How To Properly Use A Pipe Wrench

Yes, size does matter ladies and gentleman – especially when it comes to
your plumbing system and the tools it takes to make repairs. It is vital
that you know how to properly use what is probably the biggest wrench
in your toolbox, the pipe wrench. And just as important, is knowing when
to use it and what to use it on.

pipe wrenches

Why Do I Need A Pipe Wrench?

The primary purpose of a pipe wrench is to grip and turn a soft pipe or
fixture, which can sometimes include sizeable hardware that a crescent
wrench or pair of pliers are just not big enough to grip.

Pipe wrenches come in different sizes, which are normally stamped right
on the wrench handle. They are adjustable wrenches and there are guidelines
on which size wrench is needed for specific diameter pipes and fittings.

How To Use A Pipe Wrench

The wrenches are designed like a clamp with a stable lower jaw and an adjustable
upper jaw for gripping hardware. When using the pipe wrench you want to
center the upper and lower jaw on the pipe making sure not to let the
pipe touch the back of the upper adjustable jaw.

Once you have the pipe centered between the jaws, tighten the upper jaw
down until a firm grip is accomplished and the teeth from both the upper
and lower jaw are biting into the pipe. You’ll want to check for
a firm non slipping grip before you begin any work. Now you can tighten
or loosen the pipe or fixture as needed.

What Not To Use A Pipe Wrench For

It is not recommended that you use a pipe wrench on hard pipes or fittings
because the teeth on wrench may not grip it properly. This can cause the
wrench to slip off suddenly and that can be dangerous.

Another common misuse of a pipe wrench is using them on large hex bolts
or nuts – the uneven grip can cause the pipe wrenches teeth to break or
wear down due to improper grip fit. Not to mention you can strip nuts
or bolts and damage fittings if you use a pipe wrench in the wrong scenario.


Prefer to leave your plumbing projects to the pros? That’s what we’re
here for and don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Contact
Hero Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to schedule an appointment.


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