Mark Ramuz goes through the essential first and second fix plumbing tools The only experience most people have of plumbing is struggling under sinks trying to repair old pipe-work.
Hacksaws are a critical element of any plumber’s toolbox, and will be in use every day, whether cutting pipes, conduit or plastic trunking.
If you don’t want to use modern plastic pipe runs, you’ll need to be able to bend the copper piping. A lot of plumbers have their favourite spanner brands and sizes, but unlike most hand tools, even a fairly cheap tool will cope with most jobs.
For really corroded fixings, a box spanner is a useful tool as it can be fitted with a tommy bar to exert a bit more pressure. To cope with the larger diameters of waste pipes, you can buy or hire a chain wrench – these grip the pipe and automatically tighten when the handle is pulled towards you. Of course, if you want the economy and reliability of soldered joints, a small gas torch is vital.
There are a handful of machines and testers that just aren’t economical to buy for a single build.
Central heating flushing unit: These de-scaling units are a good way to clean out a domestic system without resorting to commercial flushing equipment, although you must only use these units if you are fully confident of fitting the connections. Soil pipe cutter: These giant cutters are ideal for chopping through cement, clay and even cast iron pipes. Pipe freezing kit: These compressor units rapidly cool a section of straight pipe, forming a core of ice, and so isolating an area of pipe ready for you carry out any work.
For existing homes, drainage engineers can use high-end CCTV equipment to carry out a detailed inspection of a drain or pipe system that is not easily accessible.This can pinpoint any problems that are not directly apparent quickly and efficiently.
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Trading Depot sells an extensive range of high quality, reliable plumbing supplies from plastic push-fit and copper fittings and pipe to toilet spares, brassware, plumbing consumables, macerators and plumbing tools. We stock high quality polybutylene plumbing pipe and fittings from both Polypipe and JG Speedfit in the standard 15mm and 22mm variants as well as blue water mains pipe in 20mm, 25mm and 32mm diameters and the corresponding MDPE fittings and stopcocks.

Cookies on the FFX WebsiteWe use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. But don’t despair – installing new pipe-work yourself is cleaner, easier and much more satisfying. It will cut through steels, alloys and plastics but can be vulnerable to snapping, so ensure the work is well supported and the blade is taut in the frame.
Make sure the frame feels balanced and rigid when tense and that you can reposition the blade at an angle for flush cutting. You may create too tight a bend that will restrict the flow (not good for a shower feed), and creating several bends close together can be very awkward. These hand tools come with a couple of fixed curve formers to give the optimum radius, and have straight formers to support the adjacent pipe as the bend is being made. You don’t need to buy a comprehensive set – half a dozen metric sizes should be enough, although for some renovation projects in older buildings you may need some imperial sizes as well.
Some wrenches may only get used for a few minutes at the end of a project, but nothing else will do, so they’re important to have. Large professional models have auto switching and a large gas bottle, but for ?25 to ?40 you can buy a reasonable hand-held unit that has an adjustable flame and a working time of up to 50 minutes.
A motor drives two diamond cutting discs, that can make a channel up to 30mm deep, enclosed in a metal shroud that protects the user and channels the dust into the extraction outlet.
The flusher takes out harmful iron oxide deposits, which can cause radiator cold spots and blockages, to make your boiler more efficient and last longer. It’s handy for older pipe-work but you do have to wait for up to 15 minutes to get up to working temperature. Whether you are in the trade or just a keen DIYer we think we will have everything you need to tackle your next project. Toilet spares include pan connectors; offset, straight, angled and flexible as well as flush valves, ball floats and cistern levers. Lengths are available in1, 2, or 3 metres long in various diameters and chrome plated and yellow coated tube are also available. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the FFX website.
Genuine trade customers can create an account to see pricing and place orders Click here to create an account. Obviously, it should only be tackled if you are confident of your ability, but knowing which tools you’ll need will make any job go smoothly.

Coarse blades (14 or 18 teeth per inch, or tpi) are best for material that’s thicker than about 10mm. These tools, which twist around the pipe to create a neat cut, only cost a few pounds but are an essential piece of kit. Stillson wrenches, also known as pipe wrenches, look like an adjustable wrench, but the jaws tighten on to the pipe or fitting as a turning force is applied. Cranked wrenches, with an offset jaw, and basin wrenches, with a pivoting head, are still essential for tightening taps and fittings under baths and basins. Wall chasers can be hired if you’re only tackling a limited number of jobs on a restoration project, but you can buy one for less than ?150, admittedly with limited adjustable cutting widths and depth. Press fit machine A new addition to the plumbers’ toolkit, this nifty piece of kit can make press fit connections on pipes from 10-35mm.
The e-mail address is not made public and will only be used if you wish to receive a new password or wish to receive certain news or notifications by e-mail. The macerators and waste water pumps we sell are from top manufacturers Stuart Turner and Saniflo and can help you add a bathroom or en-suite where traditional plumbing may not allow it. Choose a medium blade (24tpi) for material between 3mm and 10mm thick, and a fine 32tpi blade for material less than 3mm thick. Larger pipe cutters work in the same way but are used for larger-bore pipe-work – these are a specialist item and can be hired. Plier wrenches feature a small locking device at the base of the handle – turn the screw to lock the pliers on to pipes or damaged fixings.
They come with 125-150mm diamond discs, but inferior quality discs are worth upgrading to branded names for heavy-duty work. Coarser blades give a faster but rougher cut, while finer blades cut more slowly but give a cleaner finish.
Check that the handle position allows you to hold the tool comfortably against a wall and that the dust extraction nozzle doesn’t interfere with your line of sight. As a rule of thumb, there should always be three blade teeth in contact with the work as you cut.

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