Equipping your toolbox with the right plumbing tools can enhance your ability to fix and upgrade your plumbing system.
Even if you have the basic plumbing tools, adding a few more specialized implements can make a huge difference if problems arise with your pipe fixtures or water supply. Compare this plumbing tools list against the needs of your household.
Pipe and Tubing Tools
These tools are designed for construction and repair of pipes, tubes and supply lines.
- Acid Flux Brush. Used to apply paste when soldering copper pipe.
- Combination Tool. Used to clean pipes.
- Deburring and Reaming Tools. Deburring tools remove burrs from the edges of pipe; reaming tools enlarge pipe holes or openings.
- Emery Cloth. Cleans and prepares copper pipe for the application of flux and solder.
- Hacksaw. Cuts through metal or plastic pipes and screws.
- Heat Shield Cloth. Shields heat sensitive or flammable materials from damage when using a torch.
- Metal File. Smoothes the edges of pipes after cutting.
- Plumbing Brushes. Clean the interior of pipes and tubing, usually with metal bristles.
- Propane Torch and Igniter. Used for soldering and brazing metal pipe. Consists of a bottle that contains combustible, pressurized gas.
- Swaging and Flaring Tools. Swaging tools draw or press a length of pipe or tubing to change its diameter; flaring tools give a conical shape to the end of pipe or tubing
- Tongue and Groove Pliers. Also known as water pump pliers, slip joint pliers or by the brand name Channellock. Ideal for jobs that require grabbing, pulling, twisting, holding, tightening and loosening.
- Tube Benders. Alter plastic or copper pipe into new shapes.
- Tubing Cutters. Use when working with plastic or copper pipe. Uses a steel wheel to cut pipes easily. Mainly used for precise cuts with even ends for well-fitted joints.
These plumbing wrenches are designed to fit plumbing equipment and reach into tight spaces.
- Adjustable Wrench. Has one fixed and one movable jaw to grip a variety of bolt heads and nuts.
- Adjustable Pipe Wrench. Used for working on compression fittings, supply lines and other plumbing parts that have hex-shaped nuts.
- Basin Wrench. Tightens and loosens the nuts under a sink that holds the faucet in place.
- Faucet Seat Wrench. Removes and replaces the faucet body valve seat in compression faucets.
- Garbage Disposal Wrench. Can be inserted into disposals to turn the shredder and clear clogs.
- Shower Valve Socket Wrench. Removes and installs shower valves, tub fittings and nuts.
- Strainer Locknut Wrench. One stationary and one pivoting jaw designed to provide maneuverability and leverage for easy removal of basket strainer locknuts.
These devices help unclog toilets, kitchen sinks and other drains.
- Cup Plunger. A rubber cap attached to a wooden handle that applies a forceful burst of water to clear clogs.
- Drain Snakes. Coiled and flexible metal augurs that can be guided into pipes and used to break up clogs.
- Flange Plunger. Specially shaped to seal the hole in a toilet and create a vacuum that clears clogs.
Other Useful Tools
These tools and materials can assist with plumbing and other household projects.
- Bucket. Catches water when draining lines.
- Caulk Gun and Silicon Caulk. Replace seals around sinks and tubs.
- Construction Pencils and Markers. Used to indicate cuts during measurement.
- Jab Saws. Also known as a keyhole saw or drywall saw, used for making small or difficult cuts in building materials.
- Plumber’s Putty and Tape. Seals threading and stops leaks at connection to prevent rust on steel pipes.
- Pressure Test Gauges. Used to check for leaks and test water pressure in pipes.
- Putty Knife. Applies and removes caulk and toilet wax residue.
- Safety Glasses. Provide eye protection.
- Spray Lubricants. Loosens stubborn nuts and pipe fittings.
- Socket Set. Also known as a ratchet set. Tightening tool that uses individual and removable sockets to fit many different sizes of nuts and bolts.
- Tape Measure. Determines accurate lengths and widths.
- Washers and O-Rings. Stops dripping compression faucets.
- Work Gloves. Provides hand protection.
Homeowners' ideas of must-have plumbing tools may differ from household to household. The makeup of your essential plumbing tools list can depend on your experience and comfort level with plumbing projects. A well-stocked plumbing tool box and a little know-how could save y money on water bills and hiring professionals.