Plumbing is one of the more difficult and demanding do-it-yourself jobs for homeowners. Do-it-yourselfers not only need to possess outstanding organisational skills, they also must be able to control hand movements during the intricate twisting and turning of bolts, shower heads, and faucet handles. While it does not require a PhD, plumbing does require some training, even for professionals who must learn the latest technological advancements and plumbing techniques. At the centre of plumbing knowledge are the tools of the trade, the myriad implements that make the difference between a job well done and gushing water from a broken pipe.
Do-it-yourselfers can find high-quality plumbing tools on eBay, where buyers and sellers meet in a virtual marketplace. Convenience is just one reason why do-it-yourselfers should shop for plumbing tools on eBay. In addition to convenience, eBay offers the largest shop with the most diverse lineup of plumbing tools that cannot be found anywhere else. Before going on eBay, plumbing tool buyers must first learn about the must-have plumbing tools, the advanced plumbing tools, and a few tips on how to shop for plumbing hand tools on eBay.
Must-Have Plumbing Tools to Buy on eBay
Plumbing projects involve a variety of tools that serve multiple purposes. For example, the standard wrench not only loosens nuts and bolts, but it also serves as a hammering device to separate two adjoining pipes. Do-it-yourselfers who plan on performing basic plumbing maintenance should start their plumbing tool kit by purchasing the following must-have plumbing tools found on eBay.
Tongue and groove pliers sold on eBay are handy for quickly taking apart most plumbing components. The pliers work as a tandem, one for stabilising a pipe or piece of sheet metal and the other for unscrewing or tearing. Purchase multiple sizes of each type of pliers to handle more elaborate plumbing projects. Virtually every type of plumbing project, from the mundane task of changing sink faucet handles to installing new pipes, requires the use of pliers.
A sink wrench is a must-have plumbing tool used for changing out old faucets in bathrooms and kitchens. This self-tightening wrench can loosen or tighten fittings that are in difficult-to-access places of the bathroom, such as under the sink or behind the toilet. Purchase a sink wrench on eBay that automatically maintains a 90-degree position to make loosening or tightening fittings an easier task.
Compression Sleeve Puller
Most contemporary homes are constructed with copper, PEX, or CPVC tubing that include compression angles. The compression angles feed water to toilets and bathroom faucets. While it may be easy to simply unscrew the angle top by twisting the back nut, the nut and compression sleeve most likely remain on the pipe. The compression sleeve puller removes the nut and compression sleeve, without causing any pipe damage.
Iron pipes have threads that require the use of pipe wrenches. Many fittings on water heaters and pressure regulators require the use of at least one, but more likely two, torque wrenches to provide enough leverage to turn the pipe. Since pipe diameters vary, do-it-yourselfers should measure the pipes in their bathrooms, and then buy as many different-sized torque wrenches on eBay as necessary to perform every pipe replacement or maintenance job.
Adjustable wrenches found on eBay remove angle stops, compression nuts, and supply lines that connect to faucets. Do-it-yourselfers can also utilise adjustable wrenches for unscrewing and removing shower heads. Purchase an adjustable wrench that does not slip during high pressure torques.
Socket Wrench Set
Many faucets hold to sink basins and pipes with thick nuts and bolts. Even if a do-it-yourselfer's current plumbing configuration does not include thick nuts and bolts, the time may come when replacement parts require installation using a socket wrench set. Purchase multiple-sized socket wrenches on eBay to ensure access to any position and tight places.
Caulking Gun and Plumber's Putty
Manufacturers design caulking guns with a metal frame and trigger to dispense plumber's putty around the edges of bathtubs, sinks, and toilets. The putty prevents moisture from leaking into the piping system to cause rust and corrosion. Caulking guns ensure the putty makes watertight seals. Search for eBay sellers who bundle a caulking gun with plumber's putty at a discounted price.
The plunger is the one indispensable plumber cleaning tool that, if used properly, can eliminate the use of more intricate tools to unclog drains and toilets. Cup plungers push debris through clogged sink and tub pipes, while a flange plunger works best on toilets. Both types of plungers are readily available for sale on eBay.
Use a hacksaw for quickly cutting through metal and plastic pipes, as well as cutting through stubborn bolts, nuts, or screws. Some plumbing components require extra force to take apart, and the hacksaw is the best tool for do-it-yourselfers to use for such plumbing tasks. Purchase back up hacksaw blades from eBay sellers to avoid interruptions with plumbing projects.
Plumbing Tools for the Accomplished Plumber
More advanced do-it-yourselfers and professional plumbers utilise hand and power tools that require specialised training. The following tools should only be part of a do-it-yourselfer's plumbing tool kit after receiving the requisite instructions on how to handle the tools. These tools can be purchased from eBay sellers who sell industrial grade plumbing tools.
Acid flux brush
Applies paste flux for soldering copper pipes
Mishandling can cause skin abrasions
Used to solder and braze metal pipes
A match or spring-loaded igniter turns on flame
Heat shield cloth
Placed between torch and materials to prevent heat damage to materials
Only used for jobs that require intense heat
Evenly applies flux and solder on copper pipes
Uneven application can cause pipe damage
Provides multiple uses for cleaning and deburring pipe
Requires training on how to maximise each tool application
Most do-it-yourselfers never reach the skill level to implement the tools used by professional plumbers. Therefore, homeowners who experience major plumbing damage should consider calling a professional plumber, instead of taking a chance on making the plumbing problem worse by using tools they do not know how to handle.
Plumbing Tools Buying Tips
The first step before going on eBay to buy plumbing tools is to create a budget. After devising a budget, select the essentials tools to start a plumbing toolkit. Rank the tools in terms of importance and write down each tool in order to create a shopping list. Once a shopping list has been devised, begin researching each type of plumbing tool.
Plumbing tool research involves learning about the function of the essential tools, and the most recognised manufacturer of each tool. One of the best ways to learn about each type of plumbing tool is to visit local hardware shops and glean the expertise of the sales professionals who work at them. Online forums also provide insight into plumbing tools. Become knowledgeable about plumbing tools before searching for eBay sellers.
Most plumbing projects require multiple steps that require a seamless flow of tasks. This means do-it-yourselfers should never skimp on quality to save a few pounds. A broken pipe cutter in the middle of replacing a toilet can mean an inoperable toilet for more than 24 hours. High-quality plumbing tools typically equate with brand name plumbing tools.
Secondhand plumbing tools do not denote inferior quality. In fact, many eBay sellers offer plumbing tools that are labelled "used", but have only been taken out of the original package. These sellers may have changed their minds about using the tools or they did not realise that they already possess the tools. Do-it-yourselfers can find near mint condition plumbing tools on eBay at considerably discounted prices.
How to Buy Plumbing Tools on eBay
The best way to find plumbing tool sellers on eBay is to utilise the search engine that matches sellers and buyers. Type specific keywords into the search engine to reduce the number of search results and ensure that you find the seller who matches your shopping criteria. Remember the rule: the more specific the keyword, the better. For example, you can search for a seller who offers copper or stainless steel plumbing tools. Another way to vet eBay plumbing tool sellers is to search for the best sellers.
eBay runs a programme that rewards the company's top-rated sellers. These sellers have established records for offering high-quality products and generous delivery terms. You can differentiate between the top-rated and all other eBay sellers by the electronic ribbon icon that eBay places next to qualified top-rated seller product photographs. What if you find two top-rated plumbing tool sellers who rank neck and neck in terms of being the right seller for you? The tiebreaker lies on seller product pages, where you review accepted payment methods, delivery terms, and customer feedback.
There is an annoying trickle of water leaking from the faucet during a sleepless night. There could be a sudden pipe explosion that renders the bathroom floor a soggy mess. Any number of plumbing problems can arise, and they typically arise at the absolute worst times. This is why homeowners need to develop a comprehensive plumbing tool inventory that can handle all but the most elaborate plumbing maintenance and repair jobs. For do-it-yourselfers, the recommended strategy for building a plumbing tool inventory is to stock up on the essentials tools first, and then shop for plumbing tools made for tougher jobs. Start by purchasing wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers.
Finding the right plumbing tools involves creating a budget and shopping list that ranks the importance of each plumbing tool. Perform extensive research by gleaning information from hardware shop sales professionals and input from users in online forums. After gaining the requisite knowledge, remember to go on eBay with the mantra "quality over cost". Plumbing tools are not implements that users should buy on the cheap. However, by shopping on eBay, do-it-yourselfers can find great deals on high-quality used plumbing tools, some of which may never have been used.