7 DIY Plumbing Tools
Obviously, we're here for you whenever you need us. But if you're going to do some plumbing tune-ups on your own, or better yet – in the event of emergency, it's good to have these tools around. These are the right tools for the job.
They don't call it the “plumber's helper" for nothing. From overflowing toilets to clogged drains, your plunger is the plumbing tool you may find yourself reaching for most often. Keep it right in the bathroom so it's always there when you need it. If you're not familiar with proper plunger technique, take a moment to learn the ropes, and consider keeping a little tub of petroleum jelly under the sink to help you plunge more effectively.
There are 3 types of plungers: Common Sink Plunger / Cup Plunger, Toilet Plunger / Flange Plunger, and the Accordion Plunger. As you might guess you use sink/cup plungers for bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, tubs, or anything with a flat surface. Likewise, toilet/flange plungers are best suited for toilets, sinks, and tubs. The accordion plunger is used only for toilets.
2. PLUMBER'S PUTTY
Use this to help form a watertight seal. For many DIY replacements and upgrades such as faucets and drains, a dab of plumber's putty can help avoid leaks and keep parts firmly in place.
3. PLUMBER'S TAPE
One of the more frustrating plumbing problems is a leaky threaded joint, such as the one connecting a shower head to a pipe. The solution is plumber's tape, also known as teflon tape or thread seal tape. Just wrap a few layers around clean, dry threads, making sure to wind the tape clockwise. When you screw on your fixture, the tape will help form a watertight seal.
4. PIPE WRENCH
Actually, we recommend pipe wrenches. Two is better than one because you can use one wrench to stabilize your work while using the other one to turn. The pipe wrench is the perfect tool for situations that demand real leverage, such as loosening a rusted old fitting. Use some old rags when using these to avoid scratches and have something handy for cleanup.
5. BASIN WRENCH
If you're not familiar with plumbing tools, you might not recognize the basin wrench as a wrench at all. Unlike a typical wrench head, the basin wrench has a spring-loaded, clamping jaw designed for gripping and turning bolts and fasteners in tight spaces. It's the ideal tool for jobs like loosening the nuts underneath a deep kitchen sink.
6. ADJUSTABLE WRENCH
These wrenches are very versatile. They can fit a range of hardware sizes. Quality adjustable wrenches are inexpensive and it can be useful to have a few of them in a variety of sizes, especially when you need to use one or two as clamps. Adjustable wrenches do most of the work with smaller jobs like replacing faucets and shower heads.
7. TONGUE & GROOVE PLIERS
Speaking of clamps, you'll also want at least one good pair of tongue and groove pliers to help hold things in place. These pliers have a slip-joint design that allow the jaws to open wide and grab bigger things. Most pairs have long handles that also make them great for turning, tightening and loosening. As with your pipe wrench, you'll probably want to wrap your fine fixtures with a rag before using these due to their serrated jaws.
There you have it. It's likely that you have some of these on hand already, and it won't be very costly to complete your lineup. When you need us, we're here. Premier Service. Professional Results.