article beyond the table.
|MEASURING AND LAY-OUT TOOLS||· Tapes||Used to measure linear dimensions of pipes and objects|
|· Rules||Used to outline a short straight line or a shape with straight edges on an object, pipe or wall.|
|· Squares||Used for making perfectly square shaped cuts, marks, etc. on woods, pipes, and walls.|
|ALIGNMENT TOOLS||· Plumber’s level||Used for checking elevations and measuring horizontal levels and slopes.|
|· Plumb bulb||Used for accurate uniformity and vertical levels in the construction of walls, frames, etc. plumb bobs are generally used as backups to levels.|
|· Chalk line||They are used to create lines, directions and boundaries to be utilized during work.|
|· Dividers and compass||Used to draw arcs and circles using a pencil.|
|ASSEMBLY TOOLS||· Wrenches||used for screwing up and loosening valves, geysers, pipes, bolts and nuts etc.|
|· Spanners||Used for loosening and tightening bolts and nuts|
|· Soldering machine||Used to combine thermo-plastic pipes using heat|
|CUTTING TOOLS||· Hack saw||Used for generally cutting plastic pipes.|
|· Jab saw||Used to cut through small diameter of pipes; mostly plastic|
|· Compass saw||Used to cut through larger diameters of objects/ pipes|
|· Saber saw||Used to cut through soft materials.|
|· Reciprocating saw||Used to cut thicker materials than wood|
|· Files||Used for shaping metals, woods or any other materials in plumbing|
|· Grinding machine||Used to cut off unwanted or needed dimensions of materials; hard or soft.|
|· Wooden chisel||Used for making long narrow openings and cuts for pipes mostly on a wooden surface.|
|· Pipe cutters||Used for cutting PVC, CPVC and burnished pipes.|
|· Soil pipe cutter||Used to cut soil pipes.|
|· Internal pipe cutter||Used for cutting plastic pipes or copper pipes.|
|PIPE BENDING TOOLS||· Pipe bending machine||Used for bending and turning pipes|
|· Threaded die||Used to create thread on pipes and metals.|
|DRILLING AND BORING TOOLS||· Portable electric drills||Used to create holes or openings within soft and hard materials namely; word, plastic pipes etc.|
|· Rotary hammer drills||Used to create large drilled holes in concrete and masonry walls.|
|· Diamond core drilling equipment||Used for cutting through reinforced concrete and rebar.|
|· Jack hammer||Used for breaking concrete obstructions, or creating holes through concrete walls/ platforms|
|HOLDING PLUMBING TOOLS||· Bench vice||Used to hold pipes and solid objects firmly in place|
|· Pipe vice||Used to hold pipes firmly place during threading, cutting, assembly and disassembly|
|TESTING TOOLS||· Pressure buckets||Used for testing lengths of pipelines, mainly plastic supply pipes for leakages.|
|EXTRAS||· Hammer||Used in driving, shaping and breaking applications|
|· Carpenter’s hammer||Used for driving nails, striking the head of a wooden chisel and pulling out nails where you don’t want them.|
|· Screw driver||Used for turning slotted screws into threaded holes.|
|· Pliers||Used for cutting, twisting, disassembly and assembly operations.|
|· Trowel||Used for plastering, spreading and smoothing mortar on a surface.|
|· Spade||Used for digging or cutting sand, turf, etc.|
|· Shovel||Although wider that spades, they used for digging.|
|· Pick-axe||Used for digging areas encrusted with solid objects underneath soil|
|· Mortar pan / head pan||Used to hold or carry cement, water, sand or mortar|
|· Hangers||Used to supports or hold pipes|
|· Wheel barrow||Used for moving and carrying materials from one place to another|
|· Plunger||Used to clear drains and clogged toilets|
|· Plumber’s snake||Used instead of a plunger in drain pipes and toilet that cannot be unclogged using the plunger|
- MEASURING AND LAYOUT TOOLS
Measuring tools are generally used to measure heights, diameters, lengths of pipes, appliances etc. On the other hand, if you wanted to create marks on an object, make accurate lines, even a circle or take accurate measurements of your pipes or work area; layout tools is what you use.
Examples of measuring and layout tools include;
Ofcourse, they do vary in length and diameter. Longer tape measures can stretch up to 300 feet. However, 15 or 25-foot tape measures are commonly used for measuring in plumbing. Longer tapes used in plumbing are mostly made of steel or fiber material. Other materials do exist but not as commonly used.
Tapes are quite easy to use, as they will last longer if they are handled carefully by keeping them away from sand, water, mud, and ensure when stretched you avoid bending them as this can cause retraction problem.
- Tapes are used to measure linear dimensions when and where it is required; they may be used to measure circular dimensions but it’s not the most ideal practice to do so; as accurate values will not be acquired.
- Avoid keeping them exposed to excess moisture or sunlight
- Avoid entry of tiny particles; such as sand or soil
- Avoid excessive bending of tape especially if dealing with steel tapes
Most plumbers may prefer the steeled wide rules and you may think that is all there is. Unfortunately, it isn’t the case. Folding wood rules used for plumbing are on the shelves too. They are made from wood. One exception though is that they have an internal sliding steel tape used for taking accurate internal measurements.
- Also a measuring tool, rules are used in plumbing to fathom a straight line especially when outline a piping route for supply line about to the passed through the wall. The usefulness may play out in unconventional circumstances but they do come in handy quite often.
- Steel or any form of metallic alloy reacts to extreme temperatures and climate, like the steel tape, avoid excess exposure to the climate as it affect the dimensions of the steel rule by expanding it ( if we’re considering heat).
- Avoid contacting rule with chemical, as they may wipe away the readings
- Avoid leaving them bare and keep the edges away from damage or any sort of deformity.
- Avoid recklessly dropping rules like the steeled tape plumber’s rule to prevent errors in measurements.
There are three common squares out there; the try square, combination square, and the framing square.
Try squares are used for marking or taking measurements on woods or pipes. Framing squares on the other hand are used for squaring, and marking cuts or holes on a wall. While combination squares are used for marking cuts on both wood and metals.
Popular marking tools used in plumbing are yellow keel and soapstone. The first is wax-based and used mostly on galvanized or black pipes. The latter is a soft stone that occurs naturally. It is cut into thin strips and used to make marks on cast, galvanized and black pipes.
- They are basically used for making perfectly square shaped cuts, marks, etc. on woods, pipes, and walls.
- They are typically made of steel, plastic and wood; having them kept safe mostly in shaded environments is best for keeping it at its best form.
- Avoid using them for tasks outside their normal functions.
- ALIGNMENT TOOLS
Because alignment of plumbing equipment is very important especially when installing a drain pipe, the importance of alignment tools in a plumber’s toolbox cannot be overlooked. If you are a DIYer or a plumber, these are must have tools.
The vertical (plumb) and horizontal (level) of plumbing materials are very important and should be checked properly before finishing an operation.
A level is generally used to check the linear position of plumbing fixtures. Levels have vials which are used to determine accurate linear positions.
A general rule for a well vertically position fixture is: when the bubble in the horizontal vial is in a center position, the object it is used on is perfectly horizontal on that surface, at least almost perfect.
Laser, torpedo, builder’s and electronic levels are popular levels used by plumbers. Laser levels are used to perform a wide variety of alignment and layout tasks. Electronic levels are good for measuring slopes. They can also be used for horizontal and vertical alignments.
- Builder’s level is used for checking elevations and measuring horizontal levels and slopes.
- A plumber’s level is a delicate tool; using it requires proper care and the abstinence from using it as an impact tool; it will disrupt the alignment of the vial
- Avoid placing them recklessly around the work area or surrounding.
For accurate uniformity and vertical levels in the construction of walls, frames, etc. plumb bobs are generally used as backups to levels.
Making a straight line on relatively flat surface can be hard especially with hands. In this case, chalk lines come in handy. They are used for making straight lines on flat surfaces. These straight lines are made with the help of a taut long string that has been dipped in a dye. The string when stretched to the required end on the other side of surface of the flat material is pulled up and released, making a tapping sound on the flat surface, in turn creating a straight line boldly stamped on the face of the flat surface.
- They are used to create lines, directions and boundaries to be utilized during work.
- Chalk lines can also be used on surfaces that are not smooth or irregular in shape. A good example is walls that have studs on them.
- Avoid placing them in wet spots or surroundings
- Cutting or reducing the length of the line is not advised.
DIVIDERS AND COMPASSES
If you are keen on dividing the surface of any material into two equal parts, a divider is great asset. It is particularly used on wood and very good on hardened materials like metal.
- Compasses are used to draw arcs and circles using a pencil.
- Dividers are also used to scratch or inscribe on the surface of a material.
- Having them kept in a secluded container/ space is best advised to prevent damage to the tool and injury to the user.
- Using dividers as a pencil-like object; to frequently use as a writing material is not ideal. It is only required for mild marks.
- ASSEMBLING TOOLS
You won’t get a good grip of your pipes when making a hole or trying to get a fine cut or even making threads on a steel pipes when they are not tightly held.
Holding and assembling tools will ensure your pipes and other plumbing fixtures are in place when operating on them. If you ever want to add any to your plumbing toolbox as a home owner wrenches, and spanners are good options.
If you are going to be nutting, twisting, turning, fitting and fastening pipes in place, the wrench is an indispensable plumbing and fitting tool; hence, small tasks like unscrewing a copper nut couldn’t be done with hands. Wrenches come in varying designs. Some have jagged teeth and others are flat out. If you are going to turn a pipe without searing a mark on it then flat out wrenches are the best option. Unless you want to grip a nut and have it turned then the later will come in handy.
Some are toothless and others have jagged teeth for strong grips especially for easy grips of bolts and nuts when turning and unscrewing.
Wrenches serve different purposes in plumbing. Understanding the type of wrench to be used for a particular plumbing fixture is important.
Adjustable wrenches are used to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts. A typical adjustable wrench has two chiseled jaws. The upper is fixed and rigid while the lower’s adjustable and replaceable, with a worm screw that helps it slide in the body of the fixed jaw.
- They can be used on regular or odd sized nuts and bolts; for loosening and tightening
- The adjustable wrench can also be used for screwing up and loosening valves, geysers, pipes, etc.
Pipe wrenches like adjustable wrench have toothed jaws for gripping pipes. The teeth in each jaw help to hold the pipes in place when turning and tightening them during assembly. Pipe wrenches come in three basic designs. They are straight, end and offset. Straight ends pipe wrench are popularly used by plumbers. The others are used at a very uncomfortable position. Pipe wrenches have adjustable upper jaws. The width of the pipe is used to determine the gap between both jaws.
The teeth of a pipe wrench can wear off overtime causing less powerful grips but, using a triangular file to sharpen and clean the teeth will ensure steady grips on pipes. The pipe wrench is turned anti-clockwise when loosening a pipe, while it is turned clock-wise when wrenching the pipe.
- Typically, they are used to assemble and disassemble threaded pipes, by holding and intertwining them together
Chain wrenches are used for gripping and rotating pipes. They require less space than a pipe wrench and does not leave teeth marks on pipes like the pipe wrench does. Chain wrenches apply even pressure around gripped areas on the pipes which makes them a good alternative as this wouldn’t hurt the structure of the pipes.
- Chain wrenches are used for gripping and rotating pipes that have width that’s more than 2 inches.
Can’t get your typical, traditional wrench under that sink or countertop with drain pipes jumbled up against each other in your RV or cramped cabin?
Tasks that a normal wrench should do with a breeze especially when unscrewing a nut under a sink are trumped easily with a basin wrench. They are also applied on nuts used to fastened faucets to an entire sink layout. Like your conventional wrench, basin wrenches have a rigid jaw and an adjustable one.
For nuts made out of plastics, the plastic nut basin wrenches are used.
- Basin wrenches are used for confined spaces so as to turn fasteners that are difficult to reach with the use of the conventional plumber’s wrench.
Strap Wrenches are used on chrome-plated pipes or any finished pipe to avoid spoiling the decorative appearances of the pipes.
The monkey wrench is quite striking at a distant glance because it borrows the same structure as a pipe wrench. A closer look up and you could immediately tell the difference between them. The monkey wrench has smooth teethed jaws unlike the roughed and jagged ones on the pipe wrench.
- Monkey wrenches are used on pipes, plumbing fixtures that have six-sided or square shaped shoulders.
How to maintain your wrenches (All types) / Precautions
- Pipe wrenches are commonly be made from steel or aluminum amongst others; hence they can be prone to rust. Avoid contacts with harsh chemicals and keep them away from other rusting metals.
- When rusted, applying the use of a steel brush or aluminum foil to clear off rust is vital in stopping the degrading process.
- Wash with soap and have them dried out after use to prevent the entry and piling of dust between the joints.
- Apply lubricants when joints seem stiff, and avoid forcing them as much as you can.
- Avoid moving the wrench unnecessarily or recklessly when attached to an object (a nut or a pipe). They in turn may wear out the teeth making them less effective in future.
Spanners are essential plumbing tools used for tightening and loosing bolts and nuts of varying standardized sizes. You could say spanners are like wrenches. Although both the wrench and spanner have jaws for gripping nuts and bolts, the standout characteristic here of a spanner is that it’s non-adjustable and therefore come only in sets. The fixed jaws on the open end and box end spanners give a firmer grip and hold on pipes than the monkey wrench.
Commonly used spanners in plumbing are:
Open End Spanners
Like the name, open end spanners have open jaws jutting out at either ends of their stretched, polished body. They are used for screwing up or loosening nuts and bolts with square or hexagonal sides.
Ring spanners have circular rings at either ends of it burnished body.
Combination spanners give you the luxury of having an open end with jaws on one side and a closed ring end on the other.
Bi hexagonal spanners are specially designed as double-headed and single pieced spanners. They have troughs or peaks that grip the faces of nuts and bolts.
Use (All types);
- Spanners have a basic function of loosening and tightening bolts and nuts
How to maintain your spanners (All types) / Precautions
- Use appropriate sizes for functions; neither bigger nor smaller
- Avoid placing them recklessly around the work space, they should be in a separate containment when not used
- Avoid contact with electricity, heated objects or harsh chemicals.
PLASTIC PIPE SOLDERING MACHINE
Speaking of assembly tools, soldering machines are used to combine plastic pipes mostly PPR pipes. The soldering effect with the use of heat melts the pipes at the joints; and combines them while they are still melted. The plastic polymers then solidify together as one.
- A soldering machine is used to combine thermo-plastic pipes using heat as its means
- They are used to combine and assemble pipes with regards to design made by plumber.
- Soldering machine are special tools that utilize electricity to function; ensure plugs are fully connected to avoid partial contact or damage to circuit.
- After use, residue of the melted pipe may tend to stay on the equipment, use a small wooden piece to clear plastic residue before they solidify.
- Avoid plugging machine to low current as they mostly require high voltage to function.
- CUTTING TOOLS
These tools are primarily used for shaping and cutting through material like wood, metal and plastic pipes etc. Commonly used cutting tools are listed below.
It is hard not to find the hacksaw in a plumber’s toolbox. it is a very vital tool. As a homeowner, we recommend getting one.
For simple cutting tasks at home, the hand-operated or manual handsaw can be the most efficient if you are going to be cutting through a few numbers of pipes
When using a hacksaw, avoid using large teeth on thinner surfaces or you risk catching the blade against the hard surface in turn causing the teeth to break off. Using larger teeth for thinner surfaces also shortens the length of the pipe and creates a rough looking cut edge.
Generally, blades with 32 teeth-per-inch are perfect fits for tubings, while those with 24 teeth-per-inch are rather used on galvanized pipes.
- Hacksaws are used for cutting pipes. They can be used to cut PVC, ABS, CPVC, galvanized pipes and wood
- Hacksaws can also be used for cutting nuts, bolts and metallic alloys.
- They require lubrication at joints with screws from time to time
- Replacing the blade is also important as they tend to get worn out easily if frequently used.
The jab saw is a perfectly fallback to the hacksaw. Jab saw are not as tall as the hacksaw which make them a great pick for cutting pipes fitted in tight places. This is also a good selection for homeowners.
They are hand-held in the form of a typical knife. Hence, handling is easy and simplified.
- They are used to cut through small forms of pipes; mostly plastic or soft / dry wood
- Avoid the using it to cut through larger objects
- Avoid using it as a screwdriver or for any function asides its own.
The compass saw has a taper point at one end that widens as it stretches to the handle of the saw. It can be considered a direct alternative to the hack saw. The tapered area handles cutting smaller radii seamlessly. A bigger radius is done using the wider part of a compass saw.
- Similar to a jab saw, it simply is used for what a jab saw is not; to cut through larger diameters of objects (mostly plastic or soft / dry wood)
- Keep teeth filed and sharpen; avoid using blunt cutting edges as it may disfigure ongoing constructions.
The saber saw is a hand-held powered tool used to cutting out straight and curves lines on plastic, wood and any other soft material that is just as thick as wood for example gypsum. But they cannot be used to cut surfaces that are more one-and-the-half inches wide. That is where a reciprocating saw fills in.
- It can used to cut through soft materials.
- Constant lubrication is a factor to consider when intending to maintain
The reciprocating saw is operated electronically. It is used to cut thicker materials than wood.
Woods, pipes and materials that have taken cuts usually have roughed edges. For this reason, files are used for shaping and smoothing them. Like saws, files have teeth. They are measured from the heel to the end. Files have different kinds of teeth. They are: rasped cut, single cut, double cut and curved. Files can get clogged when shaping or smoothing out materials.
- Files are used for shaping metals, woods or any other materials in plumbing.
- To keep them usable and clog-free, brush in a parallel manner on the file surface.
- Use wire bristles to remove stubborn materials lodged in the teeth.
A grinding machine is a conventional electrical –powered cutting tool that can be used on soft and hard materials. Also known as a grinder, it makes use of a cutting disk; which in turn may be an abrasive wheel or a steel disk. Grinding machines and the disks exist in different sizes to be chosen with regards to personal preference and job to be done.
- It is an electrical powered tool used to cut off unwanted or needed dimensions of materials; hard or soft.
- It is also used to smoothen surfaces if utilized properly.
- Ensure disks are properly tightened before use to avoid damage to tool or user
- Utilize the disks according to the thickness and size of the object; the smaller the object, the smaller the disk used; the bigger the object, the bigger the disk.
Chisels are made of tough steel with a significantly wider metal head where you can hammer a mallet on. To keep the cutting edge of a chisel sharp, it should be honed at a 25° angle on an oil stone. This will help trim out excess metal.
Another kind of chisel is the cold chisel. This is used for chipping off parts of a metal surface.
- The wood chisel is used for making long narrow openings and cuts for pipes.
- They can be used for making indentations on walls
- Have the edges of the chisel filed and keep sharp at all times
- Avoid using them needlessly, except when duly required.
A pipe cutter is comprised of a handle, screw and cutting reel that cut the pipe. When turned, the cutting reel performs the function of cutting into the gripped pipe seamlessly provided it is well placed and handled.
- The pipe cutter is used for cutting PVC, CPVC and burnished pipes. The pipe cutter has a hollow that is clamped to the body of the pipes, which can be adjusted for steady grip using a screw.
- Occasionally disassemble the cutter and clean off the residue or dust.
- Rusting isn’t a frequent detriment for pipe cutters, however keeping them safe and not overly exposed serves as a good preventive measure to erase the possibility of damage or rust.
SOIL PIPE CUTTERS
Soil pipe cutter give clean cuts to soil pipes, cast iron pipes, clay pipes and small diameter concrete pipes.. The cutter wheel hidden within the chain impact enough pressure in the pipe causing it to snap. Soil cutters are perfect for cutting pipes in tight areas.
To cut a cast iron using a soil cutter, turn counter-clockwise the adjusting knob of the soil pipe cutter until it’s fully open. Place it on the pipe on the desired cutting spot and wrap the chain around the pipe. Place the nearest chain pin into the hooks. Turn the adjusting knob clockwise to firmly tighten the cutter around the pipe. Tighten the feed screw at the top of the knob until the pipe’s cut.
- Soil pipe cutters with applied pressure are used to cut pipes and are great for gray water pipes application
INTERNAL PIPE CUTTER
This pipe cutter is used for cutting plastic pipes or copper pipes.
- PIPE BENDING TOOLS
Most plumbing operations require bending pipes to varying angles. Some of the tools used for bending are mentioned below.
PIPE BENDING MACHINE
This machine is used for bending and turning pipes. The material of the pipe and the size of its diameter determines what kind of pipe bending machine you should use. Hand operated bending machines are used on pipes that are less than one inches in diameter. For diameters that climb higher, an hydraulic manually operated pipe bending machine is used.
Fixing pipes and fixtures together can be made easily using a threading die. Threading die is used to create thread on pipes and metals. It makes joining pipes to fixtures very easy.
- DRILLING AND BORING TOOLS
If you are going to successfully pin a pipe sturdily against any surface, drilling tools are your best bet. They are used for boring holes into surface where plumbing pipes are to be installed.
Awls, gimlets and augers are used to make holes.
Popularly used tools for drilling and boring are mentioned below.
PORTABLE ELECTRIC DRILLS
You can choose two options here. Cordless or cord electric drills. However, cordless drills are a little more convenient. You won’t have to tug on and find that you can’t go too far with a cord that’s plugged in somewhere. This is where the cordless drill has an upper hand. Although it’s rechargeable battery discharges faster when used during drilling operations.
A ½ inches potable electric drill can be used to drill holes of any size in plumbing. For a ½ inches sized chuck where you insert your drill bits, drills up to ½ inches can be used.
There are different drill bits that serve different purposes in plumbing. Some of them are mentioned below;
Multispur Drill Bits
They are used for making precise holes in woods. These drill bits can drill smooth and clean holes in softwoods and hardwoods. If you are looking to make a big gape inside a wooden structure use a multispur drill bit. They are available in varying diameters from 1 inch to 4/5/8 inches
These are designed to cut through wood only. They are sharpened using an auger’s file. They do an excellent job in drilling holes inside a wooden structure.
They come as a cheap and are used for drilling holes in woods also.
- Electric drills are used to create holes or openings within soft and hard materials namely; word, plastic pipes etc.
- Oiling the metal parts of the machine is required at a frequent rate
- Loosen and clean your equipment occasionally to prevent clogging up with dust
- Keep drill at a dry space
- Keep drill bits off the ground or any rough surface
- Sharpen drill bits regularly and consciously.
Other kinds of drills that are rarely used at are mentioned here. These are considered as heavy duty drills.
ROTARY HAMMER DRILL
A powerful hand tool which when drilling, the pounding or hammering action done by the drilling on the concrete or masonry helps break the walls into bits, making drilling deeper a lot easier. The pounding action on the rotary hammer drill is thanks to an installed piston which creates the pounding force. The rotary hammer is famously known for heavy duty tasks.
- Rotary hammer drills are typically used to create large drilled holes in concrete and masonry walls.
- Have the keyed chucks properly lubricated as they provide the primary function of holding the bits together with the tool, preventing it from falling apart
- Avoid pressing so hard when trying to drill an opening
- Avoid trying to widen hole by excessively rotating the equipment while drilling
- Wipe off excess debris or dust that goes into the hammer to prevent failure or jamming
- Apply manufacturer recommended grease or lubricants to be applied into the equipments.
DIAMOND CORE DRILLING EQUIPMENT
Diamond core drills are similar to a hole saw and can make holes of up to 60 inches deep. Water is used to cool the heating core of a diamond core drill.
They can cut both horizontally and vertically and are considered as first pick among plumbers when more accurate and very rounded cuts are needed.
- Diamond core drills are generally and largely used for cutting through reinforced concrete and rebar.
- Ensure water is continuously applied without shortage; for the reason of keeping the instrument cool
- Apply lubricants to the metallic parts of the tool
- Ensure proper cleaning of the tool against the entry of debris or excess dust.
Atimes during the process of plumbing or construction; the need to create space through a concrete obstruction arises. The use of a jack hammer is then required. It’s utilized as tool that uses air compression to repeatedly impact surface to rapidly break it into bits.
- It is used to break down concrete obstructions, which may seem too much for a manual chisel
- Utilize the right tip or chisel before demolition process; the punch tip when breaking aimlessly and the flat tip when trying to maintain an edge neatly.
- Always hold at a slight angle with a firm grip; for effectiveness
- When not using the jackhammer, shut off the air supply and relieve pressure from supply hose
- Avoid damaging or coming in contact with an electric wire
- HOLDING PLUMBING TOOLS
Thick pipes like cast iron, during drills or when being cut, or assembled need to be firmly held in place for a clean operation. Some of the commonly used holding tools in plumbing are mentioned below.
You cannot have a properly done fitting, drilling, cutting, threading, etc. if your pipes are always slipping off. Vices are a much better option than having to use hands to hold a pipe firmly. Bench vices are bolted to a wooden structure helping if sat comfortably preventing it from shifting during operations.
The bench vice has two jaws. One is fixed and the other is adjustable using a handle attached to a spindle. When the pipe is put in between the jaws, the spindle is turned clockwise to give a solid grip that holds the pipe in place. Now, you can use any cutting, threading or filing tool to carry out your operation without losing a finger.
This is a must-have for DIYers and homeowners.
- They are basically used to hold pipes and solid objects firmly in place
- Always keep threaded and moving parts/ joints clean from dusts and debris
- Lubricate joints and threaded parts
- Avoid forcefully trying to move held object while being held firmly by the bench vice
Pipe vices are typically used to hold pipes firmly place during threading, cutting, assembly, disassembly, etc. The pipe vice might get plenty of thumbs up from plumbers, but it toothed jaws use for grasping pipes during cutting, threading, etc. always leave marks on the pipes. For this reason, pipe vices are not usually used on pipes that will not be exposed.
Pipe vices can come with a threaded spindle–very popular–or the less common design which is chain-typed. Both perform the same operations.
- TESTING TOOLS
After plumbing operations; it’s typically an ideal practice to ensure the constructs are tested and certified to be alright before use. Having constructs without testings especially plumbing; resonates the risks of having the whole system fail if care is not taken. Hence as basic as it seems, it is the most important.
Testing pipelines utilized for water, oil or gas requires a certain amount of pressure to fish out the leakages at any point. Pressure buckets are handy semi- manual special equipments used to pass water into the pipelines (mostly supply) placing it under the pressure. The pressure should be left for 24 hrs. A gauge is attached to the pressure bucket, once recorded; if there happens to be a decrease of the reading. It translates to the having a leakage along the pipeline.
- The pressure bucket is primarily used for testing lengths of pipelines, mainly plastic supply pipes.
- OTHERS / OPTIONALTOOLS
Other commonly used plumbing tools by plumbers are mentioned below. These tools are used for basic tasks and should be in your basement if you’re a homeowner or DIYer.
The hammer is used for a wide range of things. It is used in driving, shaping and breaking applications.
The hammer is a slender material consisting of a handle and a head which is made of tempered steel. The impact made by a hammer is usually on a small area given the size of its head.
Common hammers used by a plumber are mentioned below.
Basically used for driving nails, striking the head of a wooden chisel and pulling out nails where you don’t want them.
The typical peen hammer doesn’t have a claw. Just a big mass of tempered steel head on one side and a peen on the other. However, there are exceptions when placed side by side with a claw hammer. The end was replaced with steeled claws (curve or straight). This end is used for pulling out nails from wood and other surfaces.
A hammer face may be plain or bell shaped. Hammers vary in weight. There are 4, 6, 8, and 12 ounces. For heavier tasks, 12 ounces are often used. For lighter operations 4 and 6 ounces are winners in this category.
For pelting against a cold chisel, ball peen hammers are a preferred option.
Usually hand-operated, screwdrivers are used for turning slotted screws into a threaded hole. For screws with a straight diametrical slot, a standard screwdriver with flat blade tips is used. They come in different sizes. Screws with cross-head slots used a special kind of screwdriver that has a blade tip that fits the pattern of the slot. The shank or stretched length of a screwdriver is made of hardened steel. The tip is toughened to minimize rust. Handles of screwdrivers can be metal, wood or plastic.
A 4-in-1 screwdriver has two straight blades and two Philip blades. In situations where a typical screwdriver cannot fit the any of the steeled slots on the head of a screw, a shank screwdriver may be used.
This gripping instrument is used for a wide range of things. They are used for cutting, twisting, disassembly, assembly operations, etc. The plier has a rubber handle that gives you a firmer yet comfortable grip. It has an exposed tough head made of steel which consist of a pivot joint, jaws which houses the cutters for cutting through things like plastic and a pipe grip for holding pipes in places when pressed inward.
Pliers that are generally used and can serve a wide range of functions in a plumbing toolbox are the groove-joint pliers and the slip-joint pliers.
For clamping that packs an overwhelming punch when pressure is applied, the locking pliers are great choices. They have hardened toothed jaw like the wrench. Locking pliers should not be applied on finished surfaces because they leave indelible marks made from intense pressure exerted by the plier on surface.
Trowels are used for spreading and plastering purposes. This small handheld tool has a curve blade that meets at a point; sometimes the blade could be rectangular. Trowels are also used for smoothing mortar on a surface. It can be used for moving small amounts of viscous materials.
The metal blades of spades are typically rectangular in shape. The spade is made up of a cutting edge, a shaft that stretches all the way to a handle grip, and a handle grip. The grip on the handle can be made of metal or wood. Spades are generally designed for digging or cutting sand, turf, etc.
Shovels bear the same design as a spade. Only the blade of a shovel is a tad bit different from a spade. They are broader which makes them good lifters of soil materials than spades. Shovel blades are quite strong and can also be used for digging. Other applications are for moving bulk materials, lifting, etc.
This T-shaped hand tool is primarily used for digging. It has a broad axe blade on one side, and a pointed end on the other. The pointed end is used for breaking and prying, while the axe blade end is used for hoeing, digging, chopping, etc.
A mortar pan, like a shallow basin, is made of steel that is used to hold or carry cement, mortar, etc.
Hangers are basically used to supports or hold pipes.
This cart with a single wheel and two separated handles of equal length is used for moving and carrying materials from one place to another. The wheelbarrow is designed to carry heavier and bulkier loads. The weight of the load in a wheelbarrow is evenly distributed on a which makes lifting bulkier items a lot easier.
The plunger is an important plumber’s help tool that is used to clear drains and clogged toilets.
The plumber’s snake and plungers carry out the same functions. However a plumber’s snake is used instead of a plunger in drain pipes and toilet that cannot be unclogged using the plunger. The plunger’s snake is slender and flexible. It is also called a toilet jack.
In conclusion, plumbing tools make plumbing operations very easy. Instructions on how to use them should be strictly followed. You don’t want to create a wreck scene when using any of these plumbing tools.