Arsenal plumber: advice for a novice master

Recommendation points

In the market for the provision of services, plumbing works are among the most demanded. It is a profitable business that does not require a large initial investment. The main thing in such a matter is a qualified approach and the availability of the necessary tools. Let’s talk about them..

Basic Keys

Modern plumbing looks more and more elegant, plastic pipes are replacing metal pipes, and water supply systems are gradually getting rid of detachable connections. However, the main place in the master’s briefcase is still reserved for keys..

Open-end wrenches dominate in this set. It is easy and convenient to work with them, and most importantly – quickly. The most popular numbers are from 20 to 36. The only drawback of such wrenches is that they put a lot of stress on the corners of the nuts and can crush them if the size is inaccurate..

Open-end wrenches for plumber

The pipe wrench – the symbol of the plumbing profession – is still indispensable when you need to tighten a large locknut, a sleeve or just hold a steel pipe. Use it for other purposes with caution, since the compression force of the jaws is quite high. Under heavy load on the handles, a thin-walled brass tee or a compression fitting nut can be easily and discreetly crushed. In addition, the notches on the lips leave noticeable marks. However, you need to have two such keys in your arsenal. The choice of modification depends on personal preference – who is more comfortable with what. The Swedish version (with two handles) provides a secure grip, and the American version (with one handle) deforms the workpiece less.

Pipe lever wrench

Adjustable wrenches are not very popular despite the adjustable throat. In fact, this is not as convenient a tool as it might seem at first glance. Its disadvantages are significant backlash of the movable lip and frequent jamming of the adjusting screw. This increases the likelihood of a wrench breaking off by crushing the corners of the nut and increases the time to complete the work. And yet it comes in handy in cases where there is no open end wrench of the required size..

Adjustable wrench

Special keys

To work with nickel-plated, chrome-plated and painted products, as well as decorative elements, you will need a key with soft jaws. It has plastic pads that protect the nut surface from damage. The purchase of such a tool is quite justified: the client is unlikely to be pleased with fresh scratches on a brand new mixer. By the way, to repair the mixers, you will need another special key – an internal hexagon. It tightens the shower switch ball.

Adjustable wrench with plastic covers

When connecting radiators to the heating system, they often use a union nut, which replaced the squeegees. This type of quick disconnect connection is better known under the name “American”. To screw in its union, a special wrench with two opposite grooves is required. This tool usually has a stepped tapered shape and fits several diameters at once..

Key for American

Threading tools

When working with steel pipelines, it is sometimes necessary to cut threads on an already laid pipe. The traditional cartridge with two handles is not suitable here: the proximity of the wall will prevent it from being turned. For such an operation, you will need a threading die. Its manual version is equipped with a ratchet, which allows you to rotate the die without a full turn of the handle.

Manual? klupp for cutting pipe? carvings

When choosing this tool, you should pay attention to the length of the handle and the material from which it is made: threading requires significant effort, so a strong and sufficiently large lever is needed. Therefore, preference should be given to models with a sliding handle made of high-alloy steel..

As for the dies themselves, the stronger the better. Cheap products quickly lose their sharpness, but the main problem is the wear of the cutting edges, which makes the thread not deep enough. As a result, it will simply not be possible to wind anything on it..

Electric pipe threading die

The electric version of the klupp is quite expensive. There is a sense in buying it only when regular and repeated use is planned. But in any case, some kind of threading tool is necessary, since in many cases it allows you to do without welding or clamping sleeves..

Sealant gun

Modern industry produces several types of sealant guns: mechanical, battery, electric and pneumatic. We are interested in the first three because air guns require a connection to a compressed air cylinder. So they are used only in production..

Manual sealant gun

The simplest and cheapest are mechanical pistols. Most of these models are designed to work with cartridges, but there are devices for tubes and bulk sealants. When choosing, first of all, you need to pay attention to the build quality and the strength of the mechanism, since squeezing out viscous mixtures requires significant effort. If the pistol has a serrated stem, that’s pretty good. Take an interest in the gear ratio: at high values, the pressure resistance is weaker than at low values, but you will have to pull the trigger more often. Better to target the 12: 1 to 18: 1 range.

Cordless guns apply silicone more evenly and more economically than mechanical guns. With such a tool, pipe sealing moves much faster. The only problem is the high probability of battery discharge at the most inopportune moment. So it is advisable to have a spare battery with you.

Cordless sealant gun

Electric pistols, which are powered directly from the network, are devoid of this disadvantage. They cost less than battery ones, but unfortunately, they are quite rare: the presence of a wire is considered an inconvenience.

Pneumatic pistols with a built-in compressor are not very popular either. They are completely autonomous, battery operated, but the most expensive compared to other types of pistols.

Sewer cleaning tools

Orders for this type of work are relatively rare, and, as a rule, cast iron pipes have to be cleaned. The plastic drain is not often clogged. If this happens, then in most cases, incorrect installation is to blame. However, you need to be prepared for everything, so that the presence of a pipe cleaning tool will not be superfluous..

The main rule when choosing a cable is that the larger the diameter and length of the pipe, the thicker and stiffer it should be. The tool can be made by yourself by attaching it to the steel cable of the gate. But it’s still better to buy a factory-made product with a tensioner. Such a model consists of a flexible spiral with a cable inside, a mechanism for tightening it and a gate. The design allows the spring rate to be varied during operation, which facilitates cornering and improves tool efficiency.

Plumbing cable for cleaning sewer pipes

If this type of service is performed regularly, there is a reason to buy a cleaning machine. Handheld devices of this kind are usually battery powered and are designed to work with pipes up to 75 mm in diameter. To clean the sewers of a larger diameter, you will need a portable unit powered by the mains. Both versions of the machines are equipped with spirals with a core, and their functionality includes automatic feeding, changing the speed and direction of rotation. Such devices are not cheap, so how profitable their purchase is – it’s up to you.

Sewer Cleaning Machine


When dismantling a cast-iron sewage system, as well as for disassembling threaded connections planted on paint or anaerobic gel, a gas burner is useful. It is a small and fairly simple device that fits over a compact gas cylinder. The most preferred models are turbo with piezo ignition. The burner must be handled with extreme care, bearing in mind the danger of open flames. You should also refrain from using gas cylinders of dubious quality..


Plastic Pipe Cutting Tools

This class includes PVC pipe cutters and scissors. It is more convenient to cut pipes with a diameter of up to 42 mm with scissors, and larger pipes with a pipe cutter, so it is advisable to have both tools. With all the variety of models, there are not so many design differences between them. Scissors are usually equipped with an underdrive ratchet, which makes cutting much easier. Their purchase will cost from a few hundred rubles to a little over a thousand. The pipe cutters use cutting rollers or screw-driven guillotine knives. Some of them, in addition to the main function, perform chamfering. The cost of such a device is from several thousand to tens of thousands of rubles..

Plastic pipe scissors

Soldering iron for plastic pipes

Due to the shape of the body and the presence of a heating element in a professional environment, this tool is called an iron. The maximum diameter of the pipes to be welded depends on the power of the soldering iron. For pipes up to 40 mm in size, 700 W is enough, up to 90 mm – 1.5 kW, and for a diameter over 100 mm, a device with a power of 2 kW or more will be needed. The approximate cost of the equipment is from two to eight thousand rubles. The kit, in addition to a soldering iron and a suitcase, usually includes 3-4 heating nozzles, a key for attaching them, a clamp stand, a tape measure, PVC scissors and a small building level.

Soldering iron for polypropylene pipes

Working with this device requires careful attention to safety. Its operating temperature is sufficient for a serious burn, and with prolonged contact, tissue inflammation is possible. But the main danger is melting of the insulation of the wires of the soldering iron itself and other tools, which can lead to electric shock or short circuit.


Installation and installation of plumbing is impossible without a hammer drill, and the right tool is the key to successful work. The lightest machines, with an impact force of a little more than one joule, can cope with cement screed and bricks, but give way to concrete. At the same time, large machines with an impact of 8-14 J and a weight of about 10 kg are more suitable for builders. In addition, they usually have only two modes of operation: hammer drilling and chiselling, while plumbing often requires conventional drilling. Of course, in addition to a heavy unit, you can purchase a drill and a screwdriver, but these costs are hardly justified. The ideal option for our profession is a hammer drill weighing 4–4.5 kg and an impact force of 3–4 J. This is quite enough to cope with all the tasks that arise during the installation of pipes and the installation of plumbing and heating appliances. And thanks to three modes of operation, they can also be used for drilling metal, wood and screwing in. Usually these machines have an SDS-plus chuck and a reverse function. From the nozzles, you will certainly need drills with a diameter of 6, 8 and 10 mm, a chisel, a chisel, a lance and a drill chuck with an appropriate shank.

Puncher for plumbing

One of the most important additional elements of the rock drill is the release clutch, which stops the rotation of the drill if it gets stuck. At the same time, the engine continues to idle. This prevents damage to the rock drill and saves the operator from possible injury. In cheap models of dubious manufacturers, the release clutch is not always available, and their reliability leaves much to be desired. Therefore, when choosing, it is better to give preference to well-known brands. Of the additional functions, the most useful are the reverse, fixing the nozzle in any position (the so-called “fourth mode”) and the dust removal system. The latter is especially interesting because it not only makes the working process more comfortable, but also reduces the likelihood of a hammer drill breakage due to clogging of the mechanism..

And one more piece of advice: you don’t need to put all your weight on the tool while working. The pneumatic percussion mechanism itself shoots the nozzle forward with maximum force. The pressure is only needed to bring it back and compensate for the recoil. Excessive pressure reduces the effectiveness of the rock drill and can damage it.

LBM, or grinder

For cutting pipes and other small workpieces, angle grinders with a 125 mm disc are considered the best option. These machines are characterized by low weight and high rotational speed. For larger-scale works, you will need a larger grinder and a 230 mm disc. It is good to have both options in your arsenal, since the capabilities of a small angle grinder are limited, and it is difficult and inconvenient to perform all the work with a large machine..

Grinder for plumber

When buying, it is recommended to pay attention to the presence of a safety clutch and protection against accidental activation. The keyless system for changing the position of the cover helps save time. If such a mechanism is available, the casing can be deployed in a few seconds..

LBM is a rather dangerous tool, so certain rules must be strictly observed during work. You cannot hold it in front of you, only from the side. The workpiece must be securely fixed: the slightest change in position can lead to the destruction of the disc and injury. When cutting vertically, it is necessary to direct it down, so that in case of something the disc fragments would fly to the floor and not to the face. Always hold the angle grinder with both hands, regardless of its size and weight. You need to work with glasses, closed shoes, tight clothing and gloves. And most importantly, you can only use high-quality discs that do not have obvious defects..

As you can see, a lot of tools are required for a plumber to work. You don’t have to purchase everything at once. You can start with the most important things, and gradually buy more expensive devices, expand the list of your services. Choose only high-quality tools and consumables: this will save you from a lot of problems. Before starting up a new technique, you need to study its structure and safety techniques, master the skills of work. And do not forget that the main tools of any master are hands and head.

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