Being in the Phoenix plumbing industry, it would seem counterintuitive to tell homeowners to stock a plumbing tool kit. But, the truth is, homeowners who can, should do the simple plumbing jobs if they have the time, the tools and the skills. It will save them money.
A plunger duo
The regular plunger is for drains, and the flange plunger is for toilets. If you get the two confused, they’re cheap to replace.
The plastic stick with the jagged teeth along the edges is the go-to for girls with long hair when their bath or shower drain slows down. This do-it-yourselfer pulled up a wad of hair as big as the family cat.
Two pipe wrenches
In the event you need to loosen or tighten something, even a new shower head, you need a pipe wrench. If you need to loosen something, you’ll need two. One to hold and the other to turn the joint. A rag or old t-shirt will keep your pipe wrench from scratching your new shower head fittings.
You will always want a flathead screwdriver because sinks handles are often screwed on.
If the faucet starts to leak, try tightening the packing nut (clockwise). If it continues to leak, you’ll need to replace the packing. Try to get the ned packing on just as the old packing material was, and also use the same size. (Turn the water off beneath the sink while you do this)
Washers in various sizes are handy because washers wear out, break, and break down over time.
Teflon tape is the friend of male threads everywhere. It will create a smooth surface which will ensure a proper fit when the pipe and fitting are screwed together.
Depending on the job, you may or may not need a caulking gun. Sometimes, a small tube will do. But if you’re recaulking the bathtub, or doing some other job where you’ll need quite a bit of caulking material, a caulking gun will come in handy. Caulking seals water out. If the seal isn’t continuous, water will sneak in. You can use a finger to press the caulking into place in a smooth line or make a little tool like this ingenious do-it-yourselfer.
Make a good choice when it comes to picking the color of caulk. White caulking next to a granite countertop is almost as poor a choice as clear caulking around a bathtub. The video shows that, too!
If you have a plumbing job you think might be out of your skill set, call a plumber. Unless you have confidence in your abilities, there’s no shame in hiring a pro to do it, both because they have the time, tools, and expertise, and because you have better things to do than sweat over a frustrating plumbing repair. Investing in the knowledge of a certified, registered plumbing company is sometimes the best way to handle a stubborn clog or broken pipe.