Essential Plumbing Tools Every DIY Homeowner Needs
When the toilet backs up or sink clogs, your first reaction is typically frustration. Another call to the plumber leave your bathroom in limbo and your wallet suffering. There’s good news for homeowners, though!
Sometimes it just makes more sense to fix plumbing issues yourself. Most basic updates and repairs can be accomplished with a simple set of tools that every homeowner should have on hand.
Save your money for those major repairs that need a professional’s touch. Pipes will leak, faucets will drip, drains will get clogged, but most of the time, you can fix these yourself if you are equipped with the right tools. Here are some that we recommend every enterprising homeowner keep on hand, along with where you can buy them.
The DIY Plumber’s Toolkit
Channel Locks (locking pliers) – While you can use an adjustable wrench for many of the same jobs, locking pliers are a little more versatile.
Needle-nose Pliers – These are perfect for those tight spots and fine details. Easily grasp small pieces.
Basin Wrench – This type of wrench is specifically designed to work well under a sink where things are tight, and joints are difficult to get to. The long handle enables you to reach up into the space behind the sink, and the swiveling head makes it easier to lock onto nuts and bolts at various angles.
Pipe Wrench – Used for turning tight fittings with rounded surfaces, pipe wrenches have adjustable jaws that lock at varied settings. Most jobs require two pipe wrenches, one to hold and another to turn. Use a cloth wrapped around the wrench’s jaws to help reduce damage to a fixture’s finish.
Adjustable Wrench (also known as crescent wrench) – With a moving jaw that can be adjusted to fit around multiple sizes, the adjustable wrench is used for hex-shaped nuts, supply lines, or compression fittings. Always double check that the moving jaw holds a firm setting as some cheaper versions may slip loose under high torque.
Caulk and Caulking Gun – There are countless uses for caulk in all your home plumbing projects. From repairing seams in your shower to installing a new ceramic sink, caulk is an important part of the project.
Plumbers’ Tape – Also called “Teflon tape,” this tape helps to ensure a good seal when connecting threaded pipes. Use when fixing or replacing faucets or shower heads.
Hacksaw – A versatile tool, allowing you to cut through almost any kind of metal or plastic pipe, as well as through bolts, nuts, screws, and hardware. Before sawing, check to make certain that the blade is tense in the frame so that it can make precise cuts. It’s a good idea to keep a few extra blades on hand in case you wear one down. Hacksaw blades are identified by the number of teeth per inch. The higher the number, the finer the blade.
Metal Files – Working with copper piping, raw edges often need to be smoothed. An assortment of metal files can remove burrs and smooth sharp edges so that repairs can be finished safely.
Plunger – One of the primary tools every DIY plumber should have access to is a plunger. When faced with a clogged toilet, sink, or shower, the plunger is the first thing you should grab. A good plunger will create a vacuum seal on a drain and works by pulling the clog back and upwards, often breaking it up enough to allow it to drain as normal.
Closet Auger or Snake – These tools are for cleaning clogged drains when something more aggressive than a plunger is needed. The long cables extend into the drain pipes, snaking through twists and turns, to break apart clogs.
Equip Yourself to DIY Your Home Plumbing Repairs with Confidence
These essential tools for the DIY plumber will help you maintain your home plumbing systems safely and effectively. These tools are affordable and easy to find at most hardware stores. A good home toolkit should also include these basic home repair items: hammer, tape measure, utility knife, gloves, screwdrivers, and a drill.
Remember, if you are uncertain of your ability to DIY any problem or repair, don’t hesitate to call Home Angels. We are always happy to help you figure out if you’re faced with something you can fix yourself or if you need one of our professional plumbers to take care of the problem for you.