6 PLUMBING TOOLS YOU NEED IN YOUR PERSONAL TOOLBOX
Even the newest toilets and sinks will require a bit of maintenance every now and then; however, you don’t need to call a plumber every time you may need a small fix. If you’re armed with the 6 plumbing tools below, odds are that you’ll be able to fix a good amount of the smaller issues that come your way. Places like the Home Depot and Lowe’s should carry the below items, with CVS, Walmart Supercenter, and Target carrying smaller things like pliers and plumber’s tape.
We can’t really create a plumbing tool list if we don’t include this iconic item. And for good reason! This is the type of plunger you see used all the time in media and most likely the type placed in the home. And while it’s the plunger you see most people using for toilets (and while it may certainly do the job for toilets), it’s actually meant more for bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, and tubs. The shape of the ‘cup’ is meant to attach to flat surfaces like those found in the aforementioned sinks and tubs. With that said… if you already have a cup plunger used on your toilet, don’t start using it on your sinks and tubs. For hygienic purposes, separate the toilet plunger and the sink and tub plunger.
As its name suggests, this is the ideal plunger for your toilet. Again, we will repeat ourselves… don’t use the same plunger for both toilet and sink as it is highly unhygienic and poses a high risk of cross-contamination.
Next up on the list of essential plumbing tools is the adjustable wrench. Because your plumbing pipes may all be of varying sizes, an adjustable wrench will provide you with the ability to make quick and easy adjustments as deemed necessary. You may have to put in a bit more work to really make the adjustable wrench fit to what you’re trying to fix, but due to its flexibility, it’s simply a must-have.
A pipe wrench consists of two jaws, the bottom of which is fixed in position, and the upper is movable. Similarly to the adjustable wrench, the pipe wrench offers you the flexibility of adjusting the height between the jaws. So… a pipe wrench is just an adjustable wrench, right? I mean, sure (not really). If you consider only the technical differences then they sound pretty similar.
But while the adjustable wrench is a wrench that can be used in plumbing and outside of it, the pipe wrench was made for operating on soft pipes, such as copper. Let’s just get down to the basic rundown of the two. Adjustable wrenches are often used to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts. Pipe wrenches, on the other hand, are made specifically to turn metal pipes and fittings. Of the two, the pipe wrench is sturdier and stronger which, depending on how much pressure needs to be exerted on a specific action, should be used over that of the adjustable wrench. Both serve different, yet important purposes and should be included in the essential list of plumbing tools.
Smaller than all the other items on the plumbing tool list so far, pliers are used for a varying degree of actions: grabbing, twisting, pulling, or simply holding things in place. Depending on the type of action you want to conduct with your pliers (whether it be cutting or adjusting things), you may want to consider slip joint pliers, flat nose pliers, and/or side cutting pliers among many other plier types.
- Slip Joint Plier: Used to adjust nuts or bolts, these are ideal for the smaller nuts and bolts. They deal with the more ‘delicate’ parts of your plumbing needs that your wrenches would most likely destroy.
- Flat Nose Plier: One of the more common pliers around, flat nose pliers are seen as a multipurpose tool for holding and bending wires.
- Side Cutting Pliers: Similar to Flat Nose, the side cutting can be used to cut or grip wires. They are used for electronic work.
Plumber’s tape offers a watertight seal to aid in all jobs pipes-related. When you proceed to purchase a roll, you’ll notice that they come in 3 standard colors: white, yellow, and green.
- White (basic) is the standard color for common piping jobs
- Yellow (double lined) is ideal for gas piping
- Green (triple lined) tape deals with oxygen piping
As they pair with your other plumbing tools, the white tape should be sufficient for all plumbing issues; however, if you notice that your pipes may need a bit more support, going with yellow or green might be ideal for you.
Not all problems can be easily fixed or should be handled by homeowners. Should you feel the need for support, you should contact a professional.