There are more than 500,000 plumbers in the U.S. today. And just about all of them will tell you that they wouldn’t be able to perform their jobs without easy access to certain tools.
A plumber can have all the experience in the world when it comes to making repairs. But if they don’t have the right tools in their truck, they’re not going to be able to tackle plumbing problems and fix them.
If you’re a handyman who dabbles in plumbing every now and then, you should make sure that you have these tools nearby at all times. Here are 10 essential plumber tools that every handyman needs.
The vast majority of plumbing issues within a home or business can be fixed with a simple plunger. From clogged toilets to slow-moving drains, you can get rid of many plumbing problems by turning to a trusty plunger.
2. Hand Auger
Although plungers are very effective as far as clearing clogs in a plumbing system is concerned, there are some stubborn clogs that you won’t be able to knock out with a plunger. When this is the case, it helps to have a hand auger around.
Also referred to as a plumber’s snake, a hand auger allows you to send a flexible metal cable down into plumbing pipes to clear a clog. You can remove clogs from toilets, sinks, showers, and more in a matter of minutes with a hand auger.
3. Adjustable Wrench
There are a variety of hand tools that every good plumber needs to have. You could argue that an adjustable wrench is the most important hand tool of the bunch.
Adjustable wrenches are designed to help plumbers and handymen alike tighten and loosen hex-shaped nuts. Whether you’re installing a new kitchen sink or replacing an old showerhead, it’s good to have an adjustable wrench that’s up for the challenge.
4. Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
Plumbers and handymen often have to work in confined spaces when working on plumbing projects. Therefore, it’s essential for them to have a tool that makes it easy to grab and pull on things that they need to tighten or loosen.
Tongue-and-groove pliers, also called Channellocks, are the perfect plumber tools for this exact purpose. Whether you’re trying to get to something that’s difficult to reach or attempting to hold something in place, tongue-and-groove pliers will get the job done.
5. Basin Wrench
The nuts that hold sinks in place can be almost impossible for you to reach with a regular wrench. There isn’t enough room for you to fit a wrench and use it.
It makes basin wrenches invaluable plumber tools for those who are frequently tasked with installing and removing kitchen and bathroom sinks. These wrenches have a long shaft, as well as a swiveling jaw, that can lock tight onto nuts located behind sinks and help to tighten or loosen them.
If you spend enough time working on plumbing systems, there will come times when you’ll need to cut plumbing pipes, hardware, and even nuts and bolts to remove them from a plumbing system. A good hacksaw will help you do it.
Hacksaws can be used to cut everything from metal and plastic plumbing pipes to the nuts and bolts that are used to keep them in place. Just make sure you have plenty of fresh blades for your hacksaw in your toolbox so that you don’t ever get stuck trying to use a dull one.
7. Pipe Cutters
When you’re installing new plumbing pipes in a plumbing system, you’ll often need to cut them down to size so that they’ll fit. Pipe cutters will help you carry out this task in no time.
Pipe cutters should be able to tackle both metal and plastic plumbing pipes without a problem. You can cut plumbing pipes so you can install them and ensure that they fit properly.
8. Metal File
After you cut metal plumbing pipes, the edges of them will be anything but smooth. You shouldn’t install them until you’re able to file down the rough edges.
Keeping a metal file in your toolbox will make it super easy to do away with rough edges on metal plumbing pipes. There are half-round metal files as well as rat-tail metal files that can handle the edges on any metal plumbing pipes with ease.
9. Plumber’s Putty
Plumber’s putty is a moldable material that can be utilized to create watertight seals around plumbing pipes. It should not be used on pipes that are going to be subjected to pressure. But it’s great for using on drainpipes and other plumbing connections where pressure isn’t a factor.
One thing worth noting is that plumber’s putty is not the same thing as duct sealant, which is another soft compound that handymen can use for HVAC projects. When you compare here, you’ll see what sets plumber’s putty apart from duct sealant.
Make sure you use plumber’s putty on plumbing jobs and save duct sealant for HVAC repairs.
10. Propane Torch
If you feel comfortable using one, a propane torch is a great tool to have around when you’re working on plumbing projects. It can be used to solder copper plumbing pipes and to make repairs to them.
Look for a self-igniting torch that won’t require you to carry around a pack of matches with it.
Add These Plumber Tools to Your Toolbox Today
When you have all of these plumber tools in your toolbox, you should be ready to tackle any plumbing project. It’s a good idea to invest in them before you start providing handyman services.
It’s also a good idea to buy high-quality tools if you plan to work on plumbing systems. Your tools are going to get put to the test early and often, and the last thing you want is for them to give out on you right in the middle of a plumbing job.
Now that you have the tools you need, check out our blog to learn more about some basic plumbing repairs.