While we aren’t the biggest fans of DIY when it comes to your home’s plumbing, we understand the need to be prepared. Especially when you need a quick fix for something like a leaking faucet or broken shower head — at least until the professionals can fix the problem for good.
If you want to do a little DIY plumbing, especially on simpler jobs like unclogging a drain or fixing a broken pipe, you’re going to need the right tools. Here’s a list of seven plumbing tools we recommend you have on hand. With these, you’ll be ready when the time comes to roll up your sleeves and do a little plumbing.
Plunger – You probably have a plunger, but if not, this should be the first tool you purchase for your home’s plumbing needs. We recommend visiting your local hardware store for a decent plunger that fits the drains in your home. More than one plunger would be ideal, too.
Keep the plunger in the bathroom or other room you’ll use it for, so you can unclog drains quickly. Hint: Adding petroleum jelly on the rim of the plunger will help it secure it to the surface so it works better.
Wrench(es) – That’s right. You’ll need more than one wrench for most plumbing jobs. Start with two basic pipe wrenches – one to do the turning and the other to stabilize. You’ll also want to invest in a basin wrench, which has a clamp-style jaw that can grip and turn bolts and fasteners in hard-to-reach places. Lastly, you should have an adjustable wrench on hand that you can use for various plumbing jobs around the house.
Putty – Often called “jointing compound” or “plumber’s putty,” it’s used to create watertight seals and is very helpful to stop small leaks around your drains and faucets.
Water pump pliers – These are also commonly called “tongue and groove pliers,” and can be found at your local hardware store. Water pump pliers can be adjusted to grab larger parts and have long handles for loosening and tightening.
Plumber’s tape – If you’ve got a leaking threaded joint, you’ll need to seal it with plumber’s tape. After wrapping layers around dry threads you should be able to tighten back on the fixture, but this time with a secured seal. Plumber’s tape is also called “Teflon tape,” so look for that at the hardware store if you can’t find plumber’s tape.
Auger – For more serious toilet and kitchen plumbing repairs, you could invest in an auger. A hand-cranked auger has a metal cable that can infiltrate your toilet drain to rid it of what’s clogging it. Augers can also be used in all sorts of drains. If you have a home with older plumbing, we recommend investing in an auger.
Hacksaw – Small hacksaws are great for cutting into hard to reach places that other tools can’t access. These are also effective at cutting stubborn rusted nuts and bolts.
Good luck on your DIY plumbing projects, and remember: nothing replaces professional plumbing services. We’ll make sure your plumbing problem is fixed quickly and right the first time so it doesn’t cause more problems in the future.
If you own and operate a restaurant, there’s a very good chance you’ve had a plumbing problem. Restaurants endure a lot of wear-and-tear on plumbing — from the restrooms to the kitchen.
Even if you haven’t had a plumbing emergency, it’s still critical to have your restaurant’s plumbing routinely serviced. At Reddi-Rooter, our plumbers take care of plumbing needs at Cincinnati area restaurants almost every day, which is why we are Cincinnati’s restaurant plumbing specialists.
Below are the top three plumbing repairs we perform at restaurants, and some tips to avoid them.
It’s one of the hardest working things at your restaurant (besides the employees, of course): the kitchen sink. One of the biggest reasons kitchen sinks get clogged is from grease and oils that are flushed down the drain. In time, the grease and oil solidify on the sides of the pipes. Then, food particles and other debris cling to the oil. Eventually, this leads to clogs that need the attention of a professional plumber.
The restaurant restrooms see a lot of visitors. Over time toilets and urinals endure wear-and-tear that can lead to various repairs. Additionally, toilets in restaurants can get clogged when customers flush too much tissue or items that are not to be flushed (like sanitary napkins) at all. On top of that, urine contains acids and minerals that can eat away at the toilet’s surface and lead to cracking or breaking.
Grease Trap Repair
When dishes get washed, grease and oils from the plates and utensils should travel through the pipes and end up in the grease trap. That trap needs to be cleaned regularly, but if it isn’t, it can lead to major clogs in the kitchen’s sink. In order to prevent this, you should have the grease trap cleaned by a plumber on a regular basis.
Keep your restaurant plumbing working with these tips:
Watch for slow drains. When you see water draining slowly anywhere in your restaurant, take care of it immediately. That slow drain indicates a clog somewhere, and the chances of it becoming a bigger problem is great. Take slow drains seriously and call the plumber.
Regularly clean the grease traps. Like we mentioned above, you’ll need to get your restaurant’s grease traps cleaned by a plumber routinely. Not only are grease traps essential to keep fats from reaching the sewer, but when fats get clogged in grease traps it can eventually clog the septic tank system, too.
Look for leaks. If you detect leaks coming from your kitchen faucet fixtures or pipes, or if you see water on the floor near the base of toilets in your restaurant’s restroom, it’s time to call a plumber. Like with slow drains, try to enlist a professional as soon as the problem arises to avoid bigger issues in the future.
Use filters. Drain filters are a very simple and easy way to avoid clogs in your kitchen’s pipes. Purchase drain filters specifically designed for restaurant sinks to do the best job catching food and other debris.
While you may be able to do plumbing DIY at your home, you’ll want to leave overseeing your restaurant’s plumbing up to the professionals. Clogged drains or grease traps, leaks and plumbing issues in bathrooms can cause the kind of damage that takes away from your restaurant’s success.
We’re Cincinnati’s restaurant plumbing specialists. Give us a call to keep your restaurant’s plumbing working it’s best.