What Plumbing Tools Do I Need to Start a Handyman Business?

Starting your own handyman plumbing business is an excellent way to make use of your plumbing skills while enjoying the freedom of choosing your own work schedule. But before you purchase every plumbing tool that you don’t already have, it’s best to consider the kinds of plumbing issues that handyman plumbers are usually hired to address: short order pipe and valve replacements and clogged pipes.

With this consideration in mind, there are five plumbing tools that are essential for the handyman plumber: adjustable pipe wrenches, a pipe clamp set, a thread chaser, a flaring tool set, thread seal tape and a pipe snake.

If you have previous plumbing experience, then you probably already own an adjustable pipe wrench. But to complete your upcoming plumbing projects as efficiently as possible, it helps to have pipe wrenches of various sizes. Manually readjusting a single, large wrench to fit the size of various pipes is time consuming, and there is always the chance that a large wrench will prevent you from accessing pipes in tight spaces. Affordable adjustable pipe wrench sets range from $20.00 to $50.00, depending on the number of wrenches and their composition.

A pipe clamp set secures in place a pipe that is ready to be cut or threaded. An affordable, domestic grade pipe clamp set usually costs around $10.00. Be sure not to confuse pipe clamps with hose clamps, which use a belt-like clamp to wrap around hoses and pipes.

A thread restores the threading on older pipes to its original condition, making the refitting of matching pipes faster and easier. Purchasing a thread chaser also makes it unnecessary to purchase costly thread re-cutting equipment. An affordable thread chaser can be purchased for around $85.00.

A flare tool creates flare fittings that fuse the end of one tapered pipe to the end of another, creating pressure and leak resistant seals. Flare tool sets differ based on how many flair sizes they produce, but with the price of flair sets that create six flare sizes costing only a few dollars more that those that create four sizes or less, it makes sense to purchase the former.

Once plumbing pipes are ready to be sealed, a thin layer of sealing tape is applied to the threading on the male end of the pipe fitting to seal the connection. Single rolls of sealing tape are extremely affordable, usually costing less than $1.00.

One of the quickest, easiest ways to earn money in the plumbing business is by unclogging pipes using a pipe snake. A pipe snake extends a long, retractable metal coil that “snakes” down plumbing pipes until it meets and breaks up a clog. Manual pipe snakes are cheaper than electrical ones, but the latter spin their metal coil at a high rate of speed, allowing it to burrow through the toughest obstructions. Quality electrical pipe snakes with a 25′ metal coil can run as little as $150.00

Whatever tools you decide to purchase for your handyman plumbing business, shopping discount tools always decreases the upfront cost of setting your business in motion. A great way to begin searching for discount tools is to search for “refurbished tools”, which are “as new” tools that have been retuned to the seller for minor imperfections such as chipped paint. Internet bargain websites are a great place to search for refurbished plumbing tools.

When Should I Re-pipe?

Re-piping is a hard decision that a lot of people think they can avoid. That probably isn’t the smartest decision to make when dealing with your home or business’s pipes. Below is some advice that will be able to help you know if it’s right for you to seek a plumber’s advice about possibilities of re-piping.

Pipes are usually supposed to last 25-50 years, depending on how you’ve maintained them. The first thing you should do is learn a little about general piping maintenance. This doesn’t mean that you need to know how to fix things, just how to take care of them.

Start by purchasing some general pipe cleaners. This could come in the form of liquid cleaners or some other specialized cleaning tools. Don’t think you need to clean them once a month. General inspections every few months will do.

Taking care of your pipes is the first step to making them last longer. What happens if you are already past that point? Here are some signs to look for that might indicate that you need an expert’s opinion; low pressure, if your water coming out a different color, if it has a bitter taste, if you have plumbing leaks.

The above were just a few signs that you just might need to re-pipe. But you still might be asking the question ‘why do I need to re-pipe? Can’t I just clean it or have someone else come in and do it for me?’ Well, sometimes we might choose to do that to save a little money but in the long run you might be doing just the opposite.

It’s important to re-pipe because not only will it make your water taste better and smell better, but you will also have the water pressure you desire. In the long run you can be spending more money just to have a plumber come more often just too finally tell you that you now have no other choice but to re-pipe. Re-piping can also add value to your home when you decide to sell.

If you choose not to re-pipe you may experience a burst in your pipes and then a flooding of your home. You would end up paying more money to re-furnish then if you would have just made the difficult decision to re-pipe your home.

If you are having concerns about your home or business piping, call a plumber you know and trust or have the qualifications that you are seeking. They will be able to help you see if you really need to re-pipe or if there are other options at the present that might be more beneficial to you.

How to Avoid Damage to Your Pipes

Pipes make up an important part of many systems, and from your boilers to your taps they’re crucial around the home. However pipes are also very important for a range of businesses, and whether you’re in mining or construction you are likely to have to work with them.

When you work around pipes they are no longer just ‘around’ your home doing their job, they instead become crucial tools for transporting liquids and gasses or for transporting your materials; and like any tool in business they are an important investment that you need to think about carefully in order to get the most from. Here we will look at one important consideration – making sure that you don’t damage your pipes so that you aren’t left without them to work with or forced to spend on repairs or replacements.

Choose the Right Pipes

First and foremost it’s important to choose the right piping to begin with and this means making sure it is able to stand up to the gasses or liquids it will be used to carry. For water pipes you need to consider whether the pipe is indoors or outdoors and whether it is going to be carrying extremely hot or cold water – will it be able to stand up to the expansion and contraction this can cause for instance? Flexible piping will be less likely to crack when the temperature changes. Likewise you need to think about the size of your pipes, and whether they will be able to handle the amount of water you need to send through them.

For things like corrosive salt waters etc. though this becomes more complicated still and you may find you need to look into piping that is coated or made from a specialist material.

Temperature

While you should make sure that your pipes are able to withstand the temperatures and conditions they are going to be subject to, you can still give them an easier time by avoiding extremes. If your pipes are inside a property for instance then keeping the heating on can greatly help to prevent expansion and contraction as well as freezing and ice which can often cause cracks. Don’t try to make savings then by skimping on your heating as it could cost you in the long run.

Location

You also need to think about the locations of your pipes and whether they are likely to get knocked or bashed from time to time. If at all possible you should of course keep your pipes away from main work sites or the ‘traffic lanes’ where lots of people pass through. This is also important from a health and safety perspective in order to avoid people burning themselves on hot pipes or tripping over pipes that are running along the floor. Burying pipes can be a good way of avoiding them getting knocked or damaged.

Maintenance

While you might look after your pipes well, from time to time wear and tear will still get the better of them. It is thus important to make sure they are checked regularly and that you maintain any early signs of cracks or problems. Meanwhile other elements in the chain such as the washers on your valves and stop taps should be replaced often.