Every plumbing problem has an impact on the tranquility and comfort of our home. That is why in order to preserve our homes, keep them in good condition at all times, and ensure that they are secure during emergencies, we must make conscious efforts to do so.
Maintaining your plumbing properly is one of the methods to take good care of your house. So as a homeowner, you must always be ready to handle any disasters that may occur in your household, including plumbing problems like leaks, blockages, flooding, and frozen or burst pipes. Since some plumbing projects can be completed without the need to hire a plumber, it is essential for homeowners to have a few key plumbing tools and supplies on hand.
Is it Imperative to “Always” Call a Professional Plumber?
Any homeowner may experience plumbing troubles at any time. The question is: Are you going to call a plumber ASAP? Or, are you going to see beforehand if you can fix the problem on your own?
Tunnel Vision recommends taking a minute to consider whether you can make the repairs yourself before picking up the phone to call your local plumber. As long as you have the correct tools at home and a little bit of knowledge on basic fixes, many common plumbing issues are simple to resolve. A proper plumber’s toolset is definitely worth the investment because making the repair yourself makes you feel truly accomplished. Unless you have a plumbing problem that is significantly more serious or complicated, calling the experts won’t be necessary.
DIY Plumbing is On the Rise
According to the Express Sewer and Drain Team (2022), many individuals nowadays, in an attempt to save money, reduce stress, and feel a sense of success, are taking on more and more do-it-yourself chores around the house. It was estimated that in 2019 about half of the American homeowners’ population engages in DIY home renovation projects, and that DIY house projects are expected to increase by 4.2% in 2022. Among these DIY tasks, plumbing is one issue that some homeowners have tried to handle on their own.
Must-Have Plumbing Tools for Homeowners
One of the most important components of your home that necessitates regular maintenance is the plumbing system. Any parts of your plumbing and fixtures could experience a problem or defect every once in a while. So that you can perform simple troubleshooting and repair, you must at the very least possess the following tools:
Clogs are a frequent plumbing issue that you could occasionally experience. To clear minor clogs in your toilets and drains, you should always keep one or two plungers around the house. The flange plunger and the cup plunger are the types of plungers that a homeowner must have. Between the two, the best tool to use to unclog your toilet is the flange plunger because of its soft rubber construction, which is responsible for creating a reliable seal on your toilet bowl’s curved sides. On the other hand, drains that are lying on level surfaces, like the sink and tub drains, respond well to the cup plunger’s use.
When dealing with drain obstructions that the plunger is unable to manage, one of the indispensable instruments to use is the auger. A toilet auger, a safer variation of a drain snake, comes in different lengths and is designed for removing clogs from toilet drains. It has a revolving handle attached to a metal cable. The cable travels through a hollow tube and may cut through obstructions in drains all the way to the main soil stack. The toilet auger’s best quality is that it won’t scratch the porcelain surfaces of your toilet bowl because the bottom of the auger is protected by a rubber sleeve.
For clearing obstructions from small drains like sinks, showers, and bathtubs, drain snakes are the best tool. A drain snake is wound manually down the drain until it meets the clog, at which point it catches it and is pulled out the same way it went in.
A plumber’s toolbox must always include touch-and-groove pliers. The greatest tool to have on hand is a pair of pliers if you need to loosen, tighten, pull, twist, grab, or hold something. Particularly if your pliers have flexible serrated jaws, it will allow you to snugly grasp objects of various sizes without posing a hand-gripping difficulty on your part.
- Pipe Wrench
The pipe wrench is another basic, user-friendly item that every homeowner should have. It is designed for adjusting the tightness and looseness of household objects, most notably pipe fittings. The pipe wrench has two movable serrated jaws that allow it to fit different pipe sizes and readily grasp fittings. The pipe wrench is the ideal tool to have on hand if you are working (i.e. assembling or disassembling) with threaded pipework.
- Teflon Tape
Also known as plumber’s tape, teflon tape is very useful for making quick repairs to your plumbing system, such as capping a leaky pipe. This material can successfully stop water from seeping out of your piping because it is water-resistant. It also has lubricant, which enables the fittings in your plumbing connections to be threaded smoothly. Teflon tape is absolutely affordable, making it a wise decision to keep some on standby in your plumbing tool bag.
Despite having a rather delicate appearance, hacksaws can cut through various hardware including bolts, screws, metal and plastic pipes, nuts, and more. To ensure precision cutting using this tool, make sure the blade is tight in the frame. You should also always have backup blades on hand in case one breaks.
- Jointing Compound (Plumber’s Putty)
Plumber’s putty can aid in producing a watertight seal. When replacing or upgrading faucets and drains, a small amount of this compound can prevent leaks and hold pieces securely in place.
- Putty Knife
With plumber’s putty comes the putty knife–an inexpensive, small, but necessary tool that helps you in applying and removing caulk and leftover toilet wax.
- Propane Torch
Having a compact self-igniting propane torch at home is practical. This tool is useful especially when you are doing heat soldering jobs, welding, thawing, melting, applying heat treatment, and removing paint and tiling. Be careful when using propane torches though and watch out for nearby flammable surfaces. To avoid accidents, don’t forget to have some fire-resistant cloth around.
A Note of Caution for DIY Homeowners
You should always have a supply of essential plumbing supplies available at home. However, if you have these ten plumbing instruments on hand, you’ll be far more equipped to handle minor plumbing problems that just require quick solutions and troubleshooting. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that everything will go smoothly when doing DIY plumbing just because you have the basic knowledge and tools. It’s possible that things may go awry and may end up costing you much more than hiring a professional plumber would have. Don’t be ashamed to ask for professional assistance if you think the job might be beyond your level of expertise. Simply call your trusted plumber and let the pros take care of your plumbing.