9 Tools You’ll Need for Tackling Large Plumbing Problems

If you are just starting out in the plumbing industry, you’ll want to invest in the proper tools. You may come across a variety of problems, such as a leaking toilet or a burst pipe, and having the right wrenches and snakes handy will keep you prepared for most issues. But what about those bigger projects that might require some additional equipment?

Here are 9 tools you might want to rent to tackle those large plumbing problems:

Scissor lift

Commercial plumbing tends to have pipes that are more accessible or hung in open environments, so a scissor lift is a safe way to access these elevated systems. Scissor lifts allow access to difficult-to-reach areas without the need for other equipment, such as scaffolding or a tower, and they do not require a balancing act like a ladder. Although if you are really, really good at ladder balancing, you can always take your skills to America’s Got Talent.

Sewer camera

No, that’s not a euphemism for something a Proctologist uses. This refers to a tool that allows you to figure out what is causing a backup or blockage within a pipe without having to dig up the yard. The tiny camera is attached to a snake-like cable and fed through the pipe until it reaches the clog. A radio transmitter on the camera records the physical location of the line and depth from the surface.

Utility locator

Finding the specific location of a leaking pipe or blockage can be difficult without tearing up someone’s entire yard. A utility locator helps you find buried telephone, CATV, gas, water, and power lines, eliminating the need to dig in different areas to find the right spot. 

Diamond core bits

Sometimes you’ll need to drill a new hole to fix a problem but you’re required to drill through a hard material like ceramic or porcelain tiles. This is where diamond core bits can come in handy. These allow you to drill holes more easily and with a smoother cut than other tile drill bits. You know what they say, diamonds are forever helping contractors drill things more easily.

Electric drain snake

Once you’ve used a sewer camera to identify the clog, you can use a drain snake to clear it out. Snakes (also known as augers) move a metal cable through the pipes, clearing any dirt and debris. An electric drain snake specifically should be used for clearing deep clogs in main lines or large floor drains, like those connecting to a shower or bathtub.

Sewer jetter

Similar to snakes, sewer jetters also clear out a clog; however, these use a pressurized stream of water to unclog drains and sewers. These can be more effective than snakes because the water removes the blockage and cleans the pipe to prevent future buildup. Especially in cases of a deep sewer line clog, a water jetter can be the best tool for the job.

Pipe cutter

For jobs that require replacing pipes or laying down new ones, be sure to get a pipe cutter. These tools rotate around the pipe to score it and remove the desired portion, giving you a clean cut all the way around. Be sure to work at a slow and steady pace to get the best results.

Pipe threader

While we’re on the topic of pipes, also be sure to have a pipe threader handy for when you need to fit a damaged pipe or new pipe to male or female attachments. A pipe threader gives you the ability and precision to cut threads on the ends of a metal pipe, which function like the grooves on a traditional screw, allowing you to connect the pipe to a coupling or connector.

Pipe die

While we’re still on the topic of pipes, you can’t effectively use a pipe threader without a pipe die. These tools create the proper thread profile and depth, so the pipe can be fastened securely to a coupling or connector. Be sure to exercise caution when cleaning or handling threaded pipes as the threads can be extremely sharp.

Whether you’re a residential plumber taking on a larger job or a new plumber starting out without all of the tools of the trade, renting some of the proper equipment can save you time and money in the short term. If you’re in the Atlanta area, Northside Tool Rental has the equipment you need to get the job done right. We have been making sure the right tools get in the hands of contractors and homeowners since 1953. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!