If you are a new homeowner or just getting into the do-it-yourself scene, there are a wide variety of tools that can make your DIY life a lot easier when you run into common plumbing problems. Here are 14 plumbing tools and products every homeowner should have on hand for easy fixes and repairs:
Let's start off with something that needs no introduction, the plunger. This nifty plumbing tool is designed to clear up drain blockages and the occasional clogged toilet. But one plunger is not like the other, which is why there are two different designs, each with its own intended purpose:
- Cup Plungers consist of a rubber suction cup attached to a long wooden handle. They are used to clear clogs in sinks, tubs, and showers.
- Flange Plungers have an extended rubber flap below the cup of the plunger head to really seal the deal when plunging a toilet bowl. They are designed to clear clogs in toilets.
2. Adjustable Wrench
This versatile tool’s adjustability makes it extremely useful for small jobs like replacing faucets or showerheads. Their affordability is even better. We suggest keeping a variety of sizes, especially the 6- and 10-inch versions, which will be the most useful for plumbing purposes.
Need to tighten or loosen a fitting, but don’t want to ruin the finish? Opt for a Crescent Wrench, which has no teeth (grip).
3. Basin Wrench
If you need to remove or replace a hard-to-reach faucet, the basin wrench will come in handy. There really isn’t anything else that can do the same job. It's made with a long shaft which makes it easy to reach back into the space behind the sink and loosen nuts that hold a faucet together.
For the extreme do-it-yourselfer, the hacksaw can cut through PVC pipes like a knife through butter. They may look flimsy, but they have some strength to them, while their blades have the ability to cut through metal and plastic pipes, nuts, screws, and hardware. Be sure to have a spare blade on hand when things get crazy and it breaks.
5. Tape Measure
You’ve seen and used them before to measure the size or distance of something in your home. We’re just here to remind you to get one for your own toolbag.
It’s always a good idea to have personal protective equipment on hand. You may never know when you have to deal with a hazardous situation in your home, and we’re not talking about unclogging the toilet. Examples of PPE would be gloves, foot and eye protection, and a mask.
7. Thread Tape and Thread Sealant
Any DIYer or homeowner should have a roll of thread tape, aka “the duct tape of plumbing,” on hand. This will come in handy when you need to stop a leak in a pinch. Just wrap a few layers for an ideal seal. If you need a little more strength in joining a connection together, you can opt for a thread sealant.
8. Tubing Cutters
If you need a quick, easy, and clean way to cut copper, aluminum or brass pipes, tubing cutters will come in handy. You will want to have both a standard-size and a close-quarter mini-cutter for those tight, confined spaces.
9. Small Hand Snake
Drain snakes can be used on tubs, showers, and drains to grab hair and clogs. You’ll need to manually crank the snake down through the drain until it reaches and captures the debris. Then you can pull it out. If it gets too complicated, we recommend calling a professional to avoid damaging the pipe.
10. Caulk Gun and Caulk
If you ever need to repair a seal around your sinks, toilets, or tubs, you’ll want a caulk gun in your holster or toolbag. Simply place the caulk tube into the gun and squeeze the trigger to fill the seal cracks and joints.
If you ever have the pleasure of removing a toilet, you will want Liquilock. These magical crystals will turn water to wine… wait, no, we mean gel. That way, when it comes time to remove the toilet, water doesn’t get everywhere.
12. Epoxy Putty
Oatey's Fix-It Stick epoxy putty is a multi-purpose sealing, patching and mending compound. It's used to repair leaks, holes, or cracks in materials such as plastic, metal, fiberglass, concrete and ceramic. This powerful putty mixes in your hand and is easy to apply, making it perfect for fixing broken tile and molding.
13. Glug Products
A clogged bathroom drain, although annoying, can be rather easy to fix with Oatey’s Glug products. Glug Crystals Drain Opener uses powerful crystalline flakes to quickly clear sluggish drains and dissolve hair, soap, other organic material and grease clogs.
14. Clog Buster
To eliminate the need for chemicals, insert Clog Buster as far as possible into the drain and slowly turn on the cold water. The clog should dislodge almost immediately. Clog Busters must be fully inserted into the drain pipe, not into a 90° elbow or tee.
Again, if any plumbing problem escalates, be sure to call your local professional plumber for emergency repairs.