Lesson 2-2016

Residential Plumbing How To Secrets

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Today’s Lesson:
Part 2 of 7

What Is The Number One Tool Everyone Should Have?

In the previous lesson we learned the one thing that everyone in your home needs to know about your plumbing system.   That knowledge could literally pay for your vacation.   Today we need to talk about what kind of tools you need to do most basic jobs,  from a leaking kitchen faucet repair to fixing a galvanized pipe leak.

If you’ve ever seen the inside of a plumbing truck it probably looked like a rolling hardware store.   Most plumbers like tools and usually have a lot of them.   They even have uses for most of them.   But I have noticed that, no matter how many tools most plumbers have in their collection, one particular tool seems to wind up in their hands more often than any other.

This tool, and the first weapon in your arsenal, is your trusty pair of  Channel Locks, or adjustable type, pliers.   Channel Lock is a really just a brand name for a special type of pliers.   They have a tongue and groove adjustment that allows them to fit a big range of stuff you will need to tighten or loosen.

repair american standard kitchen faucet tools
Channel Locks

You can get 12″ Channel Locks for around $15 a pair.   I suggest getting 2 pairs, one for each hand.   I don’t know a single plumber who doesn’t have at least a couple of pair of these in their toolbox.   They come in lots of sizes, but the 12″ ones will probably be the most versatile, although the 6 1/2″ are really handy too.

You’ll find yourself reaching for your channel locks often, whether you need to repair an American Standard kitchen faucet, install Moen shower faucet repair parts or just unscrew a clean out plug.   They are truly the best all around tool I can think of.

Even though Channel Locks are worth their weight in gold they do have one big limitation.   They tend to leave marks on shiny stuff.   So  you need to be careful if you are working with finish materials.   That’s one reason that professional plumbers will sometimes reluctantly exchange their Channel Locks for another tool. (Did I mention that plumbers like tools?)

Since you aren’t going into business as a plumber you only need a few common tools to handle most basic plumbing repairs, from a leaking kitchen faucet repair to refrigerator water filter leaks to replacing a toilet.   The good news is that you probably already have most of these tools   and even if you don’t, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg.   In fact, you could buy every one of them at your local hardware store for less than the cost of one service call by a plumber.

Next time we’ll talk about toilets and what to do if yours won’t flush.

Until next time,

Bryan Stevens



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