Small plumbing problems are inevitable. Issues like leaky faucets or clogged drains aren’t usually severe enough to warrant calling in an emergency plumber. The more common an issue is, the more likely you are able to fix it yourself with a bit of elbow grease. Having the proper toolkit is essential in being able to resolve minor plumbing issues. There are 6 essential plumbing tools which you should have on hand this year, and we’ve got the details on them all below.
1. Hand Auger
A hand auger is like a drain snake made infinitely better. The tool is used to unclog showers, drains, and sinks. A small hand crank pushes out a wire which works it’s way through your pipes to manually break up any clogs. Make sure to never use a hand auger on a flushing toilet though! There are special augers which are made for flushing toilet pipes, as they’re more complicated than a shower drain.
2. Thread Seal Tape
You’ve probably heard thread seal tape referred to as ‘plumber’s tape’ and for good reason. We use it all the time! Thread seal tape does exactly what it sounds like – seals threads. It’s excellent for really minor leaks, such as your kitchen sink pipe wearing down over time and the seal becoming weaker. You can use it on shower heads, pipes, and exterior plumbing to tighten areas where routine use happens.
3. Basin Wrench
The basin wrench is a staple in any plumber’s toolkit. The t-shaped wrench is designed for faucets, as it has a long reach which allows access to areas inside and around the faucet. It can be used to both tighten and loosen hard-to-reach bolts.
Sometimes you just need to cut a faulty part out. Hacksaws are essential for being able to cut through hardware, copper pipes, plastic pipes, and any wayward metal. Be sure to buy a few spare blades for your hacksaw when you pick it up, as you’ll find the blades do wear down after use.
5. Tongue and Groove Pliers
Pliers are one of those tools you realize you don’t have as soon as you need it. Tongue and groove pliers are adjustable pliers which work on any type of material, and their angled jaws make grasping uncomfortable areas significantly easier. They do typically have ridges on the blades, which make for a better grip, so if you’re worried about damaging the finish on your faucet, wrap plumbers’ tape around it.
Do we really have to say this? Well… Yes, we do. So many emergency plumbing problems can be prevented with proper use of a plunger. Most new homeowners overlook the importance of picking up a $5 plunger and don’t realize until it’s too late. They can be used on sinks, drains, toilets, and just about everything you can think of that has the potential to clog up.