What are the Different Types of Plumbing Supplies?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A plumber relies on a variety of plumbing equipment in his or her line of work. Within a plumber's tool bag, one needs to store enough varied plumbing products to be able to fulfill multiple duties on any given call. These plumbing supplies typically consist of a pipe cutter, measuring tape, pliers, drain clearing tools, and various wrenches.

Measuring tape.
Measuring tape.

Plumbers may keep a few different wrenches on hand in their plumbing supplies bag, but the two they need most are generally adjustable wrenches and pipe wrenches. Adjustable wrenches are for fitting different sized nuts and bolts. A pipe wrench is vital for gripping threaded pipes and attaching or removing pipe fittings. Various sizes of both wrenches are available.

A brass pipe fitting.
A brass pipe fitting.

Pliers are also a valuable tool in a plumbing supplies kit. They are useful in tightening bolts and nuts on pipes. Adjustable rib-joint pliers, which are able to grip various sized objects, are often preferred to perform these tasks. Clamping processes, such as those executed on pipes and bolts, can also be done with a pair of locking pliers.

Plumbers may be called upon to root the pipes at a public facility.
Plumbers may be called upon to root the pipes at a public facility.

Pipe cutters are an essential part of a set of plumbing supplies. They are necessary in dismantling copper and steel pipes requiring treatment. Plastic tubing cutters may also be needed, especially when items such as sprinkler pipes need cutting.

Water pipes in homes usually consist of copper fittings, which may require pipe cutters.
Water pipes in homes usually consist of copper fittings, which may require pipe cutters.

No set of plumbing tools would be complete without drain clearing tools. Clogged drains are a very common problem that a plumber must remedy. To do this, he or she will usually use a drain-clearing tool such as a toilet auger or pipe snake, sink plunger, hydraulic blow bag, toilet plunger, or drain auger.

A plumbing snake helps remove objects that clog drain pipes.
A plumbing snake helps remove objects that clog drain pipes.

Sometimes a plumber may also require the use of a measuring tape in his or her plumbing supplies. The length of a run of pipe can be very important in treating a problem. Many plumbers choose retractable steel tapes, though any carpenter's measuring tape will work as well. Tape that extends for several feet without requiring human support is ideal, particularly when dealing with tight fitting pipes.

Toilet augers, pipe snakes and plungers are among commonly used plumbing supplies.
Toilet augers, pipe snakes and plungers are among commonly used plumbing supplies.

Screwdrivers also come in handy for a plumbers. They can be used in tightening and loosening faucet knobs and hose clamps. Screwdrivers are also useful in changing washers, taking appliances apart, and performing other tasks. Though not necessary, a knee kneeler or knee pads may be helpful for a plumber to use. This can help prevent knee pain while kneeling on the job.

A plumber supply store sells all of the items necessary to complete most plumbing projects.
A plumber supply store sells all of the items necessary to complete most plumbing projects.
Most kitchen and bathroom plumbing projects will require only basic plumbing supplies such as an adjustable wrench.
Most kitchen and bathroom plumbing projects will require only basic plumbing supplies such as an adjustable wrench.
Wrench sets are typically considered standard items needed for plumbing jobs.
Wrench sets are typically considered standard items needed for plumbing jobs.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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