The presents are unwrapped, the leftover turkey stored in the fridge and — guess what? — the household plumbing is most likely on overload. No wonder the holidays are among the busiest and most lucrative times of the year for plumbers. But what to do when the pipes first burst or the toilets start to overflow? Popular Mechanics suggests these cheap tools for stopping the leaks until the real pros arrive.
- Plunger: The “plumber’s best friend” is the first response for dislodging clogs from sinks, tubs, showers, toilets and even floor drains.
- Tongue-and-Groove Pliers: Also known as Channellocks, these inexpensive gadgets are the go-to tool for twisting, tightening or loosening pipes.
- Adjustable Wrench: A must-have tool for tightening or loosening plumbing parts that use hex-shaped nuts.
- Pipe Wrench: These sturdy wrenches can be used to tighten and loosen threaded pipes, fittings and nuts. Popular Mechanics recommends having two on hand, one for turning and another for gripping a holding.
- Hand Auger: Also called a plumber’s snake, this is a hand-cranked tool with a long, flexible steel cable that is effective for clearing obstructed drains that the plunger cannot.
- Hacksaw: In case old piping needs to be cut out and replaced, a hacksaw is best for sawing through metal pipe, hardware, screws, nuts and bolts and plastic pipe.
- Metal File: For smoothing the edges of metal pipes after sawing.