With so many tools available online and in stores, it can be overwhelming to figure out what the best tool is for any job. These 20 essential DIY plumbing tools are tried and making sure you have them all on hand will make your life easier when tackling whatever project comes next.
The DIY Trend For Home Plumbing
People are doing home renovations on their own to save money, reduce stress, and get a feeling of success, and do-it-yourself projects are growing in popularity. In fact, according to DIY trend data, over half of all U.S. homeowners attempted DIY home renovation projects in 2019, with a 4.2 percent increase projected in 2022. Plumbing is one issue that some homeowners attempt to resolve on their own.
The 20 Tools You’ll Need In Your Plumbing Toolbox
Whether it’s in the kitchen, bathroom, or elsewhere in the house, a variety of plumbing issues may arise that can occasionally be resolved by homeowners. To meet these hurdles, though, you’ll need a few essential plumbing gear. So, let’s look at 20 plumbing repair equipment, their applications, and why they should be in every DIYer’s toolkit.
Let’s start with a plunger, a plumbing instrument that requires no introduction. Did you realize, though, that you should have two plungers? The flange plunger for toilets has a longer handle and a soft, smaller cup (known as a flange) that extends down the bottom end of the plunger to fit inside a typical toilet drain, forming an excellent seal and allowing greater force to be applied to the obstruction. Because the flat cup acts to generate a vacuum over the drain and remove the clog, the cup plunger is perfect for flat surfaces like sinks and bathtubs.
2. Pliers With Tongue And Groove
Pliers are used for gripping, tightening, loosening, twisting, pulling, pushing, or holding anything. These pliers may be used as an additional hand to hold items in place while tightening and loosening your plumbing system as required, such as during a leak. To prevent damage from the serrated jaws, wrap your delicate fixtures with a cloth before applying them.
Hacksaws may seem to be frail, yet they can cut through metal and plastic pipes, bolts, nuts, screws, and other hardware. To produce exact cuts, make sure the blade is tight in the frame, and always have backup blades available in case one breaks.
3. Metal File
After you’ve finished hacksawing, use a metal file to polish the rough metal edges. Keep two files in your plumber’s toolbox: a half-round with rounded and flat surfaces and a rat-tail file with rounded and tapered surfaces.
4. Wrench That Can Be Adjusted
As the name implies, these multipurpose wrenches are adjustable. They’re ideal for little operations like changing faucets and showerheads because of this. What’s even better? Even good adjustable wrenches are inexpensive, so you can stock your plumbing kit with a range of sizes without breaking the bank.
5. Wrench For The Basin
The basin wrench is your greatest buddy when it comes to loosening nuts that keep faucets together. Its long shaft makes it easier to reach into tight spots below the sink, and its swiveling jaw allows you to latch onto the bolts with ease. The basin wrench has a one-of-a-kind design that makes it one of the top equipment for plumbers.
6. Socket Wrench For Shower Valve
Every do-it-yourself plumber has to work on a shower at some point! Shower valves, tub fittings, and bolts are all installed and removed using this tool. It will make any DIY shower project much simpler for homeowners to complete.
7. Pipe Wrench
For your plumbing toolkit, you’ll need two of these: one for tightening and loosening threaded pipes, fittings, and nuts, and the other for grasping and holding. If you think the pipe wrench’s grip will scratch the metal of your pipes, insert a towel between the wrench and the metal and the pipe should be scratch-free.
8. Pipe Extractor
If you come across a broken-off section of pipe, that pipe wrench will be useless. Without a pipe extractor, also known as a nipple extractor, removing a piece of pipe that has broken off in the fitting is very difficult. This tool is one of your important plumbing repair tools since it helps you to rapidly remove pipes that have broken off within fittings.
9. Snake Drainage
Drain snakes are perfect for unclogging small drains like sinks and baths. A drain snake travels down into the drain using a manual crank until it reaches the clog, then traps it so you can draw it out the same way it went in. Check out our blog for a step-by-step guide on drain snaking.
10. Toilet Auger
The toilet auger, like a drain snake (but frequently with bowl guards to prevent damage to porcelain bowls), employs a manual crank to wound down the drain. Rather of pulling the clog back up, it’s meant to break it down and push it through the sewage system normally.
11. Plumber’s Tape
Plumber’s tape, sometimes known as “duct tape of plumbing,” is used on pipe threads to bind connections together or stop leaks and is one of many DIY basics (water, air, or gas). Teflon tape or thread seal tape are other names for the same thing. For a perfect seal, just wrap a couple of layers around clean, dry threads.
12. Putty For Plumbers
Plumber’s putty, also known as jointing compound, may assist establish a watertight seal. A dab of plumber’s putty on replacement or upgraded faucets and drains may prevent leaks and keep pieces securely in place.
13. Putty Knife
This inexpensive but necessary tool will aid in the application and removal of caulk and toilet wax residue, and it’s a must when dealing with putty.
14. Caulk Gun
One of these should be in every DIY plumber’s holster, uh, plumber’s toolset. When fixing seals around sinks, toilets, or tubs, you’ll need it. To push the caulk out of the tip, just insert the caulk tube into the gun and pull the trigger.
15. Pipe & Tube Cutter
This vital plumbing tool cuts pipe, including hard and soft copper, aluminum, and brass pipes and tubings, quickly, easily, and cleanly. A standard-size tube cutter and a close-quarter mini-cutter, which works well in narrow, constricted locations, are both recommended.
16. Bender For pipes And Tubes
A pipe and tube bender tool, rather than cutting piping or tubing, enables you to bend a variety of pipes and tubes in the desired direction. Using a pipe and tube bender also eliminates the need for specific piping or tubing redirection fittings.
17. Propane Torch
Heat soldering, heat treatment, brazing large diameter copper pipes, thawing pipes, removing tile and paint, and even melting gold/silver and other metals may all be done using a portable self-igniting gas welding torch. When you get one, don’t forget to get some fire-resistant fabric to cover any surrounding flammable surfaces.
18. Stubby Screwdriver
DIY plumbing projects can put you in some awkward situations. When working in limited spaces or attempting to access hard-to-reach screws, always carry a stubby screwdriver in your plumber’s tools.
19. Key To The Faucet
Because you’ll be dealing with a variety of stem settings depending on your DIY project, these little tools come as a set. Faucet keys are used to open and shut spigots and sillcocks, both of which are common in DIY plumbing projects.
20. Packing And Washers For Faucets
These are simple to remove and replace at any hardware shop; just make sure you know the specific model numbers of the items your plumbing system employs. Extra faucet packing and washers are usually a good idea since they create the seal around the faucet stem.
Can’t DIY? Contact A Professional
Sometimes, a DIY plumbing job can go wrong and cost you a lot more than you would’ve spent on a professional plumber (check out some common DIY plumbing mistakes). If you’re concerned that a job may be out of your league, there’s no shame in that! Simply contact a professional, who can tackle any job you need.
Some plumbing problems are outside the realm of DIY and require much more sophisticated technology. Find out more in How Can Hydro-Jetting Improve Plumbing In Your Building.
Frequently Asked Questions
What basic tools do I need for plumbing?
A: You’ll need a plumbing snake, plumbers tape, and some wire cutters.
What are 4 hand tools for plumbing?
A: A plunger, a hose clamp, pliers, and an adjustable wrench.
What is the most common tool used by a plumber?
A: A wrench
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