Month: February 2022

Month: February 2022

7 Basic Plumbing Tools Every Homeowner Should Have
February 16, 2022 Blog Jeffrey Steeves

Plumbing Tools

Must-Have Plumbing Tools

Did you know that fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills? Owning a home means having to face inevitable plumbing problems! Be prepared for any minor plumbing problem by having these basic plumbing tools.

1. Plunger

It may be the most obvious, but a plunger is an essential plumbing tool for every homeowner. Plungers are helpful when you have a clogged toilet, but did you know a plunger can be used for a clogged shower drain? A plunger is an inexpensive tool that will help you get out of some minor plumbing problems!

2. Drain Snake

Does your sink or shower not drain properly? The solution could be just a simple drain snake away. A drain snake, or plumber’s snake, is a flexible auger used to dislodge clogs in plumbing. A drain snake is a simple plumbing tool that will allow you to clear debris like hair and product buildup without damaging your pipes.

3. Wrenches

Adjustable wrenches are an essential tool in any home plumbing toolkit. There are two types of wrenches that are particularly helpful when it comes to dealing with common plumbing.

  • Pipe Wrench: A pipe wrench is a heavy-duty wrench that is good for gripping and turning pipes. Its adjustable jaws make it easy to use by gripping one way and sliding in the other.
  • Basin Wrench: A basin wrench is a wrench with a long handle and jaws at the end. It’s used to tighten and or remove the faucet and fill valve lock nuts. It can be very useful in a plumbing pinch!

4. Heavy-Duty Rubber Gloves

When dealing with pipes and plumbing, rubber gloves can be an overlooked yet essential tool. Keep your hands, wrists, and forearms clean and protected from sharp objects by wearing rubber gloves when dealing with household plumbing issues.

5. Slip-Joint Pliers

Have you lost a wedding ring down your kitchen sink drain? Slip-joint pliers can save the day. Slip-joint pliers are useful tools for both bending and gripping in tight plumbing situations. With two sets of teeth, slip-joint pliers are a versatile tool to keep on hand. They have the ability to grip small objects like nails or grab bulkier objects like bolts.

6. Thread Seal Tape

Thread seal tape is also known as PTFE tape, plumber’s tape, or Teflon tape. This tape is good for sealing pipe threads and other plumbing leak necessities. If you have a leaky pipe, consider using thread seal tape to temporarily fix the leak to avoid further water damage. In some cases, thread seal tape can be used to solve the issue. Household leaks can not only cause damage and increase utility bills but also lead to water waste. The average family wastes 180 gallons per week from household leaks according to the EPA. Consider the thread seal tape in your plumbing toolbox as a way to combat this problem.

7. Tape Measure

The last plumbing toolkit essential is a basic tape measure. When dealing with plumbing you’ll often need to take exact measurements to ensure correct repairs in tight spaces. A tape measure will help you avoid costly mistakes due to incorrect length or distance in your home repair.

Don’t Have These Basic Plumbing Tools?

If you have a plumbing problem and are without these 7 basic plumbing tools don’t worry. Contact us at today for all your home plumbing needs.…

10 Useful Tools and Materials for Plumbing Projects
February 4, 2022 Blog Jeffrey Steeves

Plumbing pipes

While professional plumbers drive around with plenty of specialty equipment on their trucks, homeowners can handle more of their own needs with just a handful of plumbing tools. This is because the most common household plumbing repairs are more about the know-how (and replacement parts) than about advanced tools and special techniques. But there are a few specialty items that are indispensable for everyday plumbing jobs. Topping the list are those for the most familiar plumbing problems of all: clogged drains.

Sink Auger

Sink Auger
 Image courtesy of Amazon

A sink auger (also called a drum auger or canister auger) is the ultimate weapon for breaking up and clearing clogs in sink and tub drains. Just don’t use it on toilets—they call for a closet auger or toilet auger.

A sink auger consists of a flexible stainless steel cable with a corkscrew tip at the end. The cable is coiled within a drum canister and is extended into a drain to reach a clog and clear it. The drum has a handle, and there’s a thumbscrew that locks the cable to the canister, and when you insert the cable into the drain and turn the handle, the rotating drum snakes the cable through bends in the drainpipe, allowing the cable tip to penetrate clogs and pull them out.

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Toilet or Closet Auger

The toilet auger (also called a closet auger or water closet auger) is used to clear clogs in toilets. You do not want to use a sink auger for toilets, or a toilet auger for standard drains, as the tools are designed for very different purposes. A toilet auger has a long metal rod with a bend for reaching into the hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl. A rubber sleeve covers the bend to protect the porcelain in the toilet from being scratched. Once the tool is in place, you push and rotate the auger cable to snake it into or through the clog.

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Flange Plunger (Toilet Plunger)

Flange Plunger
 Image courtesy of Amazon

The flange plunger, or ball or toilet plunger, is a specially shaped plunger used to clear clogs in toilets. It works like a regular plunger but has a flange—an extended rubber flap below the dome of the plunger head—that helps seal around the hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl. With the bottom opening sealed, the plunger can effectively create the hydraulic pressure necessary to dislodge most clogs from a toilet.

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Cup Plunger (Sink and Tub Plunger)

Cup Plungers
 Image courtesy of Amazon

The cup plunger may be the most common plumbing tool in the home. It has a rubber cup-like shape and a wooden handle and is used to clear clogs in sinks, tubs, and showers. Do not use this plunger for clearing toilet clogs; that requires a specially shaped plunger called a flange plunger (previous slide). Some flange plungers, though, can be used as standard cup plungers when the flange is tucked up inside.

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Plumber’s Tape

Plumber's Tape
 Image courtesy of Amazon

Plumber tape is an essential material for preventing leaks at threaded plumbing connections. Often called Teflon tape (although it’s not made with Teflon-brand material), plumber’s tape is a thin white tape that you wrap around threads on pipes and fittings before twisting the parts together. It adds a bit of lubricant to aid threading and also helps to seal the joint to prevent leaks. Made with PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene), it is silky in texture and is

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Channel-Type Pliers

 Image courtesy of Amazon

Channel-type pliers are commonly known by the brand name Channel-Locks and are also known as slip-joint pliers. They’re similar to regular adjustable pliers but have extended adjustment sections as well as angled jaws, allowing you to grip pipes or other plumbing parts of almost any size. The long handles provide tremendous leverage for squeezing and twisting. You can use them to grip heavy steel pipe or to gently tighten large plastic nuts on sink drains. If you own only one specialty plumbing tool, this should be the one.

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Adjustable Pipe Wrench

Adjustable Pipe Wrench
 Image courtesy of Amazon

An adjustable pipe wrench is the 

10 Plumbing Tips Everyone Needs to Know
February 2, 2022 Blog Jeffrey Steeves

Know the Location of Shut-Off Valves

Where Are Main Water Shut-Off Valves?

Before moving into a new home, note the location of the main shut-off valve and drain (in some cases, the shut-off will be located outside the house). You should also get acquainted with sewer line access points, in case you need to conduct periodic clean outs. Note that apartments and condos may not have their own dedicated shut-off valves.

Related: 12 Things Your Plumber Wishes You Knew


Don’t Puncture Pipes

Punctured Pipe

Are you planning to drill holes or pound nails into your walls, floors, or ceiling? First determine if there are any supply or drainage pipes behind your work area, since you don’t want to accidentally puncture them. You may be able to locate pipes behind walls with an inexpensive stud finder. Alternatively, you could invest in an endoscopic camera, which can be snaked into the walls.

Related: 13 Home Improvements That Are Illegal to DIY


Find Out What’s Flushable

What Can't You Flush Down the Toilet?

Homeowners shouldn’t use their toilet as a trash can, since flushing anything except toilet paper leads to nasty clogs. Even “flushable” baby wipes can back up the system!


Don’t Put Garbage Down the Drain

What Can You Put in Garbage Disposal?

Never dump coffee grounds, food debris, bacon grease, vegetable peelings, or starchy foods like rice or potatoes down the kitchen drain; they will almost certainly clog your pipes. It’s also smart to read the manufacturer’s manual for your garbage disposal to know what, exactly, the unit can handle.

Related: 10 Things Always to Keep Near Your Kitchen Sink


Take the Plunge

Best Plunger

Invest in a high-quality plunger to clear clogs in toilets, sinks, and drains. If you’re planning to clean sink traps, use a plunger to push most of the water out before removing the trap. The task will be a lot less wet and messy.

Related: No Plunger Needed: 7 Easier Ways to Clear a Clog


Pull Out the Vacuum

How to Unclog Sink with Vacuum

When you’re trying to dislodge a clog caused by a small, hard object (like a child’s toy, toothbrush, or comb), rely on a wet-dry vacuum. It’s more effective to suck the object out. A plunger will only push it deeper into the drain, making it more difficult to remove.

Related: You’re Not Using Vacuum Attachments the Right Way


Don’t Ignore Leaks

How to Deal with Leaky Faucet

That steady drip, drip, drip of a fixture symbolizes money going down the drain. In fact, a leaky faucet typically wastes up to eight gallons of water per day, while a running toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. Fix small leaks promptly before they become big—and costly—problems.

Related: 14 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bill


Never Over-Tighten Fittings

How Much Should You Tighten Fittings?

A common DIY plumbing mistake is over-tightening fittings and connections, which leads to broken bolts and stripped screws. Remember this adage: “hand-tight is just right.”

Related: 9 Signs Your Tap Water Might Be Contaminated


Make Friends with Plumber’s Tape

How to Use Plumber’s Tape

Plumber’s tape (also called Teflon tape) is used to seal pipe threads to prevent leaks around joints and fittings. You should typically wrap plumber’s tape three times around the pipe threads before sealing. Also note that white tape is designed for common household plumbing projects, while yellow is for gas line connections.

Related: 9 Things First-Time Homeowners Don’t Know to Do


Always Check for Leaks

How to Check for Leaks

After every plumbing project, check for leaks by running water through the system, then opening and closing all valves and drains. Even professional plumbers may miss a small leak and need to reseal a connection.

Related: 11 Things Your Contractor Won’t Tell You for Free


Plumbing 101

Plumbing 101

With the right knowledge, you can be your own first line of defense for basic plumbing issues.