Plumbing includes installation as well as repairs of blocked lines or drains, bursts, leaks and worn out or broken fittings. A professional plumber can do a dependable installation and repairs with proper plumbing equipment and tools. As a household owner, you can also attend to some small plumbing problems with proper tools.
The following list describes the important plumbing equipment used by the professional plumbers. However, for the homeowners a small tool kit will be sufficient as mentioned below;
- Pipe and Drain Cleaning Tools – The professional use portable drain cleaners as it cleans choked drains.
Drain auger is suitable for sinks, urinals and small drains.
- Drain Testing Equipment – These include center locking drain test plugs for water and air testing of drains and sewers.
- Inspection and Detection Tools – Detecting of leakage and blockages is the most critical part in plumbing particularly in the in the hidden areas. There are latest equipment such as digital imaging cameras for easy detection of leaks and blocks in pipelines. Stud detectors locate metal, circuit lines or wood in the walls. Damp detectors reveal the wet spots in wood, brick, concrete or plaster, there are hand operated testers also used for testing heating systems and locating leaks and blockages.
- Measuring Equipment – A tape measure, ruler, vernier calipers and bevel protector are used for various measurements in plumbing work.
Plumbing Equipment – Tools and Accessories
Plumbing is a complex system that it may look simple from the outside but mind boggling once you get to know it. That is why every plumber is ready with their plumbing equipment for any type of problems. Here are the tools and accessories to get the job done;
- Hole saws are suitable making holes in walls, plastic or concrete to pass pipes.
- An olive cutting tool helps remove an olive from a copper pipe.
- The pipe flaring kit is used for making single and double flares on thin brass, copper and aluminum pipe.
- Tank cutters enable making circular holes in sheet metal, plastics and wood.
- The pipe benders are suitable precision to produce offsets and multiple bends in tubes
- The robust cutters can cut all types of pipes and tubes of steel and cast iron and other metals.
Pipe Joining Tools & Blow Torches
Plumbing also handles the joining and/or replacing of fittings. Here are the tools needed;
- Thin tubing may need joining by soldering and brazing with torches and portable small gas cylinders. This is needed mostly in gas lines, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration plumbing.
- Pipe Threading Tools – Threading tools include pipe threading dies. These can be two-piece dies.
Ratchet type threading kits consisting of cassette die heads are very common.
- Wrenches – There are different sizes and types of pipe wrenches. In additions the plumbers need adjustable, tap, ratchet, slogging and wheel wrenches for various jobs.
- Spanners – Almost all types of wrenches are used in plumbing. These include single and double ended, ring, box, adjustable, scaffold, ratchet and compression fitting type of spanners.
- Plumbers’ Adjustable Pliers – The wide jaw plumbing pliers with toothed jaws can be adjusted in different positions for tightening and loosening round fittings.
- Test Gauges – Pressure gauges are used for testing gas pressure and water pressure in the lines.
- Plumbers Keys – Malleable cast keys have square heads and a U or T shaped hand for fixing stop cocks. Heavy-duty special keys are used for manhole cover lifting.
- Allen Wrenches – The Allen wrenches are also known as Allen keys. An Allen wrench has a hexagonal cross section to fit the Allen screw head that has a six-sided recess. These are made of alloy steel and are hardened, tempered and usually nickel or zinc plated thus makes it the only tool, which can be used on Allen head fasteners. These types of screws or bolts are mostly used in recessed surfaces. You can apply only a limited torque due to the limited length of the Allen wrench. The size of an Allen wrench is across the flat faces. Allen wrenches are available in fractional inches or metric sizes.
Plumbers Compounds, Chemicals & Sprays
Some sealants are used on metallic threaded joints such as copper, aluminum, brass and steel to make them leak proof. PTFE tape is used in water plumbing applications to prevent the leakage in the threaded joints.
The plumbing equipment has more specialized variations and they are according to the weather or the geography. The list is long and will continue to evolve as the needs of various residential and commercial establishments also changes in time.