10 Plumbing Tools And Materials Every Homeowner Needs To Have

Homeowners don’t need a plumbing license to take care of simple plumbing issues around the house. When problems arise, it helps to have the following basic tools and materials on hand.

  1. Sink auger

Also called a canister auger or drum auger, a sink auger is used to break up and clear clogs in sink and tub drains. The tool is made of a flexible stainless steel cable and a corkscrew at the end. The cable is coiled within a drum canister and extends into a drain to break up and clear the clog.

  1. Toilet or closet auger

The toilet auger has a long metal rod that bends to reach the drain at the bottom of the toilet bowl. The auger can be pushed and rotated to snake through the drain and clear the clog.

  1. Flange plunger

The flange plunger is used to clear toilet clogs. The extended rubber flap below the dome of the plunger head helps create a strong seal to effectively build the hydraulic pressure necessary to dislodge clogs.

  1. Cup plunger

The most common plumbing tool is the cup plunger, which is used to clear clogs in showers, sinks, and tubs.

  1. Plumber’s tape

Plumber’s tape is the basic material used to prevent leaks at threaded plumbing connections. The white tape, made with polytetrafluoroethylene, also adds some lubricant to help seal the joint.

  1. Channel-type pliers

Also known as slip-joint pliers, channel-type pliers have extended adjustment sections, long handles, and angled jaws that allow you to grip pipes and other plumbing parts.

  1. Adjustable pipe wrench

The adjustable pipe wrench provides leverage and grip, particularly for round objects, by digging its sharp serrated teeth into a pipe. This tool is primarily used on galvanized steel and iron pipes and heavy-duty fixtures with rough finishes like outdoor spigots and hydrants.

  1. Faucet valve-seat wrench

This tool is used to remove the valve seats on a compression faucet.

  1. Faucet packing, washers, and O-rings

Rubber washers, O-rings, and faucet packing are used to fix leaky valves in radiators, sinks, and other plumbing equipment. Rubber washers and O-rings are sold in packs containing several shapes and sizes. Faucet packing is a graphite- or wax-coated string that is wrapped around valve stems and packed under packing unts to create a waterproof seal.

  1. Tubing cutter

Last but not least, the tubing cutter is used to cut copper pipes. It has a thin cutting wheel that cuts the metal and a flat pressure wheel that applies pressure when the knob is turned.