The Best Plumbing Tools For Professional Plumbers in 2021

February 22, 2021

Although the unexpected events of 2020 brought life to a screeching halt for millions, professional plumbers and other essential workers had to quickly adjust to the new normal. And let’s be real: The year brought along some stinky circumstances for plumbers—both literally and figuratively. So, it goes without saying that a robust plumber's toolkit is a must-have to take on whatever 2021 has to bring.

From up-and-coming specialty tools to customer service management software, check out the best plumbing tools for professional plumbers in 2021.  

Best Equipment for Pipeworking in 2021

Between sewer line installations and leaky faucet repairs, plumbers need a haul of tools to complete the types of pipe working jobs customers most frequently require. To effectively tackle any job thrown your way, consider this list of the best pipeworking equipment plumbers need to have in 2021.

1. Specialty Pipework Tools

With specific jobs comes a need for specific, specialty pipework tools. Fortunately for professional plumbers, recently implemented plumbing practices have also introduced new tools to the market that can help get the job done.  

  • PEX Pipe Expander: Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing is a recent introduction to the plumbing industry that offers a flexible, longer-lasting alternative to traditional piping options. With drill-like functions, a PEX pipe expander widens the end of PEX tubing, so a metal fitting can then be placed to create a durable and leak proof seal.
  • Underground Pipe Locator: Rather than destroying a customer’s well-manicured yard to locate underground piping, adopt the use of an underground pipe locator instead. Pipe locators can precisely map underground piping to help quickly address any underground piping concerns and save plumbers hours of hard labor.
  • Soldering Torch: When working with metal piping, a soldering torch is required to seal and connect copper and iron. Don’t forget to have a torch in your plumber’s toolbox to quickly complete frequent metal piping jobs such as water heater installations, accompanied by soldering wire and soldering paste to ensure a strong bond.
  • Borescope: Pipe leaks can be located deep in a customer’s plumbing system, wreaking havoc around the entire home. A borescope uses a small video camera connected to a long flexible cable to quickly locate leaks and hidden clogs—with minimal to no wall and ceiling extraction involved.

2. Pipe Fitting Tools

Along with specialty pipework tools comes the need for classic fitting tools used to precisely install piping into a customer’s plumbing system on a daily basis. From steadily holding a pipe in place to cutting the proper size, here are the essential fitting tools you should have in your plumber’s tool kit:

  • Pipe Cutters
  • Pipe Press
  • Pipe Benders
  • Pipe Grips
  • Pipe Deburrer

3. Piping Hand Tools

Speaking of classic plumbing go-to’s, who could forget these piping hand tools? These various tools are essential for accessing building water supplies and carving out wall slots to accurately fit piping:

  • Adjustable Pipe Wrenches
  • Basin Wrench
  • Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
  • Faucet and Radiator Keys
  • Hole Saw

Best Pipe Unclogging and Cleaning Tools

Aside from common water heater installations and leaky pipe repairs, clogged drains have to be some of the most frequent work orders in the plumbing field. Help save customers the time and agony of a messy plumbing clog by making sure you have these unclogging and cleaning tools on hand.

1. Snakes and Hand Augers

A severely clogged drain can quickly result in backed-up toilets, sinks and bathtubs, leaving customers stranded without facilities. Snakes and hand augers are simple declogging tools plumbers use to drive a cable deep into a piping system to break up a pesky clog. Many of these tools come with a hand crank component to accurately control the insert speed of the cable and avoid customer pipe damage.

2. Flex Shaft Drain Cleaning Machine

Once a clog has been located and cleared, a plumber will want to do some drain cleaning to reduce the chances of future clogs. As one of the newer plumbing industry advancements seen today, flex shaft drain cleaning machines use chain knockers attached to a long cable to assist with clearing build-up found in residential and commercial piping.

3. Hydro Jetting Machines

For larger drain jobs, including sewer line work, hydro jetting machines are excellent to clean debris build-up and clogs. This warrior of a plumbing tool harnesses the power of pressurized water to clear sewer lines of heavy soap, slime and grease build-up. Failing to address this build-up over time can create major sewer line clogs and messy service calls.

Best Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Prior to 2020, the term “personal protective equipment” (PPE) was foreign to many. Plumbers, on the other hand, know firsthand that safety equipment is essential to the well-being of themselves and customers while on the job. Now also essential in the fight against COVID-19 spread, here is the PPE all plumbers should have access to in 2021.

1. Safety Mask, Gloves and Heat Pads

With most plumbers working around sharp metal and high-heat soldering torches, PPE is critical to the safety of both workers and customers. When using soldering torches, always have a soldering safety mask and heat pads on hand to protect plumbers and the surrounding work area from heat injury and damage.

2. Face Masks and Hand Sanitizer

Safe health practices are still a must for professional plumbers and essential workers alike. Face masks and hand sanitizer should always be readily accessible when responding to customer calls. You not only protect yourself from risk of infection, but also aid in stopping the spread of disease.

Best Business Management Tools for Professional Plumbers

From finance management to employee management, a lack of proper business management tools can negatively affect company productivity and satisfaction rates. To better streamline your day-to-day operations, incorporate these business management tools to help keep all corners of your company at peak performance.

1. Finance Management Software

Without a thorough financial management system, a plumbing company can quickly crumble. With modern advancements in financial management software, staying on top of your coins can be a lot easier than you may think.

For instance, certain finance management software offers mobile payment integration which allows you to process and document customer payments through a single a mobile application. To take it a step further, this information can then be synced with your Quickbooks account to help you fully stay on top of pending invoices and complete payments.

2. Customer Management Software

Much of the success which comes with a flourishing plumbing business is the return of a recurring customer base. To better manage the bulk of your customer data, remember to incorporate the use of customer management software. Here you can develop customer profiles to store contact details, work order history and invoices all in one place. This increased organization helps you remain on top of customer service, boosting the overall satisfaction rate for your company.

3. Field Service Management Software

Of the countless business management tools out there, field service management software has to be at the top of essential tools for plumbing business owners in 2021. Busy daily operations can quickly become overwhelming without proper management, causing potential job delivery concerns and negative customer feedback.

By incorporating a field service management system, business owners can:

  • Contact customers via text or email
  • Track employee hours through automated timesheets
  • Assign and monitor employee work orders
  • Communicate with employees
  • Monitor productivity with GPS-tracked locations

If you’re looking for these features and more, the FieldPulse Field Service Management App can help optimize managing your business from all sides. With FieldPulse, everything you need to track technician time, schedule multiple jobs and earn more repeat business and referrals are just a simple click away. Discover how FieldPulse can save you time and money by scheduling a demo today.

What’s Missing From Your Plumber’s Toolbox?

While 2020 wasn’t the easiest year, remain prepared for whatever 2021 brings with the best plumbing tools. Whether it’s a simple hand tool for accurate pipe fittings or an in-depth field service management software to streamline daily operations, having the right tools in your plumber’s tool box can truly help your business stay on top.

FieldPulse is easy to use,
easy to customize,
and easy on your wallet.