What’s in an irrigation technician’s toolbox?

By Alistair May 7, 2024 08:11

Irrigation expert John Kidson details the six tools he needs to do his job on a day-to-day basis.

I quite often get asked on sites about the tools I use, so I thought I would share the contents of my day-to-day toolbox and why I use them.

I’ve changed a few methods of how I install and repair irrigation over the years but my trusted go to tools are as follows:

1. Cable strippers

These save time, and reduce future failures. When using normal cable cutters, you can risk damaging the copper and just slightly marking into the copper. Over time this can break away, causing lack of voltage.

The stripper has a blunt knife which is perfect for scraping away discoloured copper; you always want to connect shiny copper to shiny copper.

2. Pipe cutters

These are a must-have tool for working on poly pipes; they create a clean straight cut and the most important plus is the lack of pipe cuttings, known as swarf. The swarf causes issues if not flushed out of the system. Using pipe cutters ensures no swarf – which might not be the case if you use a saw.

3. Multimeter

I personally use a clamp meter, but these are costly and only required if you like to hunt down bad decoders. Day-to-day works can be carried out with a multimeter, these can be used to Ohms test coils and beep out cables.

4. Pipe chamfer

This is a simple and effective tool to create a chamfered edge on poly pipe. The aim of this is to allow the pipe to insert into the fittings without harming the O ring. This tool is particularly useful when your hands are muddy and can be more effective than a knife.

5. Hand guzzler

This is a great tool for removing water and pulling out unwanted debris from within valve boxes. The extra hose works well inside swing joints and when you’re working on a valve in-head sprinkler.

6. Pliers

Long nose pliers, the best for grabbing unwanted stones! These are good all-round tools for working with sprinklers and valves.

Follow John Kidson on social media @JKIrrigation


By Alistair May 7, 2024 08:11

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