Wrench Provides Better Job Site Functionality for Contractor

Redesigned basin wrench with water-resistant LED light illuminates the way to greater productivity

Wrench Provides Better Job Site Functionality for Contractor

Christopher Taylor, plumbing-drains director at Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning, stands next to one of the company’s service vehicles holding a RIDGID 2017 basin wrench. (Photo courtesy Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning)

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Brad Casebier probably can’t count the number of times he’s knocked over a flashlight or balanced an iPhone on his chest while trying to shed some light on an under-sink repair project.

But for about the past two years, there’s one thing the founder and chief executive officer of Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning can count on: The redesigned RIDGID 2017 basin wrench providing enough convenient illumination to speed up jobs and improve productivity and profitability.

The wrench is equipped with a built-in, water-resistant LED light that shuts off automatically after several minutes to maximize the life of the CR2032 “button” battery that powers it. This feature is a game changer, says Casebier, who established the company in 1999 in Austin, Texas. It employs nearly 230 people and serves customers throughout the greater Austin metro area.

“I think it’s sheer genius,” he says. “You always need light while working under a sink, and this points light right where you need it most. It’s super convenient.

“I’ve used everything from work lights to iPhones to headlamps to work under sinks, and none of them are ideal. There’s no great way to illuminate things under a cabinet. But this solution — a built-in light in such a small package — is really awesome.”

But the built-in light isn’t the only value-added feature on the basin wrench, which weighs just 2.5 pounds. Casebier also praises little details, like the stiff on/off button for the light, which makes it difficult for the light to turn on accidentally if it’s jostled in a tool bag or bucket.

Then there’s the spring-loaded buttons that make it easy to extend the telescoping arm. Or the ergonomically designed handle that’s easier to grip than a traditional square handle. Or the 180-degree pivoting T-handle that makes the tool both easier to store and use in tight spaces, he says.

Furthermore, removing the detachable T-handle reveals a 3/8-inch square drive connection that enables plumbers to use the tool with a socket wrench or breaker bar if they need extra leverage on hard-to-loosen nuts.

The tool also features stronger, spring-loaded jaws that automatically snap shut. While that’s true for most basin wrenches, Casebier says it just feels “snappier” and provides a superior grip on nuts.

“The teeth are super-sharp, so it really grabs well,” he says. “And the jaws hold their position — they won’t drop down to a different position while you’re using it, which is a pretty handy feature.”

Radiant Plumbing focuses on residential service and repair work. The company runs 45 service vehicles in its plumbing and drain cleaning divisions. Plumbers primarily drive Ford and Chevrolet cut-away vans, outfitted with van bodies made by Unicell Body Co., and drain cleaners drive Nissan vans.

Casebier, 45, earned a journeyman’s license at age 17 and became a master plumber at age 20. His father was a new-construction plumber, so he’s been around plumbing virtually all of his life. And one constant in his plumbing career is his reliance on and preference for RIDGID tools, which he’s used for decades.

In fact, he was so impressed with the RIDGID basin wrench that he did a short video review that’s posted on YouTube. He says he was pleasantly surprised that RIDGID could take an iconic tool that’s been around for a long time and add new, innovative features.

“There usually aren’t too many changes or innovations in plumbing tools, so seeing something new that makes life easier for plumbers is a great thing,” Casebier says. “RIDGID made a good basin wrench even better.”

“Everyone I’ve talked to who uses it loves it,” he adds. “It’s funny how just some slight modifications on a tool can yield big productivity improvements. Buying one of these tools is a no-brainer.”  


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