Starting out in the plumbing and heating industry can be daunting at first. But fear not, with the right support behind you and the right tools at your disposal, you can achieve anything! The first step is to get hold of some essential tools. If you get the right tools, early in your career, you will be in a great position to succeed in this industry. So, which tools are needed to get you started? Here are the top 10 tools Mira Showers recommend for any Apprentice Tool Kit.
1 – Pipe Cutter & Telescopic Pipe Cutter – As a plumbing or heating engineer, you will be working with pipework almost every day. These small bits of kit will be essential for cutting pipe work in any situation. Neater and easier to use than a hacksaw, pipe cutters are an absolute must for any plumber
2 – Basin Wrench – An extremely useful and underrated piece of equipment. This tool will enable you to work on under-sink tap fittings to repair or replace older taps. Telescopic versions of this tool are available if you are willing to pay the extra money but are certainly worth it.
3 - Bucket – It sounds simple, and it is. Often cheap, lightweight and used in many different situations, from catching water off a dripping fitting to acting as a secondary tool bag. a bucket is a really useful and versatile item that you will want to have.
4 – Adjustable Spanners – Absolutely fundamental for this industry! We recommend having a variety of sizes and lengths in your tool kit, so you are prepared for any occasion. You will ideally want a pair when working on compression joints, to avoid twisting the pipework.
5 – Spirit Levels – Again, another simple but essential item for your tool bag. You will need to make sure your pipework and everything else you install is level, so that you can fit and forget. We would recommend getting a variety of sized levels, for different situations.
Top Tip: try to use the longest level you can for greater accuracy.
6 – Long Nosed Pliers – Used for a multitude of cutting and holding jobs, they are perfect for reaching into tight spaces. Also used when cutting, bending or stripping wires, they are an item you will want to have.
7 – Radiator Key & Spanner – Whether you are bleeding a radiator or adjusting the valve, you will definitely need one of these in your tool kit. They are often found together and can often be bought as a set.
8 – Screwdriver Set – Both long and short (stubby) screwdrivers will be required throughout your career. Long screwdrivers are perfect for fitting between pipes and for keeping you hand out of the way. Stubby screwdrivers are perfect for hard to reach screws, fitting in the palm of your hand to easily reach tight spaces.
9 – Knee Pads – Due to the work undertaken in this profession, you will often find yourself spending time on your knees. Good quality knee pads will protect you from impact, discomfort and, very importantly, reduce the risk of any injuries. It is very important to look after yourself when you start out, to ensure a long and successful career.
10 – Tape Measure – Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – you will be measuring out dimensions in almost every aspect of your job. This pocket-sized measure allows you to accurately carry out the work and ensure that you are not wasting copper, purchasing the wrong parts and making the job look pristine.
Honourable mentions that narrowly missed out on the top 10:
- Allen Keys – A lot of products you will work on will be held together in some form or another by a grub screw. Having the correct sized Allen Key (Hex Key) will make life far easier. Ball End keys are often the preferred option due to the variety in the angle you can still operate them at.
- Hacksaw – Not everything always goes to plan and not every fitting, a piece of pipe, bolt etc. will be easy to work on. A hacksaw is perfect for cutting through these materials and come in a variety of sizes for different situations.
- Plunger – Synonymous with the plumber, and for good reason! This cheap bit of kit is often your first point of call when attending a blockage in a sink, toilet or bath, and will fare you well throughout your career.