Smartphones and tablets are not just for fun anymore. These devices have become essential tools for large corporations and independent contractors alike. Plumbers can greatly benefit from having the right apps on their mobile devices. But with so many options out there, it can be hard to choose.
That’s why we’ve put together a must-have list of the 11 best plumbing apps available today. These apps have been chosen for their ability to help plumbers with a wide range of business and technical tasks—both in the office and in the field.
1. Plumbing Formulator
iOS - Free
As a plumber, you regularly need to solve complex equations in the field like calculating appropriate pipe sizes, determining water flow and pressure, or maximizing pump efficiency. Plumbing Formulator© makes this process a whole lot easier with more than 120 standard formulas that you can easily check right in the app.
The app also includes a number of great “quality-of-life” features—like the ability to email and print out specific formulas for easier reference. Your most frequently and recently used formulas are prominently displayed on the app for future use. There are also a number of handy graphical charts to illustrate concepts in a clear manner.
With Plumbing Formulator, you don’t have to waste time googling each individual solution while out in the field.
2. Radiator / BTU Calculator
iOS – Paid
Claire Holmes’ Radiator/BTU Calculator© app allows you to quickly calculate the exact size of any radiator for a particular room. To do so, simply enter the room’s dimensions into the app, then check off any special features the room has such as double glazing, French windows, the number of exterior walls, and so on. The app will then return the exact BTUs and kilowatts required to heat the room.
Once you’ve done this calculation, you can save the results in the app to refer to at a later date. The app even offers a Fahrenheit (℉) to Celsius (℃) converter for added convenience.
3. Electrical Wiring Lite / Pro
Android – Free
Android - Paid
As a plumber, you’ll inevitably come across basic electrical wiring or central heating work. That’s where Electrical Wiring Lite can help. The app includes lots of commonly-used electrical calculations such as Ohm’s Law, ground wire sizing, voltage drop, burial depth, and more. Written by a working electrician who uses the app on a daily basis, Electrical Wiring Lite has all of the essentials and nothing more.
For complex needs, consider upgrading to the Pro version of the app, which includes over 40 electrical calculators and tools. The calculations come preconfigured to meet the National Electrical Code standards and continue to be updated regularly. This ensures that your calculations will adhere to the latest regulations.
4. Plumbing Systems Design Tables
Android – Free
Created by the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), the Plumbing Systems Design Tables app offers a convenient frame of reference for when you’re out in the field. Instead of thumbing through the 2,500-page handbook version just to find one specific table, you can access all of that data at your fingertips with the app.
It also comes with interactive calculators, which allows you to customize pipe materials and other design criteria, so it gives you the relevant sizing data in SI or English. All U.S. standards and major plumbing codes are supported—including the International Plumbing Code (IPC), Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), and National Standard Plumbing Code.
Please note: In order to access the app’s full functionality, you’ll need to be a member of the ASPE.
5. Copper Tube Handbook
iOS - Free
This app from the Copper Development Association has set the standard for plumbers working with copper piping systems. The Copper Tube Handbook© contains a wealth of information and quantitative data on various types of copper tubes, joints, fittings, and joining methods. This digital handbook is written in a detailed yet accessible fashion.
Currently, the app is free for the first 10,000 users, so grab it while you can.
6. Pipe and Fitting
Android - Free
When it comes to pipe fitting, sometimes what you really need isn’t a wordy reference guide but clear visuals. That’s where the Pipe and Fitting app blows other apps out of the water. Simply select from its comprehensive list of pipes, joints, clamps, and other parts available. Then, the app will present you with detailed specs for each part including dimensions, hardness, tensile strength, yield strength, maximum load, and much more.
The data is visually displayed with clearly illustrated technical diagrams, so you can see exactly how a part will fit into any given plumbing system. And judging from the 1,800+ reviews and an average 4.5-star rating, that visual element is a major hit with users.
For those times when you’re wondering if an appliance will fit into a certain space or how you’re going to get that boiler through a narrow doorway, the EasyMeasure© app can help. Just take a photo of the space on the app and it’ll calculate the dimensions, angles, area, and even distance to the object.
While it sounds like magic, the app actually works on basic trigonometric principles. It uses the height of the camera lens and its tilt angle to calculate the distance to the object. With that information, it can then determine the height and width of an object, and hence its area.
The app will even give you an indication of how accurate it expects each particular measurement to be, so you’ll know when you may need to use a tape measure instead.
The best thing about this app is its “dynamic photos” feature, which allows you to store photos in the app and analyze measurements after the fact. If you’ve ever left a job site and remembered that you forgot to take an important measurement, you’ll quickly realize just how valuable this feature is.
8. Flashlight / White Light Flashlight
Plumbers know it better than anyone else. It’s a huge hassle to juggle a heavy flashlight while trying to maneuver through a tight, dark space. The Flashlight/White Light Flashlight© app lets you illuminate those tricky areas behind pipes. Plus, it comes with adjustable brightness settings so you get the exact amount of light you need in any given situation.
Unlike many other free flashlight apps, this one does not feature any annoying ads to distract you while you’re working.
9. Bubble Level / Bubble Level for iPhone
The Bubble Level and the Bubble Level for iPhone© may be two different apps, but they perform the same function. Each app is able to determine the horizontal or vertical alignment of a given surface. Essentially, these apps act as a replacement for a physical bubble or spirit level by utilizing the gyroscope in your phone to calculate the tilt angle along three different axes.
One thing to note is that while iOS devices will generally be calibrated correctly, Android devices come from multiple manufacturers and thus might not be as reliable.
Fortunately, the Android app includes the ability to manually recalibrate your device by placing it face-up on a flat surface and pressing the SET button. There’s also a RESET button to return to the default factory calibration at any time.
10. ServiceTitan Mobile
Rated as the #1 home services app on Capterra, Google Reviews, and Facebook, ServiceTitan® is the leading all-in-one software solution for the home service industry. The mobile app, in particular, allows technicians to quickly view detailed job histories, access easy-to-use digital forms, and invoice customers with payments accepted directly through the app.
ServiceTitan is a stand-out option for streamlining operations in the field and the office with one integrated system, which greatly reduces clerical error and saves your team a lot of valuable time. It also helps create a smoother experience for the modern-day homeowner.
Being a technician is hard enough. Add ServiceTitan to your toolbox to boost efficiency, impress homeowners, and even boost your average ticket size.
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help home service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.
Ready to learn more about what ServiceTitan can do for your business?
Contact our team to schedule a demo today.