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4 Specialty Plumbing Tools That Streamline Your Workday

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When it comes to completing plumbing jobs, the clock starts ticking as soon as your clients pick up the phone. If you arrive onsite with a toolbox full of basic equipment, the requested repairs may take longer than expected. You can speed up the repair process by investing in a set of specialty plumbing tools that make quick work of previously tedious tasks. In addition to saving you time and effort, specialty tools ensure you do not cause any damage to the finish of plumbing fixtures you remove and install for your clients. Here are four important tools you will can keep on hand to quickly complete basic and advanced plumbing tasks.  

Basin Wrench

A basin wrench allows you to remove the hardware holding sink basins and fixtures to the countertop. Although you can get away with basin removal without this wrench, ordinary tools may not reach the nuts without prying, which can cause the threads to strip out. As a result, without a basin wrench, there is a high risk of irreversibly damaging the sink hardware. The basin wrench features a pivoting jaw that allows you to properly grip and loosen the hardware without putting excess stress on the threads.

Water Key

A water key is a vital piece of equipment to have on hand in case of an emergency. If a pipe breaks during the repair process, you must immediately turn off the water flowing into the home to prevent damage to surrounding structures. Depending on the amount of time between the pipe breakage and water shutoff, repair costs can total up to $70,000 for the resulting damage.  With a water key on hand, you can switch off the water at the meter in just a few seconds. Although you will likely not need the water key often, it will more than pay for itself the first time you need to use it.

Plumbing Pliers

Plumbing pliers feature soft jaw caps that prevent the metal from digging into the finish of gold, copper, bronze and silver plated fixtures commonly used in bathrooms and kitchens. Plumbing pliers feature the coveted channel lock design and cushioned grips to easily loosen hardware stuck fast by years of use. As a result, these pliers apply just as much torque as a regular set to keep the job moving along at a reasonable pace.

Pipe Cutter

A specialty pipe cutter not only slices through metal and plastic pipes with ease, but can also add bevels at the edges for a perfect fit every time. This type of pipe cutter has clearly labeled adjustment knobs on the handle that allow you to quickly set your specifications. A large knob on the end of the tool allows you to clamp down on the pipe for extremely precise cuts at the marked junctions. To prevent future replacement of the entire tool, obtain a cutter that allows you to swap out the blades as they grow dull with use.

Filling Up Your Toolbox

When just starting out in this field, you can either invest in your specialty tools all at once or wait to buy each piece separately upon scheduling a job that requires that particular item. Make sure you can source the tools locally if you are going to wait. You may benefit from picking up new specialty tools on a monthly basis to spread out the cost of these items. Since specialty tools are made with care using quality materials, you will rarely need to replace the equipment, even after years of use. As you build your collection of specialty plumbing tools, you can head into nearly any job without worry about the removal and replacement of high end hardware and fixtures. To get started, check out websites like