Everyone should have a basic knowledge of their home’s plumbing system, and if you are moving into a new place, there are several handy plumbing tools that you should have on hand to make the job a little easier.
Heavy Duty Rubber Gloves
One of the main reasons people aren’t most familiar with their plumbing is the fact that, understandably, they don’t want to get dirty! Household plumbing is a dirty job, but you have to perform basic maintenance to maintain your home responsibly. Not only will rubber gloves keep you protected from dirt and grime from your pipes, but they can prevent you from cuts and scrapes from rubbing up on sharp objects in the vicinity.
At home, plumbing projects will have you measuring everything from pipes to wood to ensure the exact dimensions of your repair. An accurate measuring tool will save you money in the long run since proper measurements will avoid costly mistakes like getting the incorrect size of materials.
The plunger is the most essential plumbing tool in the house, but did you know there are different kinds? There are several designs for plungers, and they are handy plumbing tools to have around due to their specific uses.
The classic red cup plunger is what most households have next to their toilets, but this plunger is designed to lay on flat surfaces in order to create a vacuum that dislodges a clog. You can use cup plungers in bathroom sinks, tubs, or any other flat drain.
Similar to the cup plunger, this device usually has a black rubber piece that looks a little like a mushroom. This extension allows the flange to fit into toilet drains and form the airtight seal needed to clear a clog.
The accordion-like folds in this plunger allow more pressure to build with minimal effort, making it one of the most efficient for unclogging toilets. These are often made of hard plastic, so make sure to grab one that will not scratch the toilet bowl.
Mini plungers are handy plumbing tools for getting rid of clogs while taking up less space than the average plunger. Most are sold as handheld versions of accordion designs and are a favorite of professional plumbers, who prefer them due to their portability and efficiency.
It’s recommended there be multiple plungers in your home, but at least one for toilets and one dedicated to sinks, both to ensure you’re using the right one and to prevent cross-contamination. You don’t want toilet germs in your sink. Remember to always submerge a plunger entirely in the basin you wish to unclog for the seal to form.
Wrenches are another staple in any plumbing toolkit. However, since there is no all-in-one wrench tool, it’s essential to have different wrenches handy for various jobs.
- Pipe Wrench– This is usually the biggest wrench in the toolbox. This hefty tool has sharp teeth capable of latching onto pipe fittings and gripping tight to ensure easy loosening or tightening.
- Basin Wrench– This tool has a long t-shape to loosen or tighten hard-to-reach faucets. The clamp at the end allows for solid gripping on a faucet nut, and the long handle allows the plumber to extend their reach so they can have enough room to twist it around.
- Adjustable Wrench– An adjustable wrench is a versatile tool with an adaptable jaw capable of tightening on any size bolt. The 6- and 10-inch models are the most common in professional kits.
- Strap Wrench– This less-conventional tool uses rubber straps to tighten fixings without risk of damaging pipe finish.
- Faucet Key– Faucet keys are not incredibly traditional but are still essential. They are X-shaped and are designed for spigots and sillcocks. You can get these in 1/4, 9/32, 5/16, and so on.
Odds are everyone already has this in their toolkit since it is an essential tool for more household tasks. However, there are various types, so look into what would fit your needs best. Common types include ball-peen, sledge and mallet, and a 16-ounce claw.
Thread Seal Tape
Thread seal tape, or plumbers tape, helps create watertight sealed grips on devices that do not have rubber seals, often on threaded pipe joints. Threaded pipe joints are found on metal connections that resemble a screw, like showerheads and tub spouts. The tape gives the metal pieces a better grip on each other and smoothes assembly and disassembly.
This soft, flexible sealing putty gets used to form quick seals around faucets, drains, and other common leak areas. Many plumbers prefer putty since it is an inexpensive, nonpermanent sealing option while still effective at stopping water. It is easy to work with and has no dry time, so many prefer it over caulk. The porous texture allows for tight seals that can stop leaks in a jam if other materials are not available, and the putty can get removed easily when a more permanent fix gets made.
You’ll never find a plumber without a hacksaw. This tool is perfect for cutting through a variety of hardware, such as pipes, nuts, bolts, and screws, so they are also perfect for the everyday homeowner.
Set of Pliers
Everyone should have a three-piece set of pliers, including a six-inch slip-joint, needle-nose, and diagonal pliers. These three will allow you to use a plier for any need, from utilizing them in small tight spaces or cutting wires.
If you want to use pliers for sing drains and threaded fittings, be sure to keep a pair of tongue-and-groove pliers on hand. They are also great for fixing leaking water, changing a shower head, or gripping a stuck valve.
Who doesn’t hate hanging something on the walls only to realize it’s crooked? Avoid the issue by keeping this handy plumbing tool on hand. To ensure you are covered in all situations, aim to have one level six to eight inches long and one four feet long. The shorter one is ideal for hanging pictures or shelves, and the longer one is best for bigger projects like outdoor pavers or side-by-side shelves.
When it comes to handy plumbing tools to keep on hand, people often forget about a utility knife. These retractable and replaceable blades can cut through thick materials and will prevent you from hurting yourself by trying to cut open a box with a steak knife. They will also save you time from hacking away at packaging because the blades are sharper.
Magnetic Stud Finder
In case you don’t already know, a stud is the wood frame holding up your wall. If you want to hang something heavy, you want to nail or drill into wood and not just drywall to prevent it from falling and causing damage to your interior. However, electronic stud finders can give false readings, especially if the wall you are checking has a texture. Instead, opt for a magnetic stud finder which you move over the wall and will stick to the screws or nails on the wood framing, preventing you from misreading the stud’s location.
Cordless Drill with Interchangeable Bits
Similar to a hammer, the drill is a staple due to its versatility and frequency of use. Whether you are building a deck, assembling furniture, or doing a whole remodel, the drill will be your best friend. Plus, by opting for a cordless one, you don’t have to worry about tripping or tangling, removing any safety hazards. Plus, the interchangeable bits allow you to use the drill for various projects rather than just ones where the one bit fits.
Need a Pro? Call Goodbee Plumbing
While it’s always a good idea to have plumbing tools handy, if you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency or need frequent repairs of the same type, the job is best left up to the pros. The highly trained service people at Goodbee Plumbing are available to perform a catalog of plumbing services, including inspections and repairs.
We have over 25 years of experience helping the Gulf South with every plumbing issue under the sun. We are happy to provide you with honest service and professional recommendations on keeping your plumbing in good shape. No matter what handy plumbing tools are in your toolbox, most plumbing issues will need the skill and finesse of an expert, so call and schedule your service today.