4 Essential Plumbing Tools

6 Nov 2014
The plumbing tools necessary to aid you in your DIY plumbing projects. Tools for adjusting, cutting and clearing.
Plumbing Tools on blueprint

If you own your home or even if you rent, you’re going to come across a plumbing problem or two, at one point or another. If you like taking things into your own hands you become “The DIY Plumber” when the situation arises. Here are the four main tools that are essential for solving those plumbing problems yourself.

Slip-Joint Pliers

This tool has a center point that can be moved to increase the size range of the jaw. This means that it can accommodate pipes of various sizes, fitting around them comfortably. These pliers come in different varieties including, straight slip joint pliers, tongue-and-groove pliers and lineman’s pliers. The straight slip joint and the lineman’s pliers are configured quite similarly, so don’t mix them up. Slip-joint pliers are great for adjusting loose pipes that may cause leakage. They are very versatile, and come in various sizes, ranging from very small, only a few inches, to very large, up to 10 inches long.

Basin Wrench

A basin wrench is a specialty holding and turning tool, now don’t let the word “specialty” fool you, it can be used by DIYers, and is one of the best!  It is made up of a long shaft with a pair of asymmetrical jaws at one end and a transverse handle at the other end. It is quite the plumbing problem solver and is a must have. It is used to turn fasteners in confined spaces where it wouldbe difficult or even impossible to use any other plumbing wrench. Take for example the threaded nuts that secure your faucets to the sinks that are located in deeply recessed places, they can only be reached using a basin wrench.


A good hacksaw is needed for cutting any type of pipe, stubborn bolts, nuts or screws. You may need more than one type of hacksaw, a small one and a large one for different type of repairs. A hacksaw is a fine-toothed saw that can be used to cut both metal and plastics. Hacksaws come in handsaw versions and powered versions, but for DIY plumbing the handsaw is best.  Handheld hacksaws have a semi-circular frame which accommodates the blade. Hacksaws use disposable blades, and their frames may also be adjustable, making it possible to use blades of different sizes.

Toilet Plunger
Toilet Plunger

I know what you’re thinking, that’s not a tool but it is, and you may use it a lot if you and your family have a heavy hand when using toilet paper. The plunger is used to release stoppages in plumbing. It’s made up of a rubber cup with an attached stick or shaft which is usually wood or plastic. The cup is pushed down  against the drain opening and either pressed hard into the drain to force air in, or is pushed down until the rubber cup is flattened then pulled out, this action removes the clogging material and may have to be repeated several times until the passage is cleared.