Plumbing isn't all about cutting, twisting and plunging. In fact, a large part of the trade relies on various forms of testing. Every plumber (DIY or professional) needs to conduct an investigation before he starts snipping lines and cutting pipes. All of the tools on this list will help your DIY plumber test the integrity of various pipes and check for leakage, and any of these tools would make for an excellent and unexpected gift.
Plumbers' testing equipment generally consists of:
- Test plug - The standard testing tool of every plumber, test plugs thread onto pipes and are the first step in checking pressure and determining the cause and location of leaks. Just make sure you pick up multiple sizes to keep your plumber ready for any job.
- Test ball plugs - These inexpensive plugs are designed to test the drain, waste and vent piping systems. Like with standard test plugs, you should buy a few in several different sizes so he's prepared for multiple plumbing problems.
- Pressure testing kit - Pressure testing kits allow plumbers to check for loss of pressure from leaks and line restrictions. These gauge-centered kits are mandatory tools for both amateur and professional plumbers.
- Hydrostatic test pump - These bulky power tools won't do much to help your DIYer find or fix that leak under the kitchen sink, but if he ever needs to test an entire plumbing system (or is thinking about turning his amateur hobby into a full-time profession), this engine-powered tool will be a necessity. It will allow him to set and lock the pressure in a system of closed pipelines and find any and all leaks. Make sure he's serious before you splurge on this gift, however, as the high-output versions of these power tools typically cost several thousand dollars.