19 Plumbing Tools That Are Must-haves in Your Plumbing Kit

19 Plumbing Tools That Are Must-haves in Your Plumbing Kit

Have you recently decided to reduce some costs by learning to do things like plumbing yourself? Let’s be honest; calling the plumber for doing something you can do yourself can be somewhat of a loss.

Things like unclogging the drains, sealing the pipes, or changing the fittings, are easier than you would think. Learning about the various tools you can use to do the simpler plumbing work can help you maintain your house efficiently without spending much money.

Want to start somewhere? Consider investing in these plumbing tools that are must-haves in your plumbing kit. You may not need them frequently, but you’ll have them handy whenever you have a plumbing issue.

Drain Cleaning Tools

Although keeping drainage tools in the house may seem unnecessary initially, they can be really helpful. Investing in good quality drain cleaning tools will save you many costs later, especially when your pipes need immediate cleaning.

Here are the drain cleaning tools that you must have. No matter how much you need to get these, you can save a lot of costs later on since you’ll have these handy.

1.  Drain Inspection Camera

The first and most important thing you need in your drainage tool kit is a drain inspection camera or a borescope. You should be able to take it deep enough, and the picture should be clear for you to inspect where the blockage is.

When choosing a sewer camera, you need to have criteria based on which you’ll select the tool. Choose wisely, as the best sewer camera will feature self-leveling for stable viewing as well as 120-degree views. This will help you locate the clog effectively so that you can dissolve it.

2.  Hand Auger

Although this is more like a traditional version, hand augers are useful enough to break apart drain clogs that aren’t too difficult to clear. Plumbers use these circular hand-held devices to steer a cable down a drain with a hand crank and clean out the clogs.

3.  Plumber’s Snake

A plumber’s snake, also known as a snake machine, is a motorized version that helps to break down and clean out very stubborn and deep drain clogs. These are flexible and have enough strength to move deep into the clog and break it down.

4.  Hydro Jet

This high-speed water jet is very effective in blasting out light clogs in the sewer. It comes with a hose that’s designed to blast water at high pressure in the clogged line and break the clog. The dirt then comes out of another opening and is dispensed off.

Wrenches

There are quite a few types of wrenches to choose from. Of course, there are the basic ones, like the torque wrench and the faucet key, that almost every household has.

There are other types of wrenches that you must have. Why do you need them? Investing in these can save you a lot of money in fixing plumbing fittings.

1.  Internal Pipe Wrench

Does the name suggest anything? Although a bit less common, plumbers use the internal pipe wrench to remove rusted nuts, bolts, and other rusted internal parts in old pipes. This helps in changing the pipes systematically, or just cleaning out and replacing the internal parts, thus saving costs.

2.  Adjustable Wrench

This is nothing extraordinary, just something every household should have in their toolbox. However, this is something very essential.

Most of the fittings and screws in faucets and plumbing lines are hexagonal. An adjustable wrench has a hexagonal fit which helps fix these parts of the pipes using enough torque. The bigger the diameter of the wrench, the longer it will be, thus providing more torque for bigger fittings.

3.  Basin Wrench

Unlike any traditional wrench, a basin wrench is a T-shaped wrench whose design will allow you to use them in very confined spaces. Due to the length of this tool, it’s effortless to turn and fasten or loosen the faucet parts under the sink.

There are various sizes of basin wrenches, so you can choose whichever you think fits most of your sink fixtures.

4.  Pipe Wrench

Pipe wrenches are the most common tools plumbers love keeping in hand. They essentially help in doing most plumbing fittings. Have you seen plumbers use one wrench to hold the pipe while rotating the fittings in the right direction? Yes, those tools.

Investing in pipe wrenches can help you effectively cut off costs when you need to change pipes or fix something in the plumbing lines. Of course, you should learn to use it in conjunction properly.

5.  Faucet Key

A faucet key, also known as a faucet wrench, isn’t a traditional wrench. It’s an X-shaped wrench that helps to loosen and tighten all types of faucets that would be hard to open otherwise.

Depending on the fittings you aim to fix, you can find various sizes of faucet keys in the market. By measuring the diameters beforehand, you can choose the one that’ll fit the sillcocks and spigots in your home well.

Other Plumbing Equipment You Should Have

19 Plumbing Tools That Are Must-haves in Your Plumbing Kit

There are other types of equipment that you must add to your plumbing toolkit if you don’t have them already. These tools won’t only help in plumbing and drainage work but will also be helpful in other cases.

Knowing how they work can also help you fix things quickly. Here’s a list of these items and what their functions are.

1.  PTFE Tape

Polytetrafluoroethylene film tape, or PTFE tape, is mostly used to wrap around pipe threads. It seals the threads to each other securely. There are a few names for this tape- thread seal tape, Teflon tape, and plumber’s tape.

There are a few types of this tape, white, yellow, red, green, copper, and silver, each serving its purpose separately. Use them for sealing hose ends, natural gas fittings, water heater pipes, welding lines, pipes for medical purposes, and other types of pipe fittings.

2.  Pipe Cutters

Sometimes, you need to replace pipes, whether they’re old or new ones that you fit in the wrong way, and resize the new pipes to fit the desired length. Whether they’re plastic pipes or copper tubes, you can choose pipe cutters according to the material and diameter of the pipes.

3.  Pliers

Sometimes, you can’t fasten or loosen nuts and bolts that are too small for even the smallest wrench available. Pliers, a tool that’s present in almost all toolboxes, come in handy in such situations. You can easily fit it around small pieces and turn them with a tight grip.

4.  Plumber’s Torch

Some pipes can’t fit even with the strongest PTFE tape. That’s when you need a plumber’s torch. It’s a small, handheld torch that you hold on to your target area and apply an immense amount of heat.

5.  Safety Equipment

You definitely can’t solder without taking safety precautions. Wear gloves and goggles when you’re using the torch, and put on the shield on your face to protect yourself from the sparks. You should also protect the surroundings from the soldering heat with heat pads or shields.

6.  Sealing Agents

Sealing agents help to create a bond tight enough to make the pipes leakproof. There are two types of products to seal the pipes- a pipe sealing cord and PVC pipe cement.

You can use the sealing chord to seal threaded pipes and lubricate threaded joints. PVC pipe cement is more useful for creating a leak-proof, airtight bond.

7.  Lubricant

The most common type of lubricant that you’ll find for plumbing pipes is silicone lubricant. You can apply this on parts of plumbing pipes to prevent corrosion and rusting, such as on stems, linkages, fittings, etc.

8.  Plungers

Plungers are something every house should have. With these handy tools, you can easily break soft clogs or suck out something that’s clogging the drain or pipe.

There are two types of plungers, each with its purpose. The cup plunger, which people commonly use for plunging toilets, is actually for sinks and tubs. You should have a flange plunger, which is specially designed to plunge toilets to clear the clogs.

9.  U-gauge Manometer

A U-gauge manometer isn’t just limited to plumbing. You can use it in cases that require measuring pressure inside something compared to air pressure.

A U-tube manometer has a U-shaped glass pipe with a liquid inside that’s dense enough to respond smoothly to the differences in the two pressures. You can use the scale on the manometer to read the pressure difference easily.

10.             Hacksaw

Almost every house has a hacksaw. This tool comes in handy when cutting thin metal pipes like aluminum, copper, or brass into a smaller length.

Conclusion

No matter how big or small the issue is, whether it’s a drainage clog, a corroded pipe, or some fixings in the plumbing lines, having the necessary tools will help you save enough cost. There’s a reason why they’re considered investments!

We hope that you’ll find this article helpful and buy the tools that you find necessary to keep at your home. Knowing some DIYs will always save you costs that you can invest into something else!

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19 Plumbing Tools That Are Must-haves in Your Plumbing Kit
BDC October 2022 issue - 297

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