As a plumber, you are going to be hired to do all types of jobs, big ones and small ones. With certain small jobs you might be able to do your job without having to drain the whole system. This is typically when doing things like inserting a tee junction into a pipe or something similar. However, when you come across a bigger job, a useful thing is the pipe-freezing kit.
A pipe-freezing kit allows you to make two plugs of ice on either side of the joint, allowing you to cut through the pipe. If you don’t want to purchase a freezing kit, they can easily be hired – just make sure you have enough of freezing gas to complete the job. There are several different kits you can use but the Drayton Drain Easy kit is one of my favourites. It basically consists of a stopper that you feed into the cold feed pipe of a cistern and a plug that goes over the end of the open vent pipe. This means that you can fit a new valve to a central heating system without having to drain down the entire system. This means a lesser risk of losing your corrosion inhibitor, not to mention the time that you will save.
As a plumber you will need to make many holes throughout your career and whilst a drill bit is alright to use for smaller holes, proper hole cutters are better for bigger holes such as when making connections to water cisterns, whether this is for pipes or ball-valves. Hole cutters are normally used for medium and large sized holes and there are different types to choose between. The tank cutter is often used with a carpenters’ brace and it has an adjustable arm that scribes the hole. A hole saw on the other hand, looks similar to a hacksaw blade and is curled into a circle. It normally fits to a 6 mm twist drill and it can easily be used with an electric drill. Different size of holes, requires different size of hole saws but the good thing with hole saws is that they can be purchased with nests of different sizes. By using a sheet metal punch, you can make a very neat hole but you will need a different punch for every size. If you ever have to make a large hole that is not covered by your cutters, you can mark the size of the hole and drill lots of smaller holes around it. Finish it off by filing the circle smooth. This is tedious work but it is sometimes the only way to do it.
A plumber will need a range of different size hexagon keys, or Allen keys as they are more commonly known as. Smaller ones can be used to remove grub screws on mixer taps and larger ones can easily be used to install radiators. Remember to always take good care of your tools and they should last you for years to come.