Although we do not recommend many DIY plumbing projects, as there is no substitute for the expertise of a licensed plumber, there may come a time where you need to use your plumbing knowledge. Whether it is a simple job or a plumbing emergency, you can be a little more prepared for the unexpected with a few basic plumbing tools.
Here are 12 tools and supplies that every DIY plumber should have at the ready.
What Should be in Your Plumbing Toolkit
Pipe wrenches have great grip and provides great leverage. One wrench can be used to stabilize your work while you use another one to work on the pipe. A Basin wrench is a great tool to get to hard to reach places, such as under the kitchen sink. It has a spring-loaded, clamping jaw designed for gripping and turning bolts and fasteners in tight spaces. Adjustable wrenches are versatile tools, and therefore make a great addition to your toolbox, as they can be adjusted to fit a range of hardware sizes. They are useful for smaller jobs like replacing faucets and shower heads. A Strap wrench solves the problem of scratching the finishing of a new fixture by first securing the fixture in a strap before it is fitted.
Locking pliers are a great alternative to an adjustable wrench as they are able to do the same job. Needle nose pliers allow you to grip onto even the smallest of plumbing parts in the tightest of spaces, where other tools, such an adjustable wrench will not be able yo help you. Tongue and groove pliers help hold things in place. Their slip-joint design allows the jaws to open wide and grab bigger objects. These pliers also have long handles for greater leverage when turning, tightening and loosening.
Plumber’s putty can help avoid leaks, creating a watertight seal, and it keeps parts firmly in place, when replacing faucets and drains.
Also known as teflon tape or thread seal tape; a few layers around clean, dry threads, will help form a watertight seal and prevent a leaky threaded joint.
Caulk Gun and Caulk
This sealant is great for repairing seams in the sink or shower for a watertight seal.
The most well-known of all the plumber tools, a plunger is a tremendous help to get you out of a often wet and foul-smelling mess. Overflowing toilets and clogged drains can cause an emergency plumbing situation, therefore it is important that a plunger is your most easily accessible tool. It is also important to be familiar with proper plunger technique and practices to get the most out of this tool.
If your plunger is no match for the job, a hand-crank toilet auger might be the solution. It can extend a long metal cable into a drain to break up obstructions and clear the drain.
You may not expect to find yourself having to do any major DIY plumbing work in the near future, but with these tools on hand, they can make the difference between handling the problem yourself and paying unexpected, expensive emergency plumbing costs.