Your Austin plumber is always there to help when big issues arise, but what about the issues that aren’t so big? When you just need to unclog a drain or retrieve a lost item from a pipe, there’s no need to spend time and money on professional help. Keep these tools on hand in your bathroom or tool kit, and you’ll be well-equipped for a variety of basic repairs.
The Power of the Plunger
The number one tool Austin plumbers recommend for home use is the humble plunger, which can be used whenever clogged drains need to be dealt with. We actually recommend getting two different types of plungers for your home — a cup plunger for sinks, tubs, and showers, and a flange plunger (which is slightly smaller and includes an extra lip) for toilets. It’s a good idea to tackle clogs as soon as you notice a slow drain. If you wait, it may move beyond a plunger’s abilities.
Caulk of the Walk
A caulking gun is another handy tool that can help you fix plumbing problems and save money. Use it to touch up old, dried out caulking on your kitchen and bathroom tiles, the areas around your tub and shower, and on door and window frames (especially important as we move toward cooler, draftier weather!). Caulk keeps both water and air from getting into places you don’t want it to be, so recaulking can lower your heating bill and prevent mold and mildew. It’s a simple process: make sure the area is clean and dry, then use the gun to apply the caulk. If you make a mistake, you can peel off the caulk and try again.
A Wrenching Tale
The next tool in your home plumbing arsenal is a pipe wrench. This type of wrench is recognizable by its serrated teeth, which fit perfectly over round pipes. If you missed the window for clearing a clogged sink with your plunger, use the pipe wrench to loosen the pipe and clear out the clog manually. You can use this same process if an important item has accidentally gone down the drain. And in addition to loosening pipes, you can also use the wrench to tighten a leaky pipe. There’s a wide variety of sizes and styles available; for a good all-purpose tool, we suggest a straight, medium-size wrench. When using your pipe wrench, just be careful not to scratch the pipes with the serrated teeth.
Let’s Talk Tape
Finally, we recommend including some plumber’s tape in your toolkit. This can be useful for a project like changing a shower head, as it helps you get a watertight seal on threaded pipe joints. Also known as thread seal tape, plumber’s tape will lubricate the joint, making it easier to install, and keep it from sticking when you need to take it apart later.
A Terrific Toolkit
With just a few simple tools, you can feel confident tackling the most common plumbing problems that hinder homeowners. For more involved repairs, your Austin plumber is just a phone call away, ready to lend their professional expertise on a wide range of issues.