Plumbing Tools Every Home Should Have


Here’s a simple piece of advice: Keep your plumbing tools handy for routine maintenance and general upkeep of your home plumbing system.

Those who practice preventative maintenance can save lots of money in the long run, preventing large-scale repairs as a home ages. In addition, keeping your plumbing in tip-top shape keeps your pipes efficient and reduces water consumption. Here are some must-have plumbing tools for your home.

Basin Wrench

  • Description: Long shaft, swiveling jaw.
  • Purpose: Tightens and loosens nuts that hold sink faucets in place.
  • Why It’s Great: Easily fits into hard-to-reach locations.

Pipe Wrench

  • Description: Large, heavy and available in different sizes.
  • Purpose: Tightens and loosens pipes, fittings and nuts.
  • Why It’s Great: Useful for gripping and turning pipes. Jaws grip one way and slide the other way.

Hang Auger

  • Description: Hand-cranked, drain-cleaning tool. Also known as a plumber’s snake.
  • Purpose: Unclogs drains when plungers fail.
  • Why It’s Great: Very effective for tubs, drain lines, toilets, sinks and showers.


  • Description: If you don’t know, you may want to call in the experts!
  • Purpose: Unclogging drains.
  • Why It’s Great: Indispensable. First go-to tool for many home plumbing emergencies.

Slip-joint Pliers

  • Description: Jaws in-line with handles and designed to pivot.
  • Purpose: Removes large nuts with ease.
  • Why It’s Great: Useful in a variety of plumbing jobs.

Home Plumbing Tips

  • Little leaks can lead to bigger problems – stay alert. Some of the most common signs of a plumbing problem are leaking faucets, dripping refrigerators, damp closets and rocking toilets.
  • Fix little problems early before they become big ones. One of the most common scenarios is ignoring leaks until you have a mold and mildew situation.
  • Know where the main shut-off valve is located and how to turn off your appliances in the case of a plumbing emergency.
  • Prevent frozen pipes before they start by insulating exposed pipe in your crawl space of garage with plastic, peel-and-stick insulation. Also remove water hoses and stick insulating caps on outdoor water fixtures.
  • Be sure to have a plumbing maintenance schedule in place. (If you feel like you need to bring in the pros, On Time Elmer can help!)
  • Remember that your toilet is not a trash can, and your water disposal is not a compost pile. Be careful of what you put into each.

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