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List of Specialty Plumbing Tools for Unique Jobs

Specialty plumbing tools give your business the flexibility to tackle more different kinds of work.

As a plumber, you never know what challenges you’ll face out in the field. That’s part of what makes this career so exciting. But what happens when you go to a job and encounter a really unique problem? More often than not, your standard assortment of plumbing equipment won’t do the trick.

You should always carry your standard plumbing tools, but if you’re going down the road less traveled, consider adding a suite of specialty tools to your service truck, too. This could help you minimize headaches and cut down on unnecessary trips to the home improvement store.

3 Situations That Call for Specialty Plumbing Tools 

1. Unusual or Tight Spaces

Every home or commercial space is different. If you regularly work on older structures, you might encounter some pretty funky plumbing systems. Stock parts from the hardware store might not address these, leaving you scratching your head. 

You might need a hacksaw to cut through old nuts or pipes, especially in older homes. Instead of working up a sweat removing rusted parts, let the saw do the work. 

It’s not unusual to see oddly-shaped pipes as a plumber. You won’t find certain pipe shapes readily available at the store, so sometimes you’ll need a pipe bender to pick up the slack. Use a pipe bender to replicate strangely-shaped pipes. These will better fit odd places than a standard pipe will. 

If you find yourself working in a really tight, small space, your traditional tools may not work. Instead of cutting a hole in the floor, get a specialized tool for cramped spaces. Keep a short, stubby screwdriver on hand for these occasions. 

Some job sites might have buried or hidden objects, like valves or manholes. Instead of searching for a needle in a haystack, use a metal detector to find important plumbing features quickly. 

2. Cleaning Lines

Clogs cause a lot of damage to your customers’ plumbing systems. As a plumbing pro, you have to have a way to resolve those. 

While you probably have a borescope in your work truck, this technology recently got a huge facelift. Rely on modern features like LED lights, long-lasting battery life, HD video, and even smartphone integration with a modern borescope. 

After diagnosing the source of the clog, you can use a few specialty tools to address that clog, too. Hydro jetting machines use high-pressure water to remove clogs in plumbing. They’re well-suited for removing grease, which makes them a versatile tool to keep around. If you don’t want to use hydro jetting, dry a flex shaft. You power it with a cordless drill that clears pipes using a specialized cable. 

3. PEX Systems

PEX is the next big thing in the world of plumbing. The PVC pipes in PEX systems require specialized tools. 

At a minimum, you’ll need an expander and a crimper to do PEX right. The expander opens the mouth of the PVC pipe for fittings, ensuring a perfect seal. The crimper efficiently joins together PEX components. 

You never know what you’ll find out in the field, so prepare for your next unusual plumbing job with these specialty tools.