Introduction to emergency plumbing tools
Before beginning repairs, turn off the water supply to prevent damage and facilitate a smoother plumbing process, reducing potential labour costs and the risk of further issues.
Professional emergency plumbers use specialised tools, pivotal for efficient repairs, potentially averting extensive damage during plumbing mishaps. Equipped with quality, durable tools an emergency plumber can often tackle repairs in a fraction of the time it would take the average homeowner.
Beecroft Plumbing is a trusted service provider catering to your plumbing needs, located in Beecroft, Sydney.
With over 15 years serving customers across the North Shore, we have extensive experience addressing blocked drains and using the latest tools for effective emergency plumbing repairs, whether big or small. Whether it’s a burst pipe at 3am or a blocked drain causing an overflow, our team always arrives promptly fully stocked with advanced equipment to remedy any plumbing emergency.
Plungers: Clearing Basic Clogs and Vacuuming Drains
Cup plungers are crucial for drain cleaning, adept at resolving minor clogs before they worsen. There are two main types of plungers - the versatile flange plunger and the specialised toilet plunger.
Cup plungers, featuring a domed rubber cup attached to a wooden handle, are indispensable for quick suction actions. The cup plunger forms a seal over sink and shower drains, providing a tight fit that enables efficient dislodging of obstructions. Start by filling the drain with enough water to completely submerge the cup.
Press the plunger straight down to create a seal, then plunge vigorously 10-20 times; if needed, use groove pliers to extract the blockage.
Toilet plungers, designed to seal the drain at the base of the toilet bowl, are used to address stubborn clogs with significant force. It’s essential for effective plumbing to establish a firm seal before commencing with the plunging process.
For drains that won’t unclog with regular plunging, use a toilet auger (or hand-crank snake) to physically remove hair, soap residue and other debris blocking water flow under sinks or in toilets and showers. Prevent future clogs by installing mesh drain covers.
Hand Augers: Extended Reach for Deep Pipe Blockages
A hand auger, also known as a plumbing snake, is an essential tool for clearing stubborn clogs deeper in the plumbing system. Hand augers, adaptable to all household plumbing systems, feature a flexible metal cable that reaches blockages beyond the bend of a pipe joint.
To use a hand auger:
- Secure the crank and feed the auger cable into the drain access point like under a sink trap or down the toilet.
- Crank the handle clockwise while applying light pressure to advance the cable towards the clog, aligning sections as you go.
- Once resistance is felt, this indicates you’ve likely reached the clog. Change direction and crank counter-clockwise to catch and break up the blockage.
- Retrieve the cable, rinsing debris off the end. Flush the pipes and test water flow.
Hand augers are indispensable for any plumbing toolkit, with varied cable lengths and diameters suitable for residential use. Choose an auger with at least 16 feet of cable and a 1/4-inch diameter for clearing clogs in metal plastic pipes around your home.
Warning: Always wear gloves when using an auger to protect your hands from injury. Never crank the handle when the cable is not advancing or retracting to prevent cable twisting and breakage.
Pipe Wrenches and Pliers: Gripping, Turning and Adjusting
Pipe wrenches and pliers are critical among the essential plumbing tools needed during emergencies. Their ability to grip, turn, and adjust nuts, bolts, piping, and fittings makes them an invaluable tool any professional would rely on to fix leaks or tackle urgent issues like burst pipes.
Pipe wrenches are available in adjustable and fixed models to suit specific tasks. An adjustable wrench can tighten or loosen a wide range of pipe sizes. Using a basin wrench or two fixed wrenches of different sizes allows for better grip and torque when loosening tightening or freeing stuck joints.
Use correct handling techniques to prevent pipe damage.
Pliers also come in handy for holding, bending or cutting pipe as needed.
Groove-joint pliers can be adjusted to firmly grip both curved and flat surfaces.
Tapes and Putties: Achieving Watertight Seals On Threads and Joints
Preventing leaks should be a priority in plumbing work, necessitating the correct tools for the job. To form watertight seals on pipe threads and joints, plumbers rely on plumber’s tape and joint putty.
PTFE tape, a slim yet efficient sealant, wraps around male pipe threads before attaching fittings. Start by wrapping the tape around threads moving clockwise, keeping it smooth and wrinkle-free with 55-60% overlap per wrap.
Correct application of plumber’s tape ensures a tight seal on threads to prevent leaks and improve connection. Apply 3-5 wraps for optimal sealing.
Joint putty physically seals gaps between plumbing fixtures such as drain bodies and sinks/tubs. It also cushion pipes against vibration damage. Once outlets are firmly re-attached, any excess putty can be removed.
Mould plumber’s putty into a snake, wrap it around the drain base and fit the parts together securely.
Used together, quality tapes and putties form impenetrable barriers against water leakage. They allow safe adjustments down the track - an essential factor for busy emergency plumbers requiring versatility in their toolkit.
Pipe Cutters and Hacksaws: Precision Cuts in Plumbing Materials
Precision and clean cuts are vital when handling the diverse materials used in plumbing systems. Professional plumbers rely on specialised cutting tools like pipe cutters and hacksaws to achieve perfect cuts to length when modifying or installing pipes on the job.
To achieve a neat cut, secure the pipe in the cutter, tighten the feed screw, and rotate the tool around the pipe.
Hacksaws with metal cutting blades, and occasionally a sturdy metal file for fine adjustments, effortlessly cut stainless steel, cast iron, chrome and other rigid piping no wider than 6 inches diameter. Below the cut line, apply steady pressure downward, and use forward strokes to cut through the pipe.
Select a blade with 18-32 teeth per inch for the best cutting performance. The fine tooth design prevents jamming. Keep strokes straight and let the weight of the hacksaw do the work.
Clamp short pipe lengths in a vice during cutting to enhance safety and prevent slippage. Wear gloves and eye protection. Lubricating blades during cuts reduces friction, protecting blade integrity.
Inspection Equipment: Locating Problems Behind Walls
Inspection equipment is essential for plumbers to diagnose unseen plumbing issues like leaks, blockages behind walls, or underground pipe damage. Inspection cameras, moisture metres, and leak detectors enable plumbers to thoroughly evaluate hidden plumbing issues.
A small waterproof camera on a flexible cable can be snaked down pipes and drains, providing vital visual evidence of damage or clogs. Moisture metres use sensors to detect elevated moisture levels in drywall and flooring that signal water leaks in concealed piping.
Emergency plumbers use acoustic amplifying devices to detect the high-frequency sounds of pressurised gas leaks.
Without inspection tools, identifying concealed issues could necessitate significant demolition or guesswork. This adds unnecessary time and costs to plumbing repairs. Inspection tools are an efficient, non-damaging way for emergency plumbers to provide accurate repair diagnoses so homeowners can get to the root of the issue quickly.
Dealing With Complex Emergencies
While appropriate tools enable homeowners to address minor plumbing problems, certain crises necessitate the expertise and equipment of a professional. Situations like major pipe leaks causing flooding, completely blocked main sewer drains, or gas leaks, can quickly escalate beyond what DIY fixes can handle.
Inadequate DIY repairs can cause significant damage and pose serious safety risks. This is when calling a licenced emergency plumber is critical. At Beecroft Plumbing our technicians are fully equipped to promptly and safely manage your plumbing catastrophes of any scale.
Our commercial-grade power tools like heavy-duty electric eel machines swiftly clear blockages in main water supply drains. Advanced CCTV pipe inspection cameras painlessly diagnose hard-to-reach underground leaks. For major flooding, we bring in water extraction equipment and use moisture metres to ensure the area is effectively dry until can get to repairing the underlying cause.
While complex emergency callouts incur greater costs due to required equipment and urgent after-hours mobilisation, postponing repairs risks thousands more in water damage and unhealthy conditions. Get problems assessed and sorted properly, maintaining peace of mind until you can reach us by calling Beecroft Plumbing on 1300 349 338.
The Plumber’s Toolkit: Equipped for Any Plumbing Challenge
Equipping your toolbox with a comprehensive set of plumbing tools, as used by professionals, is essential for home repairs. The range of specialised plumbing tools covered here - from humble plungers and pliers to high-tech cameras and leak detectors - all serve specific purposes in diagnosis and problem solving across residential, commercial and emergency callouts.
While everyday tools like plungers, augers, and pliers should be bought for minor issues, complex scenarios call for the advanced equipment used by experienced technicians.
Here at Beecroft Plumbing, our team has over 15 years’ experience utilising quality tools akin to extra pairs of hands when servicing the local community. No job is too tricky for our fully-stocked vans - we welcome residential enquiries and 24/7 emergency callouts across the North Shore suburbs and surrounds.
Don’t hesitate reaching out for professional assistance via phone, email or using our online booking form. Investing in quality workmanship the first time around saves money long-term.
We’ll provide straightforward advice whether DIY solutions are feasible or if engaging our inspection equipment, pipe machinery and expertise could alleviate plumbing headaches more promptly and safely.