As a homeowner, you will come across plumbing at some point in time. Whether you prefer to take care of any plumbing issue yourself or hire a professional to do it for you, it is essential to have the proper tools and some basic knowledge in plumbing to prevent major disasters.
While it may be cheaper to do minor repairs yourself, calling a professional is necessary to fix major maintenance problems. Even with the help of professionals, you still need to have some knowledge and skills in taking care of your home’s plumbing system.
When it comes to plumbing, some of the minimal issues that you may come across are leaks and clogs, which are simple enough to fix. Although you can hire a licensed plumber for these simple repairs, you can do these repairs yourself if you want to save on maintenance costs.
Don’t worry if you think that you are not as good as a licensed plumber. You can still do some temporary fixes until the professionals arrive so that you prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. With the right plumbing tools, you can face any emergency plumbing problem in the future.
To ensure that you are ready, here is a list of essential plumbing tools that every homeowner should have at their disposal.
Doing maintenance work will require you to use your hands, which is why having protection is critical. While some people may think that wearing gloves will hinder movement, it is still a necessary precaution against health and safety hazards.
Aside from protecting you from being exposed to hazardous materials, wearing gloves will also help avoid nasty cuts and abrasions that you can get as you work around your home’s water pipes. There are different types of gloves that you can choose—latex, rubber, and welding.
A plunger is a must-have plumbing tool for every household. Pipes can get blocked easily by hair strands, dental floss, a toothpaste cap, and all sorts of small items. Clogged drains can become a common nuisance to every homeowner. With the use of a plunger, you can create enough force to unclog drains. This inexpensive tool can help you get rid of clogged toilets and clogged drains.
There are different types of plungers: cup, flange, and accordion. The most common type is the cup plunger, which works best on flat surfaces like sinks and tubs. The flange plunger is flexible enough to fit in any clogged drain making it useful for clogged toilets. The accordion plunger is made from a plastic material that produces a lot of force; however, it is not easy to use, making it the most uncommon type of plunger.
If you tried your hand with a plunger and your pipes are still clogged, then the solution to your problem could be a drain snake.
A drain snake is used to dislodge clogs in plumbing lines. With its simple and flexible design, it can move easily through your pipes. Since its design is that of a flexible auger, by pushing the drain snake far enough to meet resistance and twisting it, you can latch on to the blockage at the far end and pull it out effectively.
This simple and easy to use plumbing tool will let you clear built-up hair and other debris efficiently without any damage to your pipes. A drain snake can be used to unclog sinks, toilets, showers, and tubs.
Duct tape is a versatile tool and can also be used for your plumbing needs. With its water-resistant features, you can use duct tape as a temporary fix for pipe cracks, leaks, and other plumbing emergencies.
By temporarily fixing plumbing problems early on until the professionals arrive, you can prevent these disasters from growing into even bigger ones.
Thread Seal Tape
Also known as Teflon tape, the thread seal tape is a handy yet inexpensive tool for sealing pipe threads. If your pipe is leaking by the connecting threads, wrap some Teflon tape on the threads for a more air-tight connection. Consider using thread seal tapes any time you are putting your pipes back together to ensure your plumbing line is sealed tight.
A wrench is an essential tool for any homeowner’s plumbing toolkit. When it comes to turning pipes and fittings, wrenches will give you the leverage you need.
While there is a wide variety of available wrenches available in the market, there are three basic wrenches that every homeowner should have:
- Pipe Wrench
The pipe wrench is the most common type of wrench that is ideal for tightening and loosening pipes. This heavy-duty wrench has a jaw that can accommodate almost every pipe size and grips round surfaces easily. While you use this wrench, you can also put some tape first to avoid leaving marks and scratches on your plumbing fixtures.
- Adjustable Wrench
The adjustable wrench (or adjustable spanner) is a multi-functional tool that you can use for maintenance in a variety of ways. With its movable jaw, the adjustable wrench can loosen and tighten different types of nuts, bolts, and fastenings.
- Basin Wrench
A basin wrench is a tool that you can use for those hard-to-reach places where it is difficult to use pipe or adjustable wrenches. This self-tightening wrench consists of a long shaft with jaws at the end. The jaw assembly grips the fastener as you turn, allowing you to tighten and loosen nuts easily.
Slip-joint pliers, as the name suggests, has a slip joint that allows you to adjust the size range of its jaws. By extending its range, you can have a good grip on fixtures of varying sizes.
This efficient plumbing tool is ideal to have around since it not only allows you to tighten and loosen screws, it also lets you do other tasks such as cut thin wires, bend and straighten nails, etc.
Another plier is the tongue-and-groove plier, which also has an adjustable slip joint even wider than slip-joint pliers.
While working on fixing your plumbing lines, you may need to cut replacement pipes, which is when you will need to have a hacksaw.
With its fine-toothed blade, you can use a hacksaw to cut through plastic and even metal pipes. Always keep spare blades in your toolkit to ensure that the hacksaw that you are using is sharp and up to par.
As you hack your way through those pipes, you can also use a nail fail to smoothen out any sharp edges and avoid any potential nicks and scratches.
Similar to hacksaws, a tube cutter (or pipe cutter) is an essential plumbing tool that you need to cut through pipes. It works best when cutting through copper pipes.
A tube cutter will ensure clean cuts without you having to use a nail file to smooth it out. While this tool is faster and cleaner, tube cutters are limited to its jaw size, unlike the hacksaw.
A tape measure is a useful tool that you can use for various purposes, including plumbing. As you work with plumbing pipes, having the exact measurements of your plumbing pipes is necessary to ensure that any issues with your pipes are fixed correctly.
By getting accurate measurements, you will avoid mistakes that can lead to additional maintenance costs.
These are just some of the essential plumbing tools that any homeowner should have in their go-to plumbing toolkit. When it comes to choosing maintenance tools, always buy the best quality tools that you can afford. Avoid cheap tools that will easily break and might not perform as needed.
While these tools are essential and can help you tackle minor plumbing issues, remember that some jobs may still require help from a licensed professional. For minor plumbing issues such as clogged drains and leaky faucets, as long as you have the essential tools, you can be confident enough to fix them all on your own without having that expensive call to the plumber.