Tips And Tools For Those Household Plumbing Repairs In Your New Home
Once you've settled into your new home, it's time to get prepared for the plumbing problems that can arise. You can fix many of the common plumbing issues that come up, but some should be left to a professional plumber. Here are some of the tools you should have at home to help you deal with plumbing problems and some tips to make those repairs go smoother.
The Basic Plumbing Repair Kit
These are the basic tools you'll need in your tool box to address most household plumbing issues.
Plungers - There are two types of plungers and you'll need one of each. The standard plunger looks like an inverted bowl. This is used on drains located on a flat surface, such as the kitchen sink. The plunger forms a seal around the drain to be effective. The bell plunger is the second type and is used where the flat standard plunger isn't effective, such as in a toilet. The bell plunger has a flap of rubber that sits in the drain to form a seal.
Pipe Wrench and Channel Lock Pliers - These are used to disconnect plumbing pipes. The pipe wrench is used primarily on metal pipes and the pliers on plastic. Most new household plumbing is made of plastic, so you may not need a pipe wrench. Also, the pipes you will most often work with, such as under the kitchen and bathroom sink, need their connections to be merely hand tightened to achieve a good fit. The tools are handy for loosening stubborn pipe connections.
Lubricants - Tubes of plumber's grease and silicone grease are helpful. The plumber's grease is used to coat rubber washers in faucets and in pipe connections to prevent leaks. The silicone grease is used in hot water faucets where the plumber's grease can break down.
Flat Blade and Philips Screwdrivers - These will be used to remove knobs and handles from faucets and to tighten straps that hold plumbing components together.
Work Light - You'll often find yourself working in dark areas on plumbing, such as under the kitchen sink or up in the basement ceiling. Have a light that is easy to adjust to shine on your work area.
Old Rags and a Small Bucket - Have these available to minimize the mess you'll make when working on your home plumbing.
A Few Plumbing "Don'ts"
These are some items you shouldn't bother with having in your plumbing repair kit.
Plumbing Snakes - These are the coiled metal or plastic lines that are placed down a drain to clear it out. If you can't clear a clogged drain with a plunger, call a plumber for help. Misusing a plumbing snake can result in damage to the pipes, resulting in an expensive plumbing repair.
Chemicals - Chemicals made to clear drains come with many health warnings. You can easily splash these caustic substances on your skin and in your eyes causing severe burns. Let your plumber use any chemicals to clear a drain, because they know how to use them safely. Go to sites that talk about plumbing to learn more.