Tools for the DIY Plumber

Included in this article:

  • Basic plumbing tools
  • Where to find them
  • Insiders secrets

Murphy’s Law of Repairmen states: The rate of failure is inversely proportional to the ease of finding a repairman, and I’m pretty sure that little ditty was conceived over a stopped-up sink. Nothing will ruin a festive mood faster than pile of greasy pots and pans and a clogged sink with company in bound. But with a little advance preparation and the right plumbing tools you might be able to knock out that clog out, save the dinner party and come out looking like the handyman hero we know you are. (read on…)

If you’ve never tried to get a plumber to come to your house after five in the afternoon, on a weekend or, gulp, show up on a holiday, you’re in for a treat. And I don’t mean something nice. I mean basically prepare to have a vacuum cleaner attached to your wallet.

Plumbers are professionals and I’m not saying they don’t deserve to charge overtime or weekend and holiday rates. What I am saying is that you might be able to avoid paying any charges at all… if you’re prepared.

The first step in being prepared is pulling together a set of basic plumbing tools designed specifically to handle clogged pipes, dripping faucets and sluggish showerheads. Take a look at the list below.

  • A bucket. Trust me, whenever water is involved you will need a large, durable bucket.
  • A basic plunger for clearing drains. Priced at under $2. There’s no reason not to have one.
  • Adjustable pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • A ratcheting Pipe cutter
  • Pipe wrench. Pick up 1 – 2 in different sizes and weights.
  • A plumber’s snake. This item is also called a power drum auger.
  • If you have copper pipes you will need a blow torch, Flux and soldier
  • Now for some trick stuff.
  • A basin wrench. This is a long handled wrench specifically designed to slide up behind a sink to loosen those hard-to-reach pipe fittings.
  • Drain cleaning bladders. This is a relatively new and inexpensive product with a great design that can come in handy for blasting out a clog. They come in sizes small, medium and large, go ahead and pick up one of each.
  • Plumber’s Putty. This product is designed to prevent leaks on items that will not have pressure behind them.
  • Teflon Plumber’s tape. This product is used to seal pipe threads against leaks. Have some of both on hand.
  • Universal stem attachments* (Eric, this is shown in your AOL video but I couldn’t find anything about it online – suggestions?)

Most of these plumbing tools are relatively inexpensive and easy to find in the plumbing aisle of your neighborhood hardware store so there’s absolutely no reason for you to find yourself in a plumbing pickle.
See the links below for more information on some of the products we mentioned and be sure and read some of our other articles on resolving plumbing issues, such as: Unclog a Drain, Fix A Running Toilet, Improve Your Showerhead Water Pressure and How To Tell When You Need a Professional.
Drain Bladders by Cobra:

Plumbers Putty:  click here

Basin Wrench