The right tools for your plumbing job
From time to time, kitchen sinks get backed up and toilets get clogged – it's a fact of life. To ensure you're ready to deal with these inevitable issues as they arise, it's recommended that you have a collection of basic plumbing tools on hand.
A Plumbing Tools Checklist for Homeowners
Here is an overview of the recommended plumbing tools you should have at home:
- Toilet plunger. A toilet plunger will be your first line of defense against a clogged toilet. Plungers come in both large and small sizes; large ones are for use in toilets, and small ones can fix minor clogs in sinks. Having one of each size will ensure all your bases are covered.
- Augers. Also known as a plumber's snake, an auger will help you clear out drain lines when plungers can't fix the problem. Again, you should have both a toilet auger and a sink auger on hand so you're prepared for anything.
- Plumbing wrenches. Specialized wrenches for working on pipes come in various sizes; it's a good idea to get a set of pipe wrenches of varying sizes so you have the proper tool for the job at all times. However, if you want to save some money, you'll probably find that a mid-sized pipe wrench is the most versatile; choose a 12-inch or 14-inch model. If you want to protect the finish on your plumbing fixtures, a smooth-jawed wrench is your best bet, and getting an adjustable model is a good idea.
- Pipe threaders. A basic manual pipe threader will help you reassemble piping in case you have to take it apart to make repairs.
Other Plumbing Tools and Supplies for Your Kit
You should supplement these basics by stocking up on the supplies you'll need to tackle light- or medium-duty plumbing repairs. Some of the other tools you may find useful include pipe cutters, seat wrenches, a hacksaw, a metal file, needle-nosed pliers, basic adjustable wrenches, a hacksaw, a metric or imperial set of hex keys, a crowbar and a trowel.
Plumbers' putty or caulk, lubricants, wire strippers and a fireproof cloth are other supplies you'll want in your tool box. If you arm yourself with these basics, you should be prepared to handle just about any plumbing issue that might come up, saving yourself the trouble and expense of hiring a professional plumber.