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Tools And Materials

Plumbing Tool Guide

Of course some plumbing jobs will require other tools, the list provided here is a great default list. These tools should have you covered for the more common procedures. All are fairly inexpensive and widely available at home improvement and hardware stores.

Tip: When buying tools, pay a bit more for quality. Crummy tools don't work as well and add time (and anxiety) to the task.

Washers and O-rings
These little rubber pieces wear out, especially when hot water flows through them and their erosion is a typical reason for dripping compression faucets, both at the handles and the nozzle.

Plungers
Have both a small plunger handy for stopped drains and a large one for clogged toilets.

Plumber's Snake
A Cable auger (aka plumber's snake) is used to clear lines when a plunger is ineffective. A hand auger will be easier to use for many clogs.

Smooth Jawed Wrench
An adjustable smooth-jawed wrench is great because it won't grind the finish off surfaces.

Pipe Wrench
It is a good idea to have a few different sizes of pipe wrenches. If you want to keep only one around, choose a medium sized one, like a 12 or 14 inch.

Pipe Cutter
Pipe cutters are much better than a saw at making a clean cut through copper pipe.

Plumber's Tape
Joint compound, or plumber's tape, helps seal the threading on steel pipes, prevents rust and makes it much easier to take everything apart when needed. A must-have when you need to replace pipes or stop a leak at a connection.

Seat Wrench
This small, inexpensive tool is specially designed to remove the valve seat part of your compression faucet (where the hot and cold spigots sit.

Other Must Haves
Some other tools you'll want to make sure you have on hand include:

  • Plumber's putty or silicone caulk
  • WD40
  • Petroleum Jelly (yep, good ol' Vaseline)
  • Channel pliers

Now that your plumber's larder is stocked, you can finally get started on all your home plumbing repair jobs.

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