Plumbing work requires a wide range of tools and equipment to perform any task. These tools are necessary to work with pipes, water heating systems, gas lines, valves, or hydro-pneumatic devices.
When it comes to carrying out activities related to installing pipes for both drinking and wastewater networks heating, among others, it’s essential to have tools for carrying out these jobs quickly and efficiently.
Not knowing a specific plumbing tool can turn a simple task into a mission impossible. However, constant training, practice, and study of the tools will guarantee better results.
Plumbing tools help in carrying out work with pipes efficiently. There are different scenarios where each tool has a different purpose. It’s essential to know at least the basic tools for these different jobs if you want to carry out any renovation or repair tasks.
Below, you will find a list of all the plumbing tools described in this article. Click on each name to see what they look like and what they are used for:
1. Plunger Cup | 2. Toilet Auger | 3. Teflon Tape | 4. Adjustable Wrench | 5. Pipe Wrench | 6. Faucet Seat Wrench | 7. Chain Wrench | 8. Grip Pliers | 9. Taps and Dies | 10. Copper Tube Cutters | 11. PVC Pipe Cutters | 12. Cordless Drill | 13. Hacksaw | 14. Plumber’s Torch | 15. Hand Auger | 16. Drain Cleaner Machine | 17. Protection Gloves | 18. Protection Glasses or Goggles | 19. Tube Benders | 20. Borescope | 21. Drain Rod Tool Set | 22. Air Duster | 23. Soldering Wire | 24. Measuring Tape | 25. Bubble Level
1. Plunger Cup
Practically every home has a plunger because of how useful they are for getting rid of clogs. While it may seem redundant for a plumber to have a plunger, every plumbing tool kit should come equipped with one.
Most home plungers are strong enough for everyday clogs, but plumbers are usually only called when the clog is too much for homeowners to handle themselves.
The plungers that plumbers use are heavy-duty and provide much more suction power than the average home plunger.
Plumbers will typically try plunging a clog first, but once this method fails, that’s when they will try to figure out what is wrong with your plumbing system.
2. Toilet Auger
For pesky toilet clogs, plumbers come equipped with a handy toilet auger to remedy the situation.
The toilet auger is commonly called a plumber’s snake.
It’s a unique tool with an offset handle, a long handle, and a small special drill to go through the blockage or, in exceptional cases, retrieve the blockage.
The drill end is connected via a flexible handle to a crank that you control.
3. Teflon Tape
Teflon tape, which is often referred to as plumber’s tape, is a favorite staple among plumbers.
Pipe joint connections are one of the most used connection methods in piping.
However, these connections are typically where the most leaks happen. To prevent this, plumbers use plumber’s tape to patch up these areas.
With this tape, it’s possible to adjust tubes of any material to the water outlet of the pipes in showers, sinks, bathtubs, etc.
It consists of white Teflon tape that correctly seals any space between the pipe joint to avoid leaks and seepage.
4. Adjustable Wrench
Adjustable wrenches are a staple for any hands-on work.
If you have a toolbox, the chances are that you have a set of adjustable wrenches taking up a portion of the space.
Don’t worry because they are more than worth their weight in your kit.
For practically any nut and bolt you need to tighten or loosen, there is an adjustable wrench that fits perfectly for it.
These fittings come in different sizes, hence the need for multiple sizes of adjustable wrenches.
If you plan on doing any form of plumbing work, you better come prepared with some adjustable wrenches because their versatility is key to your success.
5. Pipe Wrench
A pipe wrench is a plumber’s best friend. It’s like a carpenter’s carpentry hammer or an architect’s tape measure; a symbol of their profession and a necessity in their work.
The pipe wrench is typically the plumber’s largest wrench and, its purpose is in its name.
Pipe wrenches are used to tighten and loosen the nuts and bolts that go into pipes.
It’s essential for any work the plumber needs to do that involves pipes.
Some plumbers prefer using two pipe wrenches, one to hold it in place and another one to work on the pipe fitting.
Like most wrenches, pipe wrenches come in many different sizes and lengths, despite pipe wrenches featuring an adjustable design. It’s always better to come overprepared than to show up lacking.
6. Faucet Seat Wrench
This is a simple tool used to remove the valve seat from the faucet body.
Compression faucets work by compressing a rubber or nylon washer against a valve seat in the faucet body.
Compression faucets are commonly used since they’re the oldest and least expensive faucets.
When the washer is permitted to wear too much, friction between the washer’s valve seat and the valve seat of the faucet body can cause the faucet body to become rough and lose its smooth surface, resulting in leaks.
When that happens, you have two options.
You can remove the valve seat and replace it using an exact duplicate and a faucet valve seat wrench, or you can “reset” or re-smooth the valve seat.
However, the last one carries out more work and effort.
7. Chain Wrench
A chain wrench isn’t as common as the previous ones, but plumbing experts commonly use it.
It’s a key with a unique design with a steel stem attached to a chain.
Its use is particular for all pipes whose diameter requires a piece of larger equipment to adjust.
8. Grip Pliers
Despite all the fancy tools plumbers use, simply nothing beats the convenience of pliers.
Most plumbers will use their pliers in every plumbing job they do because of their usefulness.
Pliers can be used to precisely pull small things which are needed in plumbing spaces.
Furthermore, they can be used to tighten and loosen bolts and nuts that are too small for any wrench.
The grip pliers allow you to take objects firmly attached to the tweezers.
But they can also be quickly released by pressing the claw lever.
Unlike other pliers, the mode of use of this tool is ideal for jobs where you need your hands free.
In addition, the tool has a screw to adjust the jaw opening and ensure a secure grip.
9. Taps and Dies
This is one of the most straightforward plumbing tools.
It’s used to thread pipes or tubes if there’s no thread or the existing one must be adapted.
You usually find tread dies in a set of different sizes.
10. Copper Tube Cutters
Copper tube cutters stand out among copper tube tools since it’s essential to have smooth, square-cut edges and tight-fitting joints with copper tubing.
11. PVC Pipe Cutters
Plastic pipe cutters are used to split thin or thick PVC pipes.
These are trendy cross-linked polythene pipe tools among hydraulic engineers.
12. Cordless Drill
It may come as a surprise to you that plumbers make use of hand drills.
The drill is one of the most common tools for construction, but it’s also a tool that you can use on many occasions in plumbing.
Plumbers will use drills for making holes in pipes to add fittings, nuts, and bolts.
Furthermore, they will utilize the screwdriver head on the drill to tighten or loosen any screws in the plumbing system.
You may not think that a hacksaw would be a typical plumbing tool, but you would be surprised that hacksaws see quite a bit of use from plumbers!
Plumbers tend to carry hacksaws whenever they need to cut any hardware, pipes, or fittings to make them fit into the job area they are working.
Just think of how tight the area underneath your sink is. Now imagine trying to make everything fit inside of there in a way that works!
Understandably, a plumber would need to cut a few things down to appropriate sizes.
Furthermore, do not be deceived by its looks and think that they do not pack enough power.
Hacksaws were originally designed to cut through metal, so they are more than enough for plumbing uses!
Just remember to keep some spare blades ready in case.
14. Plumber’s Torch
When dealing with copper pipes, not just any sealant or adhesive will do when placing them together.
For a job like this, plumbers need to “weld” the pipes together to prevent any possible leaks.
It is the safest way, and it provides the most protection over potential damage in the future.
To accomplish this task, plumbers make use of a plumber’s torch.
These are small handheld welding tools that solder copper pipes together.
If there were a hole or a gap you need to cover in your copper piping, then all you would need to do is apply intense heat via the plumber’s torch to seal it up sturdily.
15. Hand Auger
A hand auger is a round, portable instrument that plumbers use to push a cable deep into a drain to break up and eliminate obstructions.
It’s a hand-operated cable that you stick down into the drainpipe where there is a clog.
After sticking it in, you have to crank the hand auger and manually break down the clogged material in the pipe.
It may be tiring, but it certainly gets the job done.
Many different hand augers have different capabilities and sizes for every type of pipe clog.
16. Drain Cleaner Machine
The drain cleaner machine is otherwise known as the commercial or industrial drain cleaning machine.
Plumbers use a drain cleaner machine when the clog is much too intense to clear by hand.
It passes a motorized cable into the drainpipe and powerfully breaks down whatever is clogging the pipe.
After using this tool, the pipe should be easy to clean and clear for maximum flow.
17. Protection Gloves
Plumbers should always be wearing heavy-duty gloves when working.
Plumbing work means getting exposed to things you should not be touching like human waste, bacteria, and fungus.
Protecting your hands significantly lowers the chances of these harmful substances from getting into your system.
Furthermore, they serve a practical purpose and make it easier to do plumbing work
18. Protection Glasses or Goggles
Aside from gloves, plumbers need goggles to protect their eyes from harmful plumbing substances.
When examining leaks, it puts you at risk of things entering your eyes.
Goggles are especially important in plumbing where chemicals, waste, and other substances are involved that could cause harm if they enter the eyes.
19. Tube Benders
All plumbers need to bend plastic and copper pipes into new forms at some point.
This is precisely what tube benders are for, and they do it exceptionally well.
There are a lot of different variations that can do this kind of job, from manual to automatic ones.
On the other hand, tube benders can be incredibly useful to replace pipes at specific angles.
Borescopes used to be considered top-of-the-line technology in the plumbing industry, but now they are carried by almost all plumbers.
These miniature cameras, attached to a long, flexible cable, are designed to be installed deep into drains and sewage systems to provide specialists with a clearer view of the plumbing and any obstructions.
21. Drain Rod Tool Set
When it’s time to unclog sewers and drains, it’s critical to have access to various rain rods.
Rods 30 feet long should be included in a drainage rod package.
It’s important to know that only clockwise rotation is possible for these rods.
Each set includes ten rods, one double worm screw, one-rod plunger, and one drop scraper.
They should be packaged together in a waterproof carry pouch.
22. Air Duster
Dirt and debris can get in the way of plumbing installation.
Adhesives, putty, and grease all need clean surfaces to be properly applied.
However, when performing plumbing, it’s easy for dust and debris to find their place on the job site.
Plumbers keep an air duster in their tool kit to blow away any dirt or debris that can get in the way of their work.
23. Soldering Wire
When dealing with copper pipes, plumbers need to make use of soldering to provide maximum effectiveness.
Soldering is made possible with the use of soldering wire.
It’s important to note that soldering wire is mostly used in electronics, so plumbers need special wires suitable for plumbing.
24. Measuring Tape
Measuring tapes are a tried-and-true tool used in construction.
Nothing can replace the convenience and ease of use that these tools provide.
For plumbing, plumbers need to make use of these tools to make sure everything fits within the workspace.
They can use this to measure where the plumbing will go or to measure the pipes and other materials.
25. Bubble Level
Another staple of construction is the bubble level.
It helps to make sure that everything is leveled appropriately to avoid any misalignments or improper placement and installation of things.
Unlevelled work in plumbing could cause leaks and improper flow of liquids which makes this tool crucial.
It is not the most sophisticated or high-tech leveling tool, but it provides great value.
Why Are Plumbing Tools Important?
While plumbing mostly relies on skill and knowledge of plumbing techniques and practices, these tools can not be overlooked by even the most skilled plumbers.
Using good plumbing tools could mean the difference between great plumbing and mediocre work.
If you plan on doing some plumbing, don’t underestimate the value that high-quality tools provide.
There are now tools for every situation and activity you may encounter during the plumbing process, so don’t hesitate to head over to the hardware store and get the right tools for the job.
The best plumber is often the plumber that is most prepared to handle the situation, and you certainly need the right tools to achieve that!
Cheers, tools owners!
Are you interested to see what other tools look like? Check the list below: