You don’t have to be a plumber to own some of the tools that can help you make minor repairs as a homeowner. Many small disasters can be averted if you just have the right tools and a little know-how. You may still end up having to call in an expert like Environmental Pipe Cleaning for some of your plumbing issues. But, it is possible to buy yourself some time and save your home from major damage by getting ahead of them. Here are just a few of the tools you should always have on hand.
A plunger is the most basic plumbing tool you should always have in your arsenal. There are actually several different types of plungers that work a little differently. Basically, a plunger is made to apply both suction and pressure to a drain to remove a clog. Keeping one in your house is crucial, but it’s a good idea to have a couple of different kinds.
A standard plunger is the one you can find almost anywhere. It’s just a wooden handle with a rubber cup attached to it. These are best for sinks because they work best on flat surfaces.
The toilet plunger is designed for, of course, the toilet. You obviously want to have a separate toilet plunger that you won’t use on other surfaces. But aside from that, toilet plungers are designed a little differently. Just like the standard plunger, this one has a cup at the end. But a toilet plunger also has a flap that protrudes from the cup. This flap is what fits in the drain of the toilet to help it get the proper suction when removing clogs.
There’s another plunger called the accordion plunger, which is all one plastic piece with an accordion-like ending. At the end of the accordion, there is a small cup. This is another plunger made specifically for toilets, as well. This plunger is a lot more powerful than the others because the accordion produces a lot of pressure. However, it’s not as easy to use because the plastic is not as flexible as the rubber found on other plungers.
A drain snake and auger
Speaking of drains, some of those stubborn clogs just won’t come loose no matter what plunger you use. In this case, you may have to call a plumber. But if you have a snake and auger on hand, you may be able to dislodge it yourself. An auger is mainly for toilet use. You run it through the drain so it can hook and pull out whatever is causing the clog. But a snake is a little easier to use for other drains, such as sinks and showers.
Your grandad may have taught you that you can fix anything with duct tape. And while that may not be completely true, it turns out there actually is quite a bit you can do with it. In a pinch, duct tape can fix minor leaks. It works great with water hose leaks and may be the only repair they ever need. But it’s also a good temporary fix for pipe leaks. If you can get to the pipe that sprang a leak, a few layers of duct tape should keep it intact until you can call a plumber.
Duct tape is also a good way to keep cold air away from your pipes. If your pipes are in an open area, such as a crawl space or an attic, they may be exposed to air circulation that speeds up the freezing process. Use duct tape as weatherstripping to seal up windows or wall cracks where you can feel a cool breeze. Duct tape can also be used to secure insulation to open pipes to protect them from dropping temperatures.
When dealing with major plumbing issues, calling an expert is usually your best bet. But for minor issues that may arise every now and then, keeping these tools on hand may be all you really need.