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List of Plumbing Tools to Keep Around the House

Every general-purpose toolkit should have a few basic items, like a hammer, pliers, and a measuring tape. And when it comes to plumbing, there are some essentials that every good toolkit should have as well. Whether you love being handy around the house or just want to be prepared in case of emergency maintenance, here are a few tools that you should always have at your disposal.

1. Caulker

Caulking around the base of a toiletA caulking gun is the only tool you can use to apply caulk, which is necessary in certain areas of the house. Places where caulk is most important include the kitchen (around tiles and sinks), in the bathroom (in the tub, shower, and sink), and around all door and window frames.

Caulk keeps both air and water from going where it shouldn’t, and this will save you on energy bills, prevent water damage, and keep your home free of mold and mildew.

What's the best caulk to buy? The best type of caulk depends on the job, but overall, you should always choose caulk that’s waterproof, flexible, and not acrylic (because it'll shrink and crack).

2. Screwdrivers

Screws hold together a good portion of the world (think furniture, house frames, machinery, vehicles, the chair you're sitting on), so it can be extremely handy to have a tool that will let you loosen and tighten those as needed.

It doesn’t matter if you're installing a new kitchen, putting together a bed, tightening things that wobble, or just wanting to be ready, a good screwdriver set is a must-have for every household.

3. Plunger

Clogs in pipes and drains aren't something anyone ever wants to deal with, but plungers can make the job much easier and a lot less uncomfortable. Deal with clogs as soon as you notice that drainage is starting to slow down, otherwise a plunger may not do the trick.

What kind of plunger do you need? For the best results, keep a flange plunger around for toilets and a cup plunger for sinks, tubs, and showers.

4. Pipe Wrench

Worn red pipe wrenchFor times when you didn’t catch a clog in time and aren't able to dislodge it with the plunger, a pipe wrench may still save the day. When the blockage is in an accessible pipe—such as under a sink—you can use the pipe wrench to loosen the fittings, access the pipe, and manually remove the blockage.

Tip: Pipe wrenches are also useful when you have a pipe that’s leaking from a loose fitting because you can quickly and easily tighten everything up.

What pipe wrench is best to have? A straight, medium-sized pipe wrench is a good, all-purpose wrench to have.

5. Plumber’s Tape

If you ever plan to take on the most minor plumbing project—like changing your shower head—plumber’s tape can make the job a lot easier. This thread seal tape acts as a lubricant and a filler for the threads on joints, and this makes it easier to install a joint, gives you a better seal, and makes it easier to unscrew the joint later.

No tool kit is complete without a few key items, just like a household plumbing tool kit should have a plunger, screwdriver set, tape, caulker, and pipe wrench.