Minneapolis Water & Sewer Systems

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tools of the Trade - Type of Tools Needed For Plumbing Repairs

Even if you are a handyman and enjoy working on household projects, chances are there are certain jobs you would rather never have to do. It does not mean you can't do them, just that you don't enjoy spending your time on them. Perhaps one the most common chores that falls in to this category is that of plumbing /sewer related concerns. However, if you need to repair a water or sewer related problem there is a list of tools that you will want to have depending on whether your pipes are made of plastic, metal, cast-iron or copper.

  • Plastic pipes require a plastic tubing cutter or you can opt to use either a PVC saw or a standard handsaw. Some people choose to use a utility knife, but this is often difficult and more labor intensive-especially for larger pipes.
  • Metal pipes require a metal pipe cutter or a pipe reamer, a hacksaw or a reciprocating saw with a hack saw blade. Depending on how much room you are working in, it may be necessary to have mini hacksaw as well. You may also find products such as joint compound, extra couplings, and a pipe threader, to be of use as they make connecting the pipes a bit easier. Sometimes it is necessary to thread the pipes. This will require a threader which is fitted with the proper die based on the size of pipes you are using. It is not necessary to purchase these tools, however, as they can be rented for a nominal cost.
  • Cast iron pipes require a few more tools and often a bit more patience. To work on cast-iron pipes you will need a cast-iron snap cutter. This is costly, so you may want to rent this as opposed to buying. In addition, you will need a pipe wrench so you can grip the pipes as well as be able to screw and unscrew them. It is also recommended that you have at least 2 pairs of rib-joint pliers so that you can hold the pipe with one pair and turn the other pipe or fitting with the second pair.
  • Copper pipes are thought by many, to be relatively easier to work with, however, it is also rather pricey. When working with copper pipes or tubing, you will need a hacksaw or tubing cutter, a propane torch with a disposable tank as well as a T-handled torque wrench which can be used for tightening the couplings. Some copper pipes have flared fittings (a bell shape at the end) and require a flaring tool in order to screw or unscrew the parts.

For many people, nothing is less enjoyable than spending a day digging up the yard, and then removing, repairing or replacing pipes. Fortunately, there are many plumbing specialist who not only have the know-how, but the right tools to take care of even the worst plumbing and sewer problems.

For additional information on water and sewer concerns please visit www.geneswaterandsewer.com.

Article independently authored by Janet M Slagell. The content herein may or may not reflect the views and opinions of Genes Water and Sewer.

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