Plumbing repairs can be expensive, but if you have all these tools in your kit, then you probably won’t need a plumber!
If you live in a home long enough then you’ll have to deal with clogged sinks, dripping faucets and leaky pipes eventually. Plumbing problems always happen, you can’t avoid it! However, if you are calling a plumber every time there is a problem this can be impractical, expensive and time-consuming. You can probably fix the problem yourself before the plumber even tries to call you back to schedule an appointment, but you can only do this if you have the right tools.
Most of the tools you need for your home plumbing kit are relatively affordable, but you don’t need to buy them all at once, get the basic tools first then add more as you need them this makes it more cost effective! As well as having all the plumbing tools it is also a good idea to keep some standard home repair tools like screwdrivers, hammers and drill. These are the plumbing tools you will need:
Propane Torch: You will need this if you need to sweat copper pipes and fittings. You can spend extra money for a self-igniting torch head, this lights at the squeeze of a trigger. You will find this much easier than using a striker or matches.
Tongue-and-Groove Pliers: These are more commonly known as Channellocks. These pliers re the first tool that plumbers reach for when they need to grab, twists, pull, tighten, hold or loosen something. They come in two sizes (10-in and 12-in) and it is a good idea to get both of them.
Hacksaw: you can use this versatile saw to cut through metal pipe, hardware, nuts and bolts, screws and plastic pipe. Make sure that the blade is tense in the frame for tough cuts and be sure to keep extra blades on hand in case the one you are using breaks. In tight spots, it is a good idea to wrap one end of a loose blade in a cloth to create a handle to slip the blade in for the cut.
Metal File: This tool will remove burrs and smooth the edges of metal pipes after cutting. It is best to have two files on hand. The first one is a half round which has both rounded and flat surfaces, the second one is a rat-tail file which is round and tapered.
Basin Wrench: This is an invaluable tool for tightening and loosening nuts that holds sink faucets in place. The tools long shaft and swivelling jaw can reach up and into deep and narrow spaces, like behind the sink. When it is in these awkward places it is able to lock onto the nuts. There are no other tools that can do what this one does.
Pipe Wrench: These are large and heavy wrenches that are used to tighten and loosen threaded pipes, fittings and nuts. You will need to of these in your kit, one for turning and one for gripping and holding. The serrated teeth will help the wrench hold its grip, but you will have to be careful as this can damage a fixtures finish. When you need protection, wrap the wrenches jaws in a cloth.
Hand Auger: These are sometimes called a plumber’s snake, this hand cracked draining tool has a 25ft long flexible steel cable, this is effective at clearing obstructions from tubs, showers, sinks, toilets and drain lines. It is best to use this when the plunger fails to clear the clog.
Adjustable Wrench: This is required when working on compression fittings, supply line and other plumbing parts that have hex shaped nuts. When you go to buy this tool make sure that the moving jaw holds a firm setting so it won’t slip loose under torque. It is also best to get this in two sizes, the 6in and 10in.
Tubing Cutter: This essential tool provides the quickest and cleanest way to cut a copper pipe. Get both a standard size and a close-quarter mini cutter. The mini cutter works in tight spaces.
Plunger: This will be the first tool you grab when you need to dislodge clogs from sinks, toilets, showers, floor drains and tubs. When unclogging a toilet, you will need to press down, create a firm seal around the drain and pull upwards. The idea is to vacuum the clog out not push it deeper.
Closet Auger: This is a manual clog clearing tool that is specifically designed for toilets. It has a long steel cable that is tough enough to grind through the most stubborn clogs.
Fire Resistant Cloth: This is a thick specially treated cloth that is used to protect nearby combustible surfaces when soldering with an open-flame propane torch. It is always a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby too.
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