Plumbing Work Underneath Floorboards, Fluxes and Footprints


Underneath the Floorboards

In many houses, you will need access to the space underneath the floorboards in order to do your job. This can sometimes be quite frightening as you do not want to damage a customer’s floor, unless you have to. Obviously you will need a great tool than will help you lift the floorboards without causing any damages to the actual floor. I prefer to use a bolster chisel in these cases or possibly a broad wrecking bar depending on the floorboards. Just keep in mind that if you use a tool that is too narrow, it is more likely to cause damage to the floorboards. Occasionally you might only want to take up a small piece of floorboard or you might come across floorboards that are particularly difficult to lift up and this is when a floorboard saw comes in handy. Depending on the work that you have to do, the floorboards might have to be levered when being cut. If they are the tongue-and-groove type it might also be necessary to cut off some of the tongues and the best tool to use for this type of job is a circular saw. The reason for this is that a circular saw only just allows the blade to protrude beneath the actual floorboards and therefore the risk of damaging any electrical cables underneath is slimmer. You do not want to be the reason the customer has to get an electrician in.


Fluxes and Footprints

Another useful tool for a plumber is a flux, not to be confused with the flux capacitor from the Back to the Future films. A flux is what you use if you have to make soldered capillary joints. Always check that they are approved by the fittings manufacturer as some types of fluxes are highly corrosive. This means that any tiny piece left inside the pipe can cause further corrosive damage and especially so, if this is being left in a central heating system. This is more commonly seen in self-cleaning fluxes but whatever type you use, make sure nothing is left behind. Do the job at hand and make sure to clean up after yourself. The last type of tool I want to mention in this article is the gripping wrench and believe me, there are a whole bunch of them out there – it is basically a jungle! However, when it comes to use one for gripping and turning round iron pipes, I prefer to use footprints, or pipe tongs.  As long as you remember not to use them on copper pipes!

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