Not many customers ask to have a look inside our tool boxes. They’re far more focused on why they called us in the first place: namely, to fix a problem, install a new fixture, unclog a drain, and so on. And that’s how it should be.
So while water isn’t spewing all over your kitchen and you have plenty of hot water, we thought we’d put names to just a few of the tools we’ve mastered and depend on daily: some you’ve heard of, and others maybe not so much.
- Channel locks. This is another name for tongue & groove pliers. For many plumbers, channel locks have in large part taken the place of pipe wrenches, even though the latter are still indispensable to our trade. Many plumbers will use two channel locks at the same time: one to stabilize the pipe with the other to unscrew it.
- Pipe Wrench. This is the iconic tool for plumbers worldwide, and pretty much has been for as long as anyone can remember. And yet, as old as they are, they are still the tool of choice in a multitude of applications. An end pipe wrench, for example, is used on pipes close to the wall. A compound leverage pipe is for seized joints, and an offset pipe is a great asset in tight spaces or for odd angles. So yes, there are lots of different pipe wrenches for lots of different applications, and each of them comes in different sizes.
- Basin Wrench. This handy little guy is self-tightening and is used to replace or repair old faucets. Professional grade models come with a telescoping shank that holds a 90 degree position for greater accuracy.
- Hole Saw. Okay, so the name partly gives this one away. A hole saw is used to cut holes in wood, masonry, and concrete.
- Hose Cutter. Conversely, the name of this tool is somewhat deceiving as its primary use is to cut perfect sizes and shapes in copper tubing.
- Rib-joint Pliers. This is adjustable tool designed for turning nuts, bolts, pipes and fittings. It’s also a great gripper.
- Drain Augers, aka Snakes. When a plunger can’t do the job, it’s time to pull out the auger. It consists of a coiled-up metal cable with a crank that rotates and pushes the cable at the same time.
- Metal File. This is used to smooth out the rough edges once a metal pipe has been cut.
- Fire-Resistant Cloth. Yes, safety is always a primary concern when we’re working in your home. We use fire-resistant cloths when we’re soldering to protect nearby combustible surfaces from igniting.
Let’s not forget the most important tool of all…The Certified Technician. The tools by themselves aren’t worth much. But in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing – and knows what tool to use for best results in an any given circumstance – they help to make tough jobs simpler. Very often, simpler means quicker and quicker often means you save money.