Plumbing Tools: What Not to do With 3 Common Tools

You’ve heard of plumbing tool dos – do be careful with them, do clean them, do store them properly – here are some don’ts for you. As any experienced plumber will tell you, like many other tools, there is a wrong way to use plumbing tools. With consequences ranging from inconvenience to physical harm, you want to know what not to do, and here are 3 tips for you! 

plumbing tools

Pipe Wrenches: You Don’t Want To Over-Tighten

Over-tightening with pipe wrenches may very well equal structural damage in pipes. Pipes are designed to not fall apart even with a specific level of pressure, and exceeding that limit can cause cracks, leaks, or even complete breakage.

To avoid this, apply controlled pressure on the pipe wrench handles, gradually tightening the grip while monitoring resistance. Instead of using excessive force or applying sudden jerks, proceed cautiously, especially when nearing the desired tightness.

For example, say you’re tightening a threaded pipe joint. Begin by placing the pipe wrench on the fitting, ensuring a secure grip. Turn the wrench in the direction needed, feeling the resistance. Stop tightening once you feel firm resistance, preventing any structural strain on the pipe.

Plungers: You Don’t Want To Ignore Proper Technique

Ignoring proper plunging techniques more often than not directly or indirectly means ineffective results. For example, without creating a proper seal, plunging won’t generate the necessary suction to dislodge clogs, and water might splash out, causing a mess.

So, you want the plunger to completely cover the drain opening. Instead of plunging forcefully, press down firmly to create a seal, then use controlled, rhythmic plunges. Maintain the seal throughout the plunging process for optimal results.

Say there’s a clogged toilet problem. Place the plunger over the drain hole such that it covers the opening completely. Press down firmly to create a seal, then plunge in a controlled manner, maintaining the seal. This way your plunger can do its job and effectively dislodge the blockage.

set of plumbing tools

Plumbing Tape: You Don’t Want To Wrap Excessively

Again, this is a good way to create leaks rather than prevent them. Primarily, too much tape can create uneven surfaces so that proper meshing of threaded connections can’t happen, allowing water to seep through.

When using thread seal tape, wrap it neatly around the threads in the direction of the twist. Instead of overlapping excessively, use just enough tape to cover the threads so that you have a snug fit without compromising the effectiveness of the seal.

Say you’re applying thread seal tape to a shower head pipe. Hold the end of the tape against the pipe threads and wrap it in the direction of the threads – a tight, uniform wrap without excessive layers. It’s how you get a secure seal with no leaks in the threaded connection.

Be careful! Don’t make your plumber’s job more difficult. Avoid these plumbing don’ts. 

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