Whether you’re a new homeowner or you just moved into a new rental property, you’re probably aware that there are lots of responsibilities that come with being the caretaker and resident of a property. One of the biggest concerns that can really become a costly issue if it’s not taken care of is the plumbing. A burst, cracked, or clogged pipe can create huge repair expenses and cause major inconveniences to the inhabitants, even resulting in the home being deemed unlivable in some cases. Thus, it’s important to stay on top of any plumbing problems as soon as they occur to decrease the chances of unnecessary damage. You can also avoid plumbing problems and unnecessary damage, here are 5 things that plumbers wish you knew to avoid major plumbing problems. But if there is a problem and you need to fix it, then here are at least four plumbing tools and resources that should be easily accessible in any home.
1. Plumber on Call
First and foremost, you’ll want to have someone you can call who can handle the dirty work when everything else you’ve tried has failed. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending all day trying to fix a clogged toilet or sink only to find out that you’re going to have to call a plumber anyway. A good way to find plumbers in your area is to check listings in Google by searching for the name of your city followed by the word “plumbing.” For example, if you live in Toronto you could search for “Toronto plumbing.”
2. Master Plunger
Regular plungers often work but to ensure you’re getting maximum suction at the drain hole you’ll want a master plunger. These are the flexible ones that resemble accordions. They’re much better at plunging than your conventional plunger and they only cost about ten dollars at most stores, so they’re well worth the investment.
3. Toilet Auger
An auger, also commonly called a snake, is a long and flexible metal coil that is fed into the drain hole and pushed down into the pipes via rotating action. They’re relatively inexpensive and they’re the go-to option when your plunger isn’t working to unclog the toilet. If you call a plumber they’ll most likely use one of these to fix your toilet. However, many plumbers will ring an electric auger, which is vastly superior to the hand-cranked augers that most people have at home.
4. Sink Auger
A sink auger does the same thing as a toilet auger except it is shaped differently. In fact, it is often referred to as a drum auger because it looks a lot like the drum from a machine gun. These are much less effective at unclogging toilets, but they work well when fed into the main pipe below the sink.
Shop Vac and Buckets
Finally, as a few bonus items that you can keep around just to handle the easy occasional stoppages, a shop vacuum and a few buckets will definitely come in handy. There’s an attachment for the shop vac that lets it interface perfectly with sink drains, and you can use it to pull out clunks of hair and other gunk that builds up in bathroom and kitchen sinks. It’s good for being able to clean out the U-pipe without removing it. The buckets will be useful for preventing unnecessary messes, although you’ll want to have some rags on hand for that as well.
Alec Neufeld is a retired builder, now freelance writer and part-time general fix it man. He has strong opinions on the use of alternate energy and is also an avid sports enthusiast.