Essential Plumbing Tools List

Essential Plumbing Tools List: 11 Top Tools

We’ve all been there – you’re on your hands and knees on the bathroom or kitchen floor trying to stop a mysterious leak before giving up and calling a plumber. Plumbing services are expensive and can add up quickly – especially when something breaks unexpectedly. That is why we have created an essential plumbing tools list – 12 critical tools – all homeowners should have around the house. Whether you’re a new homeowner or just looking to save some money when it comes to home repairs, this article is for you.

1. Plungers

We know, this one may seem like a given. However, you’d be surprised how keeping a couple of plungers around the house can save you from a lot of plumbing issues. Large, long-handle, “flange” plungers are used to unclog toilets. Smaller “cup” plungers are good for unclogging sinks and drains and come in many shapes and sizes depending on their intended use. 

2. Wrenches 

In order to be well prepared for any plumbing issue that may arise, you should have multiple kinds of wrenches on hand in your home. These may include, but are not limited to: a classic adjustable pipe wrench, a basin wrench, a strap wrench, and a torque wrench. The classic pipe wrench is a plumbing staple and can be used for gripping and locking on pipe fittings. A basin wrench is good to have for hard-to-reach spaces because of its long handle. A strap wrench is a good way to avoid damaging the surface of any pipes or pipe finishes. Lastly, a torque wrench can be used to apply a specific amount of torque to any nuts or bolts. 

3. Hand Auger 

Do you have a clog that your plunger just can’t handle on its own? A hand auger can help unclog drain lines in tubs, showers, and sinks with its flexible metal wire. The auger will pull everything out from hair to debris. Be careful using it on toilets – as it could easily damage porcelain. 

4. Pliers 

Another plumbing staple. Pretty much every type of plier on the market can help with plumbing. Needle-nose pliers can work well with smaller pipe fittings. Split-joint pliers are useful in matching the exact size and width of a pipe without having to carry multiple different sized wrenches. Vise grip pliers are great because they double as a plier and a clamp in one tool. 

5. Hacksaw 

If you are an extreme do-it-yourselfer, a hacksaw will give you the power to cut through any pvc pipe or metal pipe you need to. Make sure to keep some spare blades around if cutting metal pipes.

6. Pipe and Tube Benders 

You never want to find yourself in a spot where you have to bend a pipe or a tube without the correct tools. You will drive yourself crazy trying to make do with other things you have around the house. Keeping a pipe and tube bender handy will make your next plumbing job a breeze, and you can even use this tool instead of having to use a pipe fitting. 

7. Faucet Keys 

Faucet keys are X-shapes tools, also called sillcock keys and are used to install faucets and things like outdoor water spigots, hose bibbs, or valves. 

8. Plumber’s Putty

When working in a situation that involves low water pressure, plumber’s putty can be your saving grace. In lieu of duct tape, you can use a plumber’s putty to create a water-tight seal. 

9. Caulk Gun/Caulk

Similar to plumber’s putty, a caulk gun loaded with either silicone or regular caulk can really help when you need a more permanent watertight solution. After each use, you can seal the tip of the gun with duct tape to ensure that it doesn’t dry out and stays ready to use for next time. 

10. Metal File

A metal file could come in handy for smoothing the rough edges of a cut pipe from a hacksaw. This tool is more of a finishing addition and not so much a necessity, but it would help prevent any injuries due to a roughly-cut pipe. 

11. Gloves

Having gloves on hand when you need to perform plumbing tasks is very necessary. Plumbing gloves allow you to have good grip on all the pipes and fittings and also protect your hands from cuts and dangerous materials. Padded gloves are preferred, as you will be working with rough materials and want to protect your hands.

12. Knee Pads

Knee pads will undoubtedly become your favorite “tool” when plumbing. We all know how much pain you can be in while kneeling on hard floors for an extended period of time. Knee pads can help ensure that your knees are protected and will allow you to take your time and finish the job thoroughly. 

Why You Need an Essential Plumbing Tools List

Having a few plumbing tools handy in your house can help mitigate any plumbing issues that may arise. These tools are the most necessary and can help you build your home-tool collection, save you money, and teach you how to be the best d.i.y-er you can be. 

Written by: Francesca Bua


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