Plumbing Tools Every New Homeowner Should Own

Posted on: 24 June 2015

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With homeownership comes great responsibility, like performing acts of standard home maintenance and repair. Owning these tools will empower you to take on plumbing projects around the house, so you can take care of your new investment. 

Plumbing Wrenches, Multiple Sizes

Plumbing wrenches are an invaluable tool for loosening corroded sticky pipes and opening tricky valves. Plumbing wrenches come with serrated, adjustable jaws for gripping pipes of various sizes. Plumbing wrenches are generally sold in sizes determined by the length of the handle. It's a good idea to have more than one plumbing wrench because big wrenches are necessary for big pipes, and small wrenches are necessary for tight spaces.  

Caulking Gun

It seems like all basic bathroom remodeling and repair jobs require caulk. Caulk is used for waterproofing, sealing and in some cases, as an adhesive. You'll need a caulk gun for installing baseboards, painting in the bathroom, installing new faucets and hooking up plumbing to a new sink or bathtub. Caulk guns come in two basic types: rotary and pneumatic (air powered).

Pneumatic caulk guns offer better control and easier cleanup, but can't be used without an air compressor. If you have no compressor, look for a quality rotary caulk gun. Bottom-of-the-line caulk guns may get the job done, but higher-end caulk guns will be easier to load and feature ergonomic controls for a better experience overall. A word to the wise: if you've never used a caulk gun before, test one out on a scrap board before using it on a surface in your house. Caulk guns can make a mess if they're not handled properly. 

Basin Wrench

Basin wrenches are used to tighten or loosen threaded nuts in recessed, hard-to-reach areas, like the space under a kitchen or bathroom sink. Basin wrenches are frequently (though not always) a requirement when replacing faucets in bathrooms and kitchens.

Plumbing Auger

The plumbing auger is the homeowner's version of an electric plumber's snake. Augers are powered by a manual crank and are used to snake drains without the use of harsh drain chemicals. This is an especially important tool in older homes with pipes that can be damaged by chemical drain cleaners. 

Plunger

Hopefully you owned this tool before you moved into your house. Plungers are a staple in all households, even apartments. Now that you're responsible for taking care of your own plumbing clogs, consider upgrading to a more expensive model. Your old cup-style plunger will still work for clogged sinks, but for a better seal in a toilet, buy a good quality flange plunger. 

For more tips, stop by a professional plumbing supply store, like Beebe Inc, and speak with a customer service representative. He or she will be able to show you the basic tools that you should keep on hand.