Useful Tools and Materials for Plumbing Projects

Professional plumbers drive around with plenty of specialty equipment on their trucks, homeowners can handle more of their own needs with just a handful of plumbing tools. 

1. Sink Auger

A sink auger also called a drum auger or canister auger is the ultimate weapon for breaking up and clearing clogs in sink and tub drains.

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A sink auger consists of a flexible stainless steel cable with a corkscrew tip at the end.

The cable is coiled within a drum canister and is extended into a drain to reach a clog and clear it.

2. Toilet or Closet Auger

The toilet auger also called a closet auger or water closet auger is used to clear clogs in toilets.

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A toilet auger has a long metal rod with a bend for reaching into the hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl.

A rubber sleeve covers the bend to protect the porcelain in the toilet from being scratched.

3. Flange Plunger

The flange plunger, or ball or toilet plunger, is a specially shaped plunger used to clear clogs in toilets.

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It works like a regular plunger but has a flange with an extended rubber flap below the dome of the plunger head that helps seal around the hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl.

4. Cup Plunger

The cup plunger may be the most common plumbing tool in the home.

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Do not use this plunger for clearing toilet clogs; that requires a specially shaped plunger called a flange plunger previous slide. Some flange plungers, though, can be used as standard cup plungers when the flange is tucked up inside.

5. Plumber's Tape

Plumber's tape is an essential material for preventing leaks at threaded plumbing connections.

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Plumber's tape is a thin white tape that you wrap around threads on pipes and fittings before twisting the parts together.

6. Channel-Type Pliers

Channel-type pliers are commonly known by the brand name Channel-Locks, and are also known as slip-joint pliers.

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They're similar to regular adjustable pliers but have extended adjustment sections as well as angled jaws, allowing you to grip pipes or other plumbing parts of almost any size.

7. Adjustable Pipe Wrench

An adjustable pipe wrench is the quintessential metal plumbing tool. It provides tremendous leverage and grip.

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A pipe wrench leaves teeth marks behind and is not recommended for removal of shiny fixtures or for small or fragile pipes, like copper water pipes.

8. Faucet Valve-Seat Wrench

A faucet valve-seat wrench is a simple tool used to remove the valve seats on a compression faucet.

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When the washer wears out, the valve seat can become damaged and rough, preventing a complete seal. When that happens, you can remove the valve seat and replace it, using a valve seat wrench. If the seat is not removable, you must regrind it to a smooth surface using a reseating tool.

9. Faucet Packing, Washers and O-rings

Faucet packing and rubber washers and O-rings are lifesavers for fixing leaky valves on sinks, radiators, and other old or traditional equipment.

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Rubber washers and O-rings are sold in variety packs containing several different shapes and sizes. If you're fixing an old faucet and can't find an official replacement part at the store, a variety pack well have the part you need.

10. Tubing Cutter

The tubing cutter is an essential plumbing tool if you're working with copper pipe.

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Copper requires clean, square cuts, and tubing cutters do just that with much less effort than a hacksaw. It has a thin cutting wheel that cuts the metal and a flat pressure wheel that applies pressure when you turn the tool's knob.

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