DIY plumbing jobs are one of the most common home repair projects. Whether you’re replacing old pipes or fixing leaky faucets, it’s important to have the right tools for the job.
Plumbing can be tricky, especially if you’ve never done it before or if you’re working on something particularly difficult. Fortunately, there are some tools every do-it-yourself plumber should have on hand to make the job easier and safer!
In this guide to essential tools for DIY plumbers, we cover everything from tape measures and lubricants to pipe wrenches and pipes benders, helping you choose the best tools for your project.
Table of Contents
- How Important Are Tools?
- Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
- Adjustable Wrench
- Basin Wrench
- Shower Valve Socket Wrench
- Pipe Extractor
- Drain Snake
- Plumber’s Tape
- Plumber’s Putty
How Important Are Tools?
If you are planning on doing some DIY plumbing jobs, it’s important that you have the right tools on hand to help you through the job. The more specific the job, the more specialized your tool needs will be, but there are some general tools that any do-it-yourself plumber should always have handy.
These include adjustable wrenches, pipe and tube cutters, basin wrenches, and multi-purpose pliers. These are all crucial for working with plumbing systems of all kinds, from sinks to bathtubs to water heaters and beyond!
A plunger is one of those tools that you must have to clear clogs in drains and pipes. Be it your toilet or kitchen sink, a plunger can do wonders. The most common use is of a plunger is to clear kitchen and bathroom sinks and tubs. A plunger covers the drain hole or hole in the toilet (depending on which side needs to be cleared) and then pushed down with pressure. This forces water through whatever has clogged it, loosening it up so that it can flow again.
As you know, plumbing jobs can be messy. When you’ve got a stuck pipe, or need to pick an obstruction from a sink, you don’t want to have to get your hands dirty and risk getting covered in gunk. These pliers are like an extra serving hand that can help you with tightening and losing plumbing system. It’s a great tool to grip, tighten, loosen, twist, pull, or hold anything on the job.
A hacksaw is a hand-operated saw that has a thin, flexible steel blade with cutting teeth on one edge. Hacksaws are primarily used in cutting metal, but can also cut through non-ferrous materials such as plastic. They are inexpensive, easy to use and maintain, and require little maintenance. They are not well suited to cutting curves or corners.
An adjustable wrench is a versatile tool that can be used to turn nuts and bolts of varying size. The jaws on an adjustable wrench are so made that they can be adjusted to different sizes, allowing you to use one tool in place of two or more. This also makes it ideal for jobs in tight spaces where space may be limited. An adjustable wrench has a wide opening at the end opposite of the handle which allows users to access fasteners on both sides of an object.
The basin wrench is used to install and remove faucets. The teeth grip onto the base of a faucet, and can be tightened by turning in a clockwise direction. Turning in an anti-clockwise direction loosens the grip, making it easier to change out a faucet.
With its long shaft and swiveling jaw, you can effortlessly reach into deep and narrow spaces to lock onto the nuts. A basin wrench is made from metal with rubber pads on either side to provide a non-slip grip, meaning that you don’t need to wear gloves while using it.
Shower Valve Socket Wrench
A Shower Valve Socket Wrench can be used to tighten or loosen a shower valve. It is important to have one of these in your toolbox if you are looking to make any adjustments to your shower, such as installing a new shower head.
A pipe extractor is a handy tool that you can use to remove PVC and metal pipes when you come across a broken-off pipe. Removing a broken pipe is pretty difficult without a pipe extractor. So, if you’re looking to take plunge of a plumbing repair be sure to have a pipe extractor in your toolkit.
A Drain Snake is a plumbing tool that has been created to clear clogs in drains. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some being designed to be used on sinks while others are designed to be used on toilets.
The manual crank can reach down the clog and captures it so you can easily pull it out. Using one will allow you to pull out all sorts of stuff that may have gone down your drain and clogged it up. The good thing about this is those drain snakes are cheap and is easily available on home store or online.
Plumber’s tape is a thin, cloth-based adhesive tape that is used on threaded pipes and fittings to provide a seal. It can also be used to repair leaking joints in threaded pipe connections. This type of tape will not corrode or deteriorate like many other tapes.
You know that feeling when you’re trying to make a watertight seal with two pipes and you can’t quite get them lined up? That’s where plumber’s putty comes in. It’s really easy to use and it gets the job done! Just wrap a small amount around one of the pipe ends, and then apply it into the other end. Viola! You now have an airtight seal.