The Complete List of the 25 Plumbing Tools Every Contractor Needs
Being prepared for a plumbing job and having the right tools is crucial for the success of any project. From a plumber’s torch to a plumber’s putty, these tools will help you handle any plumbing problem. This list is a great resource for any tools and gadgets that are needed for any professional plumber.
If we are talking basic plumbing tools, no hand tool beats a plunger. Most homeowners should own a plunger, but it is also one of the number one items on a plumbing tools list. It is essential a plumber should carry one. Plumbers should be equipped with the specific plunger that will be the right fit for each job.
1. Cup Plunger
The most common plunger is the cup plunger. It is used for unclogging showers, sinks, and bathtubs by putting a rubber cap over the drain.
2. Flange Plunger
A flange plunger is a plunger specifically made for unclogging toilets. It is a cup plunger that has a soft rubber flap designed to fit snugly into the hole of the toilet to seal well for optimal pressure. Certain flange plungers can fold and be used as cup plungers as well.
Pliers allow for the tightening and loosening of nuts and bolts in smaller and harder to reach places. This tool can come in handy when a wrench doesn’t fit in the space you need to contact.
3. Channel Locks
Channel locks, or tongue and groove pliers, are pliers with adjustable jaws that can lock into place depending on the size you need them to be. They are often used when you need two pliers of the same size, or when you must hold one pipe with pliers and unscrew the second pipe with the other.
4. Slip Joint Pliers
Slip joint pliers are also known as water pump pliers or groove pliers. These are often used for gripping other tools because they have a slot in the head that slides up and down and adjusts to the width you need.
5. Drain Snake
When the plunger isn’t clearing the clog, using a snake is the next step. A snake is a motorized device with a cable that is fed down a pipe in a circular motion to clear any obstructions in the pipeline. Drain snakes usually clear smaller lines, generally 1-1/4″ -2″.
6. Drain Auger
A drain auger functions the same way a snake does, but it is used to clear more extensive lines, usually 1-1/2″ -3″. You can also get a hand auger, which functions the same way, but is handheld.
Wrenches come in all shapes and sizes and are used for various jobs. It is essential to make sure that you have the proper wrench, or pipe wrenches, for each project. This is an important item to have on your own plumbing tools list.
7. Adjustable Pipe Wrench
Pipe Wrenches are designed to grip pipes tightly with their sharp teeth. This adjustable wrench is usually only used on heavy-duty fixtures such as galvanized steel or iron, for they will leave teeth marks on smaller, shiny pipes.
8. Basin Wrench
A basin wrench is a specialized tool used specifically for work on faucets. It is a specialized wrench that is able to fit into tight spaces. It is designed to be T-shaped and has a clamp-like mechanism so it can reach behind the basin of a sink to install or remove the valve.
9. Faucet Valve-Seat Wrench
When a seal has dried up and cracked, leaks occur in any item that uses water lines, such as radiators or sinks. Once the old seal has been removed, a faucet valve-seat wrench is a proper tool to use to help install a new seal.
10. Faucet Keys
Faucet keys aren’t necessarily a type of wrench, but they are a necessary tool needed to open and close spigots and sillcocks. They are small, X-shaped tool with different stem fittings of various sizes.
11. Allen Wrench
An Allen wrench is a small L-shaped wrench that comes in many different sizes. The hexagonal heads are used with many plumbing fasteners, so it is essential to get an assortment of sizes to be fully prepared.
12. Stubby Screwdriver
A stubby screwdriver is a small screwdriver used for screws in small spaces when a drill or normal-sized screwdriver cannot reach.
13. Plumber’s Tape (Thread Sealing Tape)
Plumber’s tape, also known as thread sealing tape, it the thin tape wrapped around the threads on pipes and fittings before they are put together. It is utilized to prevent possible leaks at the joints. A good quality plumber’s tape will be able to withstand high and low temperatures, as well as stretch to better fit each pipe end.
Saws and Cutters
Saws and different cutting tools are important to have on the job site. Pipes may need to be resized and cut, holes need to be made to fit plumbing, and sometimes old rusty fixtures need to be cut open.
Frequently, pipes and tubing get rusty, or you cannot remove old nuts and bolts, and you need a tool to take them apart. A hacksaw will come in handy when removing a variety of hardware such as old pipes, nuts, bolts, and screws. It is essential to secure the blade tightly, and to keep extra blades, to be properly prepared
15. Hole Saw
A hole saw is simply a saw used to cut holes in flooring or walls to run plumbing piping through.
16. Tube and Plastic Pipe Cutters
As a plumber, you will frequently need to deal with copper or plastic pipes, and there will be times when you need to remove and replace them. The pipe cutters, or tubing cutters, are used by clamping onto the pipe and rotating it entirely around the pipe. Each couple of rotations, the tubing cutters should be tightened, and as a result, the tube will be cut all the way through.
Borescopes are small cameras attached to a long, flexible cable. They meant to be inserted far down drains and supply lines to give plumbers a look at anything obstructing the pipe, or the condition of the pipe they are inspecting. Borescopes are now standard on a plumbing tools list, for they allow professionals to gather more information about what they are working with.
18. Washers and O-Rings
Washers and O-rings work to keep seals tight and prevent leaks from occurring. When they get old, they dry up and crack, so it is crucial to remove the old ones and replace them with newer ones. Washers and O-rings come in all different sizes, so for you to get the proper seal, you must have the appropriate size.
19. Pipe Bender
A pipe bender is a tool used to bend pipes into various shapes to fit into the space that they are going to be installed. It can be used to bend pipes around corners or shape a pipe to replicate an old existing pipe that needs to be replaced.
20. Metal File
Metal files are a great tool to have on hand when cutting pipes. A metal file is used to smooth down any rough edges once the pipe is cut. This can be used on all types of pipes, whether they are plastic pipes or metal.
21. Plumber’s Torch
Copper pipes are sealed using solder, and in order for the solder to melt, you must use heat. A plumber’s torch is a small, handheld torch used to seal pipes by melting the solder to hold the copper pipes together. The torch works by applying a very intense heat in specific and precise areas to seal up new or replaced copper piping.
22. Business Software
As times are changing, more and more contractors are switching over to software to manage and keep a record of all payments, labor hours, and estimates. Keeping records through software allows you to have all the information necessary at your fingertips, wherever you go.
Finally, some of the most critical tools on a plumbing tools list are safety tools. A plumber should always have protective tools to stay safe on the job site.
In the plumbing business, things can get messy when dealing with a plumbing problem. Many tasks that plumbers must do involve dangers to the eyes, such as carefully inspecting leaks or soldering pipes together. A good plumber values his or her safety, so wearing goggles while on the job is crucial.
It is not shocking that plumbers must deal with many situations where they would not want to be using their bare hands. Having a good set of gloves handy will protect your hands and help you to keep a better grip when pipes are wet.
25. Heat Shields
As mentioned before, soldering can be a large part of a plumber’s job. If that is the case, having the proper protection is vital to keep you and the homeowner’s property safe. There are many heat shields available that function to prevent heat damage on the property and any fires from occurring.
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