6 Essential Plumbing Tools

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 29, 2022
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It is natural for your toilet or faucet to get leaky after a few years if you do not maintain them regularly. A regular guy would just call a plumber to help him with this issue and get it fixed by a professional.

However, if you are one to take on the project of fixing your own waterlines, then you need to know which tools help you do that. With proper knowledge and the right set of tools, nothing can stop you from taking care of your plumbing by yourself.

In this article, we will take a look at some essential plumbing tools that you would need in order to work on your waterlines.


List of Essential Plumbing Tools

1. Plungers

Plungers might be the most iconic tool used for plumbing. We all know what it is. But what people might not know is that there are a few different types of plungers. Essentially, you would want to have at least two types of plungers in your hand at all times. They are,

Cup Plunger: This is the common type of plunger that everyone knows. It comes with a rubber cap on top and is used to unclog sinks and showers.

Flange Plunger: Flange plunger is the one you use with toilets. It has a longer head and can go through the hole in the toilet because of its flexibility.

Drain augers

These devices are also called snakes, and it also helps you unclog sinks or drains. It is essentially, a coiled cable made with metal that goes through the open end of the drain. You can then rotate it and force it through whatever is blocking the pipe. Typically, drain augers come into play when a plunger cannot clear the clogging.

2. Wrenches

Whenever you are dealing with any sort of leaks, you will need some kind of wrench to fix it. There are a few different choices of wrenches. But you do not need all of them just for plumbing. Make sure you have the following wrenches at your disposal whenever you are taking on a plumbing project.

Adjustable Pipe Wrench: This type of wrench comes with sharp teeth to grip objects like pipes. The width of the teeth can be adjusted, allowing a stronger grip. In broad its called the pipe wrench.

Basin Wrench: It is mainly used to access the mounting nuts of the faucet. Because of its pivoting head, you can reach difficult corners with this tool.

Faucet Valve-seat Wrench: A vital tool when you want to install new seals in the water line after the old ones cracked or dried up.

Allen Wrench: This type of wrenches have a hexagonal head and an L-shaped structure. Mainly used as fasteners in plumbing, they come in different sizes.

Faucet Keys: It is shaped like an X and is used to work with spigots.

Stubby screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are a necessity in any project. However, when you are working with pipes inside the wall, an ordinary screwdriver will not work as well. You will always find yourself wishing the device was shorter. That is where a stubby screwdriver comes in. These units are small and work great in reaching tight spots.

3. Pliers

For a plumber, pliers are an essential tool. There are a few different types of pliers for different purposes. Before taking on any plumbing jobs, you would want the following pliers in your hand.

  • Channel Locks: Also known as tongue and groove pliers, these units come with adjustable jaws that allow you to lock it in place. When working with the pipes, you will often face a situation where you will have to hold it with one plier and unscrew it with another one. That is where channel locks come in handy.
  • Slip Joint Pliers: They are more commonly known as groove joint pliers. This tool is mainly used to hold other tools when you cannot reach with your hands.
  • Washers

You cannot fix a leak without washers or O-rings. Do not worry, they are very cheap and also come in a large package. Ideally, you would want to have a box of washers and O-rings with you whenever you are fixing a leak in the plumbing. That way, you can replace the old washer and get a tight fit with the new one.

4. Plumbers’ Tape

You cannot use just any tape when working on the waterworks. Plumbers’ tape comes with a strong adhesive that does not wear off with water. For plumbers, this is a must-have tool.

5. Saws and Cutters

You need a few different saws and cutters when you want to take on a plumbing task.

Hacksaw: A hacksaw is necessary to cut rusty old pipes apart. It can also cut through nuts and bolts if you need to.

Hole Saw: The name says it all with this saw. It allows use to run plumbing tubes through the floor or wall by cutting a hole in them.

Hose Cutter: When you are working with copper tubes, you need a hose cutter to cut and shape them.

Tube Cutter: The tube cutter is almost the same as the hose cutter but is used for plastic tubes instead of copper.

Pipe Bender

Pipe benders come in handy when you want to bend the pipes to help them go through a difficult angle. You will often find that you need to adjust the shape of a pipe when fitting it, and that is when you would need this tool.

 6. Plumbers’ Torch

These torches are fueled with propane. If you are working with pipes made of copper, you need this tool to melt and join the pieces.

Final Thoughts

The tools listed on our list should help you find a starting point for the things you would need to start a plumbing job. However, there is a lot more to learn, and without a clear idea, you should never mess with your or anyone’s waterline.

We hope you found our article on essential plumbing tools helpful and informative. Now you can use this knowledge and put it to good use in real life.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.