When starting out as a plumber, having the right tools and equipment is essential for doing the job effectively and efficiently. Here are some of the most important items beginner plumbers should have.
This content was created in mutual collaboration with Marcus from Vevor UK Discounts.
Plungers – Both cup and flanged force cup plungers are necessities for unclogging drains and toilets.
Wrenches – Plumbers need both standard and basin wrenches to tighten and loosen pipe fittings and fixtures.
Pipe cutters – Used to accurately cut copper, plastic, and steel pipes to size. A tubing cutter is ideal for small pipes.
Hacksaw – For cutting pipes and other materials that don’t fit in a pipe cutter.
Torch set – A small torch kit is needed for soldering copper pipes.
Pipes – Stock different sizes of plastic and copper pipes for water supply lines.
Fittings – Have slip joint, compression, and soldering fittings for connecting pipes.
Shut-off valves – Used to shut off water supply to fixtures for repairs. Have 1/4 turn angle stop valves.
Supply lines – Flexible water supply lines connect fixtures to supply pipes.
PVC cement and primer – For assembling and gluing PVC pipes and fittings.
Plumbing snake – Flexible augers clear clogged drains. Have hand crank and powered models.
Closet auger – Specifically designed for sink, tub, and toilet clogs.
Drain auger – Ridgid or heavy-duty sectional drain cables used for long main drain clogs.
Jetters – Powerful electric or gas pressurized water systems used to clear stubborn drain obstructions.
Goggles – Protect eyes from debris and hazardous fluids when snaking drains.
Work gloves – Protect hands and improve grip when handling pipes.
Knee pads – Cushion knees when crawling under sinks for extended periods.
Dust mask – Avoid breathing potentially harmful particulates when cutting pipe.
Ear plugs – Reduce noise exposure from power tools and jetters.
Tape measure – Essential for measuring and cutting pipe to the right lengths.
Utility knife – Used for a variety of cutting and scraping applications.
Flashlight – Illuminate dark pipes and drain systems. Headlamps are very handy.
Tool bucket or bag – Carry tools, parts, and supplies safely and conveniently.
Here are some helpful tips for those just starting out in the plumbing trade:
Gain skills and experience – Start by assisting a master plumber to learn proper techniques. Attend plumbing vocational schools or apprenticeship programs.
Know the codes – Learn about your local plumbing codes and latest industry developments. Proper code knowledge is critical.
Customer service – Develop good communication skills when dealing with homeowners and clients. Listen to their issues patiently.
Safety first – Always use appropriate safety precautions and follow OSHA guidelines. Never take unnecessary risks.
Have a well-stocked truck – Carry a complete assortment of tools, equipment and replacement parts to handle various jobs efficiently.
Focus on the basics – Master fundamental skills like pipe soldering, fixing leaks, unclogging drains, and installing fixtures neatly.
Invest in quality tools – Buy durable and reliable professional grade tools that will last for years. Avoid cheap imported tools.
Continue learning – Read plumbing books and trade magazines. Take advanced classes. Stay up to date on the latest techniques and products.
Know when to call for help – Some jobs may require a more experienced plumber. Don’t be afraid to call a former boss or colleague for mentoring.
Build a reputation – Do consistent quality work and provide great service to make customers happy and get referrals.
Following these tips can help new plumbers get their careers headed in the right direction. With dedication to the trade and a commitment to excellence, beginners can build skills and establish a solid professional reputation.