If you’re going to do some basic plumbing around your house you may be wondering what plumbing tools do I need? We’ll show the basic plumbing tools you should need to have around the house in the event you want to do some basic plumbing work or in case of an emergency.
Plumbing Tools List for the DIY Home Plumber
First, one of the basic things that you should know is where the main water shut-off valve is located. This is just a simple knob usually located near the water heater or inside the garage.
Water Meter Key – In some cases you have to go out near the street and there’s a box which houses the water meter. There is a shut-off inside this box but to shut it off you’ll need a special tool called a water meter key. Simply twist the key and it will shut off the water and prevent flooding in your house.
Earthquake Survival Tool – There may also be gas coming into your house where the shut off valve is located. If this is the case the Earthquake Survival Tool is used to shut off the main gas valve in case of an emergency. It works on both 3/4 and 1/2 inch gas valves.
X-treme tape – This is tape that will only stick to itself and its made to wrap up a leaking pipe until you can get a plumber out to repair the bursted pipe. Again it sticks to itself and forms a water-tight seal around the pipe. It can last a few weeks up to several months and a good alternative until the pipe can be repaired.
Shark Bite fittings – It used to be that you needed a plumbing degree to properly repair a pipe but nowadays you can use Shark Bite fittings which are used to join copper or Pex Piping together. The interesting thing about them is that they have a little fitting inside (called teeth) that actually grabs hold to the pipe.
So if you’re actually trying to do a repair yourself where you are trying to connect two pipes the Shark Bites make it easy. It makes a permanent connection with no need for tape or twisting needed. It’s a permanent repair and accepted as a code repair so you don’t have to do anything beyond this.
Pex Piping – Pex is a flexible pipe that is great for going around corners and a lot easier than making a bunch of soldered joints. You can use them with the Shark Bite fittings and easily repair plumbing pipes yourself.
Baam! Drain Blaster Cleaner – Something that you will have to deal with eventually is a clog in your drain. Something that you can have sitting in your tool drawer at home is a Baam Drain Blaster Cleaner.
Instead of using chemicals and polluting the environment you can use water and water pressure to unclog your drain. This tool goes into the drain, fills up the drain and expands. It then pushes the clog out using water pressure.
Closet Auger – It’s also good to have a Closet Auger around the house. This is mainly used to unclog toilets. Once its pushed down the toilet and the handle is turned it breaks up any clog that you have in your toilet. This is much smaller and cheaper to keep around the house than a plumber sitting in your garage on call.
Plunger – We’ve found that a wooden handle with a rubber cup works best. I wouldn’t recommend anything with a plastic cup or anything that looks like an accordion.
Slip-joint pliers or channel locks. You’ll want several size in two types, those with teeth and without teeth. You don’t want to destroy your fixtures that have that nice chrome finish by using the channel locks with teeth. The longer the handle and the bigger the jaws will enable you to get more traction on pipes when you’re trying to break the seal on a nut or whatever you are turning.
Flashlight (LED) – The LED (light emitting diodes () flashlights are small, compact, durable and energy-efficient. They also will last longer than a regular flashlight and are ideal for tight and hard to reach places..
Screwdriver (6 in 1) – These include both Phillips and slotted-blade screwdrivers of various sizes. This is a must have that no homeowner should be without.
Hacksaw – Try not to buy the cheap ones because they can slip and bend. The last thing you want to do is cut yourself. The Lenox hacksaw is among the cream of the crop. Also, you never want to change the hacksaw blade because as the teeth get worn down its easier for you to cut through whatever you’re cutting. When the teeth are new and sharp they will grab the metal pipe. These saws get better at cutting with time through usage so there’s no need to change the blade out.
Mini-Hacksaw – These come in really handy when you put in a new toilet. The mini-hacksaw makes it easy to trim off the raw brass bolts coming up from the foot of the toilet. This smaller hacksaw allows you to get a good stroke so that don’t end up saying a few swear words in the process.
Basin wrench – Ridgid is gold standard where these types of wrenches are concerned. It’s called a basin wrench because sinks use to be called basin sinks and sometimes they still are. It’s an adjustable telescopic wrench that has one purpose. It has a spring-load jaw that will close on nuts that holds faucets down. It will allow you to lie on your back, get around the nut and be able to turn it easily.
Box or open end wrenches – The most common sizes used are 5/8th inch, 7/16th inch, and 5/16th inch. That’s because the most common bolt heads that you will find in the plumbing world are these exact sizes.
These give you a lot more precision than the channel lock pliers. You don’t want to tear up a bolt on a piece of machinery. Instead you use a nice smooth jawed- box wrench or the starred side which grabs on all sides of the bolt and turns it evenly. Again, this is for purposes of not tearing up machinery.
Crescent wrench – Very similar to the box wrench is the Crescent or adjustable wrench. It’s often referred to as Crescent wrench be they are the manufacturer of these wrenches but many other companies make them as well. Also you should use these in place of channel locks to keep from tearing up the shape of the nut.
Map Gas Tank – Map gas is a type of tank that is used for soldering. You can get these at Home Depot or Lowes or wherever you shop for home goods. When you’re done with these you can throw the tank away.
Washers for hoses – Washers tend to leak a lot and need to be replaced. There very cheap, about $1 a dozen and need to be replaced once a year.
I’m sure you would agree that even basic plumbing repairs can get to be expensive so we hope these tips helped you. Now you know the answer to “What plumbing tools do I need?” It’s always a good idea to be prepared for those plumbing emergencies and now you will have the essentials tools on hand to be able to attack your plumbing challenge at its source.