Pipe It Up: Plumbing Basics You Should Know

Plumbing is an important part that makes up a home. Having the basic skills to fix any issues related to plumbing is hence necessary. Read on to what the basics are and how you can prevent yourself from calling the plumber for the smallest of reasons.

Pipe It Up: Plumbing Basics You Should Know


Man upset that the tap is not working, yet again.

Experienced something similar recently?

Plumbing problems are a dime a dozen. Every second house will have some sort of issue with their plumbing. And the sad part is, most of us will prefer to call the plimber to fix the issue.

I mean if it's a serious issue, then by all means, call in the expert. But what happens most of the time, is that we end up calling plumbers for something that would hardly take 5 or 10 mins if we knew the basics of plumbing.

So, just as the saying goes, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach the man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime", we are here to teach you some of the basic things you should know about plumbing, so that you don't always have to rush to the plumber everytime you have an issue.

Ready Your Tools People

Give a man the right tools, and he'll build anything.

To put your mind at ease, no, you don't need to go out and buy additional tools for plumbing. Your everyday nut and wrench will do the work just fine. But if you want to, then by all accounts, go ahead and purchase some plumbing specific tools like:

  • Pipe Wrench
  • Pipe Wrench

    Price: Rs 359/-

  • Pliers
  • Pliers

    Price: Rs 249/-

  • Pipe Cutter
  • Pipe Cutter

    Price: Rs 599/-

  • Plunger
  • Plunger

    Price: Rs 125/-

  • Plumbing Snake
  • Plumbing Snake

    Price: Rs 975/-

  • Teflon Tape
  • Teflon Tape

    Price: Rs 129/-

  • Basin Wrench
  • Basin Wrench

    Price: Rs 4,986/-

  • Pressure Guage
  • Pressure Guage

    Price: Rs 2,682/-

    Now, whether you possess these tools or not, will not directly affect your ability to fix. The tools are only as good as the one using them. But it does help to have the specific tool for a specific case.

    Understand the Materials

    The materials that keep the plumbing in working condition is very importnat to understand. Once you understand what roles the materials play, whenever there's any issue, you'll be able to pin-point the source. Here is the most common list of materials used:


    The backbone of any plumbing system, these pipes are manufcatured using various materials, such as:

    • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): Lightweight, affordable, and easy to work with. These are commonly used for drainage and vent systems.
    • CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride): CPVC pipes are suitable for hot and cold water supply lines. They are known for their resistance to high temperatures and chemical corrosion.
    • Copper: Copper pipes are durable, resistant to corrosion, and commonly used for water supply lines. They are known for their longevity and ability to withstand high pressure.
    • PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene): PEX pipes are flexible, making them fit for installation in tight spaces. They are often used for both hot and cold water supply lines.

    Fixtures and Faucets

    Fixtures and faucets are essential components of any plumbing system. They constitute of the following parts:

    • Sinks: Available as stainless steel, porcelain, or granite, sinks come in different styles to cater to different needs of consumers.
    • Toilets: Toilets come in different types, including gravity-flush, pressure-assisted, and dual-flush models.
    • Bathtubs and Showers: These fixtures are available in different sizes, styles, and materials, such as fiberglass, acrylic, or cast iron.
    • Faucets: Faucets are available in a wide range of styles and finishes, including single-handle, dual-handle, and touchless options.

    Sealing and Joining Materials

    These are the bonding agents of the plumbing world. Anything breaks or needs to be joined, you go to them. These materials are:

    • Pipe Sealants and Thread Tapes: These materials help create a tight seal between threaded pipe connections.
    • Pipe Joint Compound: This compound is applied to threaded connections to prevent leaks.
    • Teflon Tape: Teflon tape is used to wrap around pipe threads to provide a tight seal and prevent any further leakage.

    Alright then, these things should be more than enough for a basic level knowledge about plumbing in your home. While this won't turn you into a certified plumber, it'll make you capable enough to fix a leak or water pipe burst in your home.

    Now, in case the problem at hand is much more serious than you esxpected, then it's time to call in the experts. This is also an important quality, to know when to stop.

    With that in mind, let's move on to the things you should do, in case there is a plumbing problem you can't solve.

    The Professionals Are Here

    The first and formost thing to do is, well, obviously, call the experts! They are specifically trained to repair everything related to plumbing. They have the tools, the knowledge, and the experience to repair the damage as fast as possible in the least amount of time. Plus sometimes, we tend to overlook something minute, it's human nature. That can then lead to a different set of issues, but that is not the case with the experts.

    Now, what usually happens is, plumbers bring their own set of tools and materials to use. But sometimes, the problem is not so simple, and require materials that are not available to him at the moment. In that case, the process ends up being delayed and what would have been a 20 mins job turns into an hour or two job. In order to prevent that, here are some of the materials that you can keep at your hosehold, to prevent last minute runs to the plumbing supply store:

    • Pipes and Tubing: Select and keep the appropriate pipes depending on your specific needs. But do consider things like quality of material, diameter, and pressure ratings.
    • Valves and Controls: Choosing high-quality valves and controls to regulate water flow, shut off supply lines, and control water temperature is very important. These are some of the materials where you might not want to skimp on money. It is, afterall, for safety reasons.
    • Washers, Gaskets, and O-Rings: They might be small, but their importance is inversely proportional to their size. These components are the reason for no leaks. They basically form a tight bond between spaces, giving water no chance to seep through and cause any damage.

    With these things stacked up in your home, you are pretty much set to either fix the plumbing issue yourself, or call in the experts to fix it for you.