Your Guide to Plumbing Tools for the New Homeowner
Now that you’re responsible for things that break in your new home, you’ll want to have the right tools on hand. With a handful of quality tools, you should be able to confidently handle most minor plumbing issues that arise – and they will! We’ll cover the basics along with a few specialty items that could make troubleshooting plumbing problems easier.
DIY home repair can be satisfying and will save you money but know your limits. Plumbing problems can go bad quickly if you don’t feel confident about your abilities. When that how-to Youtube video doesn’t quite match up with your fix, Benjamin Franklin is always ready to help.
Common Plumbing Issues
If you’re going to stock the right tools, you’ll want to know what types of plumbing problems you might be facing. Here are the most common household plumbing problems we see on a daily basis:
Dripping faucets. The classic homeowner’s nemesis. Don’t lose money on your water bill. You’ll likely only need a few simple tools to repair your leaky faucets.
Clogged drains. Especially with larger families, clogged drains are inevitable. Make sure you have the tools you need to unclog slow or stopped drains.
Running toilets. Toilets account for the majority of home water use. Don’t let a constantly running toilet add to your expenses.
Clogged toilet. Toilets are critical plumbing equipment. When yours stops flushing it can create panic. But not if you have the right equipment to fix it.
Low water pressure. Water pressure issues could be as simple as installing a new faucet or as complicated as replacing sections of pipe. Do you have the tools you need to work under pressure?
Faulty water heater. If your hot water heater has problems and you don’t have the right tools, you might be in a different kind of hot water.
First Time Homeowner Tool List
Below we break down the different types of plumber tools you’ll want to stock by category. Start with the basics and add as you need. Keep your comfort level in mind. If you’re not sure you feel confident replacing pipe fittings, you probably don’t need to invest in a tubing cutter and pipe threader. Leave those jobs to the pros at Benjamin franklin!
Wrenches are the foundation of your homeowner’s toolkit. There are a surprising number of different types of wrenches, many serving a specific purpose. Here are a few of the wrenches you may need:
Adjustable crescent wrench. Your basic, all-purpose wrench for tightening and loosening bolts and connections. Works on faucets, pipes and more.
Socket wrench. Works well for hard to reach fittings and bolts that are flush with other surfaces.
Adjustable pipe wrench. The heavy duty wrench for larger hex nuts and more difficult connections that require more leverage.
Basin wrench. A very specific tool used to loosen faucet bolts from underneath the counter. A basin wrench extends into those awkward, hard to reach places.
Garbage disposal wrench. (not pictured) If you have a garbage disposal, this allen-style wrench allows you to turn the grinding plates manually to dislodge clogs.
Water pump pliers. Not technically a wrench but serves a similar function. These pliers adjust to various sizes to give you a solid purchase on bolts and nuts of all sizes.
Clogs are a natural occurrence when you own a home. Food, hair, grease and who knows what can stop your drains from doing their jobs. Here’s what you need to open them back up again:
Cup plunger. This is your basic, go-to plunger for sinks.
Flange plunger. Specifically for unclogging your toilet. It has an extra flap or flange beneath to create a tight seal around your toilet bowl’s opening.
Drain snake. Essentially a wound metal cable that you push down drains and into pipes to break up clogs and jams. They can be powered or manual. Use the crank to maneuver them through turns and bends in your plumbing and reach those difficult clogs.
Toilet auger. Similar to a drain snake but designed for a toilet. The extended handle gives you more leverage for reaching clogs down your toilet’s drain.
Pipe Work Tools
If you do any type of pipe work, you’ll need several tools for cutting, threading and installing pipes.
Tubing cutter/ plastic pipe cutter. Cuts metal, PVC and other pipes to size to replace old pipes or adding new plumbing.
Pipe bender. (not pictured) Add bends to custom fit pipes.
Pipe threader. (not pictured) Put threads on any pipe after cutting.
Torch, solder and flux brush. Permanently secure copper pipes in place.
PVC cement. Seal PVC pipes securely.
There’s always something you’ll forget. Here is a list of uncategorized plumbing tools for new homeowners to keep on hand:
- Bucket. For catching drips, holding tools and bailing water.
- Caulk gun. Seal edges around sinks, toilets, pipes and more.
- Plumber’s putty/ tape. Create a watertight seal over pipe threads before making connections.
- Putty knife. Scrape away old putty and caulking.
- Washers and O-Rings. Replace worn out gaskets on faucets and hoses.
- Safety goggles and work gloves. Protect yourself while on the job.
The Best Plumbing Tools and Advice
Now you’ve got a grasp on the best plumbing tools for a given job. Look to Benjamin Franklin’s blog for advice on how to quickly solve any plumbing problem that comes up.
When plumbing problems feel bigger than your skill set, contact your neighborhood plumbers at Benjamin Franklin. We love meeting new homeowners in the Dallas, Plano and McKinney areas. We’ll help you keep your new home in great shape and show you how to protect your investment for years to come.