Unexpected plumbing repairs are a financial burden for homeowners, causing unnecessary stress and headaches. However, homeowners often make the mistake of placing a service call for work they could do on their own. With the right set of tools, homeowners can tackle minor plumbing repairs, and save themselves hundreds of dollars. These five simple tools are the basis of what every homeowner should have to successfully complete small renovations:
- Water Meter Key Set: Before any plumbing repairs can begin, homeowners must stop the flow of water into the home. A water meter key set includes the key and wrench needed to turn off water access at the street level. The U-shaped attachment at the end of the wrench is designed to get into small spaces where a standard crescent or adjustable wrench cannot. The key is vital not just for jobs homeowners want to do on their own, but it also enables them to shut off the water during a plumbing emergency while they wait for a professional.
- Phillips and Flathead Screwdrivers: A set of screwdrivers can take care of almost any job in the home, and should be a part of everyone’s toolkit. This kit needs a good selection of different sizes, so accidental damage isn’t caused to the screw by trying to use an improperly sized tool. Screwdrivers are needed when repairing leaky faucets, replacing parts inside the toilet, and a myriad of other plumbing tasks.
- Faucet Stem Wrench: Leaky faucets are one of the most common plumbing repairs, and they are best handled with a special tool. A faucet stem wrench is designed to fit over the stem nut that holds the faucet handle in place. Because the stems are often placed deep in the wall, there is not enough space for a standard wrench. The removal of a bad stem is a much cheaper repair than a faucet replacement or a service call.
- Auger: Clogged drains not only prevent the removal of waste from the home, but they can stress the whole plumbing system and cause catastrophic breaks in the pipes. Chemical cleaners only work on small clogs, and over time the chemicals will begin to erode the pipes. A handheld auger is ideal for the removal of most drain clogs. The steel tubing snakes into the pipe, while the clawed end physically breaks apart the clog. This is a weaker version of the exact same tool that a plumber would use, and is suitable for clogs in an interior drain pipe.
- Pipe Wrench: Traditional wrenches are unsuitable for pipe repair because they lack the “teeth” needed to grip the smooth exterior of a pipe. Homeowners need a pipe wrench to replace broken pipe segments and to get access to the home’s drain system. With a pipe wrench, homeowners can retrieve lost jewelry before it enters the sewage system or remove large debris from a garbage disposal.
For around $100 homeowners can equip themselves with the tools necessary to address most plumbing repairs. Always remember though, that any repair that requires more than a basic set of tools and plumbing understanding is a job for a professional. If you don’t feel confident in your plumbing ability and need a professional, contact A Marco Plumbing.