Looking to do some minor DIY plumbing projects around the house? Not sure if you have the right tools for the job? If you're looking to perform a few repairs but aren't sure where to start or what tools you need, you’ve come to the right place. Even if you have no maintenance projects planned, it’s still good to look at your tools and make sure you have these essential plumbing supplies on hand in case you do ever need them.
What problem does it fix? Air leaks around windows and doors and water seeping behind tiles and walls in the bathroom and kitchen.
How to use it: Snip the tip of the caulk cap and pierce the seal. Insert the tube into the caulk gun. Squeeze the trigger to put pressure on the tube, and pipe out a bead to seal cracks, around sinks and bathtubs, and along tile joints in the shower. Go over the bead with your finger to ensure a proper seal.
What to look for when buying: A caulk gun that has a clipper in the handle and a piercer attached so that you can open the cap and break the seal without having to scrounge for other tools.
What problem does it fix? Clogs in the toilet, sink, tub, or shower.
How to use it: Fill or drain the basin, so you have about two inches of water to work with. If there's an overflow (like in a sink or tub), plug it up with a wet rag. Position the plunger over the drain and push down to create a seal. Plunge in a vertical motion for 15 to 20 seconds. Pull the plunger away and check to see if the clog has been dislodged.
What to look for when buying: Buy a flange plunger for toilets, because it’s smaller and has a rubber lip ideal for toilet drains. Get a cup plunger too, which is larger and better for non-toilet drains.
What problem does it fix? Leaking pipes, loose pipes, lost items, and pipes that need to come off.
How to use it: Open the wrench and clamp it around a threaded pipe, nut, or fitting that needs either loosening or tightening. Tighten the wrench around the pipe and twist right (clockwise) to tighten or left (counter-clockwise) to loosen.
What to look for when buying: Pipe wrenches come in different shapes and sizes, but the most versatile one for basic DIY plumbing projects is a straight wrench in a medium size.
Tip: If you're using the pipe wrench to install a new threaded fixture or pipe, use plumber’s tape on the threads to lubricate and help seal the joint.