From time to time, minor plumbing issues are unavoidable. Being prepared for even the simplest of plumbing problems can be a huge benefit to any homeowner. Amazingly, most common plumbing issues are fixable with a handful of common tools. You can find all the tools we list at your local hardware store, like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
So… what exactly are the best tools to have, for say – a clogged toilet or a leaky faucet? Here are five plumbing tools every homeowner should have in their home:
1# – Plunger
The plunger is the mainstay of your arsenal when it comes to combating plumbing issues. Toilet and drain clogs are very common issues that most homeowners will face daily. Every home should carry this essential tool.
There are two types of plungers: a flange plunger and common cup plunger. A more in-depth read on the differences between plungers can be found in our earlier post here. Long story short, the common plunger is best used for clearing out drain clogs in your sink and bathtub.
Flange plungers, on the other hand, are best for clearing out toilet clogs. This is due to the flap piece at the end. The extra piece allows the plunger to make a snug fit on the toilet opening. The result is better suction and more pressure to clear out the toughest of clogs.
2# – Adjustable Pipe Wrench
For number two, we have the adjustable pipe wrench. This wrench’s main use is for tackling hexagonal connections you’ll often find on piping. Being adjustable, you can use it on a variety of different pipe widths. Featuring a two-sided serrated jaw, the adjustable pipe wrench allows you to clamp and hold down wet nuts and bolts with zero slippage.
When working on delicate or visible fixtures, use a cloth or tape as a barrier between the jaws and piping. This way, you’ll avoid leaving any visible markings on your plumbing fixture.
3# – Basin Wrench
Basin wrench is our number three. This specialty plumbing tool is a staple most professional plumbers carry around. However, for the DIY homeowner aficionado, this is one plumbing tool you’ll want to own. The basic wrench is pretty much a one trick pony. Mind you, it’s a pony that does its trick pretty darn well: installation or removal of faucet fixtures.
The basin wrench features a long handle with a jawed head. It’s main purpose is reaching those hard to reach places to loosen nuts. When it comes to faucets, they’re usually secured by mounting nuts found at the bottom of the sink, near the basin. You can try and use a standard wrench to attempt and loosen these nuts. You’ll soon find these standard wrenches are near useless at gripping low-profile nuts in tight spaces. This is where a basin wrench will come in handy. So always keep one available for those faucet fixture adjustments or repairs!
4# – Teflon Tape (Plumber’s Tape)
Fourth on our list, we have Teflon Tape. Also known as plumber’s tape, Teflon tape is useful for sealing the joint threads of piping. This tool is perfect for patching up minor leaks on fixtures with worn out joints. Frequently used fixtures such as shower heads or kitchen faucets come to mind. This tape is a quick and inexpensive way to temporarily resolve those pesky leaks.
To properly use Teflon tape, you must wrap the tape in the proper direction. When you turn the pipe into the fitting, the joined threads should produce a friction that works in tandem to tighten and seal the tape around the pipe. Wrap it in the wrong direction and you will only unravel the Teflon when you try to turn the pipe during fitting. Best rule of thumb is to wrap the Teflon in the opposite direction of tightening.
For example: If turning clockwise tightens the pipe, apply the Teflon tape on the thread in the counterclockwise direction.
5# – Drain Snake
The final plumbing tool we recommend every homeowner should have is a drain auger. You can use the drain auger to unclog most common household fixtures with a small drain. This includes your sink, bathtub, and shower. This tool is an absolute must for those difficult drain clogs your plunger can’t beat. A drain snake is a lengthy, flexible retractable wire coil that you push down your drain to dislodge a clog. To use, run your drain snake cable down the drain till you feel the clog. When you hit the clog, reel back and turn the hand crank attached to your end. Repeat till the clog is clear.
For toilet clogs, we recommend against the use of a drain snake. This is due to toilets having a different size drain and will thus need a separate tool. Toilet or closet augers are specifically made for toilets. They feature a metal rod with a curve which helps guide the auger down into the toilet drain. The metal curve also has a rubber cover, which protects the porcelain bowl from scratches.
Emergency Plumbing Service With True Service Plumbing
If you’re currently experiencing a plumbing emergency or a situation requiring expert advice, call our professionals at True Service Plumbing.
We are available 24/7 to take your call and respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.
Our licensed plumbers will assess your home’s plumbing system and determine the root cause of your issue, and perform the services necessary to get your plumbing up and running again.
From burst and frozen pipes, basement flooding, to drain repair and more – True Service Plumbing has your back when it comes to all things plumbing.