Out of nowhere, you find yourself faced with a plumbing emergency. To make sure you truly fix the problem, you’ve called a reputable plumber in your area. But in the meantime, you want to do what you can to address the situation. If you plan to take this kind of do-it-yourself approach, you’re going to need some tools. And having the right tools can make all the difference in the success of your temporary efforts. With that in mind, here are the must-have items to include your plumbing emergency toolkit.
A plunger can be instrumental in helping you unblock a clog in your plumbing system. This basic tool comes in three forms. The most common and well-known option is the sink plunger, used to clear drains in both sinks and bathtubs. Also, your toolkit may also include an accordion plunger. Tools in this category have mouths designed to fit the narrow inner opening of a toilet. You can also purchase simpler toilet plungers, which combine some of the features of sink and accordion models.
A Hand Auger
Some clogged sinks and drains can’t be cleared out with just a plunger. For this reason, you may want to consider adding a hand auger to your emergency kit. Products in this category use a hand crank to guide a section of metal wire down into drain openings. The force of this wire then dislodges the clogging material. You can also buy augers specifically made to help you unclog toilets.
Your home plumbing kit should also include a pair of tongue-and-groove pliers. You may also see the same tool described as adjustable, groove-joint, channel-lock or water pump pliers. Whatever the name, these products come in the same basic format. Namely, they have serrated gripping surfaces and a lower jaw that you can adjust upward or downward.
You’ll want to own one of these tools because they’re super versatile. No matter how you need to manipulate your piping (e.g., tightening or twisting), they’ll help you get the job done. Tongue-and-groove pliers also tend to have long handles that allow you to produce any needed leverage.
Several types of wrenches will make welcome additions to your emergency toolkit. Basin wrenches come equipped with a swivel and clamp that allow you to tighten faucets and pipes. Adjustable wrenches allow you to tighten any connection point with a hexagonal nut. As their name indicates, you can adjust the width of their jaws. You may want to carry both 10-inch and six-inch versions of this tool. Either size may prove more useful for specific jobs.
You may also decide to purchase a pipe wrench. Wrenches in this category are especially tough and durable. They allow you to hold components of your plumbing in one place without any slippage. Like other types of wrenches, they can also be used to tighten connection points.
You may also see the same product advertised as thread seal tape. This waterproof material helps you combat leaks at connection points throughout your household plumbing. That includes everything from water lines to the showerheads in your bathrooms. Be aware that plumber’s tape may not do much good for older, worn-out pipes.
A Good Hacksaw
Hacksaws are handheld saws that consist of a thin blade mounted in a sturdy frame. They earn a place in your toolkit because they can cut through both plastic and metal. That means that you can work on any kind of household plumbing pipe, as well as various hardware.
When you cut through piping or hardware, you’ll inevitably dull the teeth on the saw blade. Those teeth may also break off. However, that’s not a problem with a hacksaw. You can just remove the worn-out blade, pop in a new one and get back to work (make sure to keep a few spare blades on hand in your kit, as well).
If you’re cutting through metal, you’ll probably end up with jagged surfaces on the remaining pipe. In some cases, those surfaces can be sharp enough to cut you pretty badly. To avoid this risk, you can eliminate the jagged material with a metal file. So, many plumbers suggest buying both rat-tail and half-round files for maximum versatility.
While your plumbing kit can help you out in tough situations, nothing compares to the assistance of experienced plumbing professionals. Orange Coast Plumbing’s seasoned experts have seen it all and can handle any emergency situation imaginable. Once you’ve done all you can with temporary fixes, be sure to give us a call.