What’s in your tool box? Does it consist of the proper tools to do any basic plumbing job? Unfortunately, plumbing problems happen, so it’s best to be prepared when they do. You can save time and money by being ready with the essential plumbing tools you might need to perform minor repairs yourself.
Some basic plumbing problems that the average homeowner usually can fix include:
- Clogged sinks, garbage disposals, shower drains and tubs
- Dripping faucets
- Changing a faucet
- Leaky pipes
- Toilets that won’t flush due to a clog
- Replacing sinks
- Changing a showerhead
- Clearing a drain
- Replacing appliances such as a garbage disposal or dishwasher
- Frozen pipes
- Low water pressure
When it comes to basic problems, here are the plumbing tools that should be in your kit:
- Start with the essentials – include a hammer, screwdrivers, a tape measure, a utility knife, work gloves, goggles and a toolbox to put everything in.
- Every home should have a plunger. It is the simplest way to unclog a toilet, sink or drain.
- When the plunger doesn’t work, a plumber’s snake or auger may do the trick. Usually complete with a steel cable that is hand-cranked, this tool is good for clearing clogged drains, tubs, showers, sinks, and toilets.
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Now, for some of the not-so-obvious plumbing tools… Remember, you don’t have to go out and purchase every item right away. Add them over time.
- Pliers are always a plus, especially tongue-and-groove ones or Channellocks. Pliers will allow you to grab, pull, twist, hold, tighten or loosen items on the job. Needle-nose pliers are also a good addition to the toolbox.
- A propane torch is best if you’re working with copper pipes and fittings. A self-igniting torch makes the job easier. However, it’s best not to attempt to sweat copper unless you have been properly trained.
- Be sure to have a hacksaw handy for cutting, along with extra blades for it. A tubing cutter also works well when cutting copper pipes.
- A metal file is another good tool to have on hand. It can smooth edges of pipes after cutting.
- Don’t forget the wrench. You may need to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts. It’s always good to have a basin wrench, a pipe wrench and an adjustable wrench.
- Teflon tape, plumber’s tape, or plumber’s putty should also be part of your tool kit. Each of these is used to create a water-resistant seal on pipes, showerheads, drains or un-pressured joints.
- Caulk and caulk guns are used to repair seams around drains, showers, tubs and other areas.
The tools mentioned above can be used for many basic plumbing projects, but if you are planning bigger or more complex jobs, other types of tools or materials may be required. Do your research. There are plenty of websites and videos you can view online to help you complete the task. However, bigger or more advanced jobs are best left to a professional plumber.