Top 10 Plumbing Tools Every DIY Homeowner Should Have
An adequate plumbing toolkit will save you from some major mishaps and help prevent unnecessary professional services bills for minor issues. Begin with an adjustable wrench for tightening and loosening hex-shaped nuts.
Tubing cutters resembling C-clamps make clean and precise cuts in copper pipes, while hacksaws (ranging from $15-25) are essential for cutting through metal pipe and hardware. You should keep extra blades handy, as these may break or dull quickly.
1. Adjustable Wrench
An adjustable wrench is an indispensable tool for loosening and tightening nuts and bolts, hose sockets, and other fasteners that require more force than you alone to operate. A length of pipe over its handle provides increased leverage when working in tight spaces such as under the sink.
Wrenches typically feature serrated jaws designed to grip round objects such as pipes. A variant called a monkey wrench features smooth jaws. Both types of wrenches come in various sizes based on the distance between their handles and jaws, so when selecting one for plumbing tasks it is important to take both size range and durability into consideration.
Some wrenches offer automatic jaw width adjustment which saves you time if you have difficulty turning screws to their correct sizes by hand. This feature may be particularly beneficial to people who find this task more cumbersome.
Hacksaws are handheld tools designed to quickly and efficiently cut through materials such as metal pipes and plastic tubing, making them invaluable tools in plumbing projects.
Hacksaws typically feature an inverted U-shaped frame and handle, typically composed of plastic, wood or metal affixed at its end. Furthermore, adjustable pegs can be tightened to secure blades before being loosed again in order to remove them.
When selecting a hacksaw, choose one with a lightweight frame to minimize fatigue. Slicing metal and PVC pipe can be tiring work, and using an overly-heavy tool will only add further strain. Also look for models with fixed length blades so that the same blade covers all length of frame.
3. Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
Your toolbox would not be complete without pliers! They are indispensable tools, serving multiple functions including gripping pipes and tightening screws, nuts or bolts with precision and force. Plus, their leverage allows for maximum force usage!
Tongue-and-groove pliers, featuring grooves that adjust their jaw widths, are often preferred by mechanics and maintenance techs as they allow them to grip various shapes more securely than standard pliers do. There is a range of sizes available; the ideal ones should have at least 8-inch jaws.
Search for a pair of pliers featuring a V-jaw design made of high-grade alloy steel or vanadium chromium to ensure long-term durability. Make sure they come equipped with coated handles to enhance gripping power and decrease fatigue levels; for optimal results try the CHANNEL LOCK Straight Jaw Tongue-and-Groove Pliers which feature a patented reinforcing edge to minimize stress breakage as well as right angle laser heat-treated teeth to provide firm hold.
4. Metal File
Metal files are invaluable tools that can make a significant impact in several DIY applications and extend the lifespan of other hand tools. Available in numerous sizes, shapes and degrees of coarseness.
Every file serves its own unique function – from smoothing sharp edges and creating flowing curves, removing burrs, cleaning, to shaping materials slowly by chipping away small amounts.
Selecting an appropriate hand file is vital when undertaking any task, especially metalworking projects.
There is an abundance of sizes, teeth patterns and cuts available – for metal working use a half round file with cut of 2 is suitable as it provides versatile coarseness levels across various projects; cross and crossing-cut metal files also exist to handle curves in surfaces.
5. Drain Auger
An auger, more commonly referred to as a plumbing snake or sewer snake, is the perfect tool for clearing away clogged drain pipes. Either manually or electrically operated, these snaking devices can be fed down the drain until they reach their target clog and physically break it apart.
Small household augers typically feature cables two to three inches wide by 25 feet long, equipped with cutter heads to cut through hair or other solid blockages.
Before using a drain auger, loosen the set screw and pull out 6 to 8 inches of cable from its drum. Next, push down and crank your auger into the drain while slowly moving it downward until it reaches whatever is clogging your pipe – then slowly reverse this process if necessary if the blockage persists.
Beware if using a power auger as using too aggressively could damage galvanized zinc coating on older pipes and cause irreparable damage.
6. Pipe Cutter
Pipe cutters are useful plumbing tools designed to safely cut your pipes.
A pipe cutter offers you a much simpler and safer method than using hacksaws or hand saws which may lead to pipe shattering; furthermore it may help avoid unnecessary repairs or replacements down the line.
This ratchet-style cutter has an easy-to-use design that makes getting into hard-to-reach pipes simple. Equipped with a blade capable of cutting PVC, CPVC and PEX pipes as well as an extra blade tucked neatly inside its handle for storage purposes when not in use, this tool makes cutting through these materials quick and painless.
EzyGrind offers minimal vibration and fits easily into deformed pipes, plus its heavy duty construction means it can withstand more stress than generic models like Cobra. Furthermore, its concrete cutting ability makes it an invaluable resource for plumbers.
7. Cartridge Puller
Cartridge faucets use a plastic or metal cartridge with holes corresponding to the faucet stem to control cold and hot water flows. Over time, mineral sediment builds up between its outer wall and that of the brass housing and its inner walls and forms a rigid bond, necessitating replacement cartridge installation; however, doing it yourself or hiring professional plumbers may find this task extremely challenging.
The Cartridge Puller was designed to make this task easy. Comprised of three components – handle, core puller and sleeve puller – this tool helps simplify this task of cartridge removal.
When used to unfreeze frozen cartridges from their housings, handle 10 is turned clockwise which tightens core puller screw 24 into core 38, tightening its knurled grip 66 against sleeve 46 simultaneously while simultaneously breaking apart any rigid sediment between its housing and housings making removal simpler.
8. Nipple Extractor
The Nipple Extractor is designed to free broken pipe nipples without damaging their threads of fittings, thanks to its toothed head gripping broken pieces of pipe and pulling them back out again.
Each set comes complete with multiple extractors for different pipe sizes as well as a ratcheting handle to help turn it. Constructed from durable heat-treated steel that has been zinc plated for corrosion protection; features easy wrench selection through its etched sizes as well as diagonal knurl pattern for enhanced user comfort.
The Internal Nipple Wrench can also be used to unclog PO plugs (lavatory drains with removable rubber pull-out plugs), pop-up assemblies and tub drains. Constructed of high grade metal material with an ergonomic T-loop handle to accommodate hands of any size and style.
Ideal for extracting Nipples from Irrigation Systems with its expandable swivel cam that expands to match internal diameter of Nipples wedged securely in position – perfect!
9. Caulking Gun
Caulking is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to seal leaks and cracks around the house, and caulking guns make the task simple by amplifying pressure applied to tubes of caulk or sealant.
Basic caulking guns require depressing a plunger and pulling a trigger to dispense caulk, but can often be messy and cause discomfort to your index finger (for reduced discomfort use an old latex glove or cut off an existing latex glove).
More advanced models offer features like an auto retracting rod mechanism which ensures no drips occur while providing for more accurate application of caulk.
Opt for a caulking gun that offers extra conveniences, like an integrated spout cutter, ladder hook, and puncture tool. Also look for models with higher thrust ratios to handle thicker materials.
Torches are among the most versatile tools you can have in your toolbox, providing bright illumination of any potentially hazardous areas and situations, so that you can take appropriate actions before accidents occur.
Thanks to LED technology, today’s torches are much brighter and longer beam distance than previous models; Symex torches feature robust brass construction with replaceable nylon buttons which can easily be repaired as necessary.
And there you have it. Having these plumbing tools in your tool box can save you a lot of cash.
However, if you have a serious plumbing issue that you can’t fix yourself, call Discount Plumbers.
We provide 24 hour/7 day a week service (no extra charge) in Minneapolis/St. Paul and 65 surrounding metro-areas.
You can give us a call at the number in this post or contact us here via our form. We look forward to servicing you today.