Whether it is a leaking faucet you want to get fixed or a clogged drain, finding a good plumber at odd hours in an emergency situation is not always easy. But if you stock the most basic do-it-yourself plumbing tools at home, not only can you temporarily stave off the crisis till the plumber arrives, you may even learn to fix small problems on your own.
The basic homeowners plumbing tools kit must have the following essential tools:
Plumber’s Pliers: Also called channel-lock pliers, plumber’s pliers are a must-have for any kind of plumbing job. Compared to the conventional pliers, their serrated jaws open much wider to get around pipes of all sizes.
Crescent Wrench: Plumber’s pliers when used on polished chrome fixtures tend to mar the finish. Conventional adjustable pliers, on the other hand, tend to slip off polished surfaces. A crescent wrench is less likely to mar the finish or slip off.
Pipe Wrench: This is a long-handled wrench meant for working on threaded connections. It is commonly used on thicker pipes requiring wider-opening jaws. When using the pipe wrench, make sure that the rear sides of the wrench’s jaws come into contact with the pipe. This will ensure that loosing or tightening of the pipe does not damage the pipe or alter its shape.
Basin Wrench: Basin wrench is a long-handled wrench with adjustable spring-loaded jaws. It allows you to reach spots that are not easily accessible for tightening or loosing a connection, for example, underneath or behind the sink.
Pipe Dope / Teflon Tape: Threaded joints, ie, joints that are screwed together rather than being soldered, need to be smeared with a material called joint compound or pipe dope before screwing them in order to guard against any leakage. The same purpose can also be achieved by wrapping a Teflon tape around the threads before screwing them.
Washers: It is advisable to stock an assortment of washers of different sizes at home because you never know when a faucet may need a new washer all of a sudden. That way you will always have the right-sized washer on hand when you need it.
These are the most essential do-it-yourself plumbing tools. However, if you intend to do a little more than the basic stuff yourself, sooner or later you are likely to require cutting and soldering of pipes. Then you would need to get additional tools like pipe cutter for cutting pipes, and soldering materials to join the pipes – such as pipe-cleaning tool or emery cloth, soldering flux, solder, torch, striker, and protective eyewear – all of which can be bought online at great prices.