When it comes to plumbing it seems that an over flowing tool box full of tools could be a very reasonable possibility. There are specialty tools as well as common tools that seem to be a bit overwhelming when it comes time to start your collection of plumber tools. With that in mind, it seems that a guide covering which tools are imperative to have if you plan on doing any plumbing work around your home. Rather than running to your local hardware or home improvement store and just randomly add tools, let’s take a step back for a second and define what tools are absolutely required.
Basic plumbing tools that are imperative
No matter what type of plumbing you do you will need to have a basic set of tools to make it a reality. For this basic set let’s assume that you have no reason to want to solder any pipes or similar. Just take care of the basic plumbing tasks that come up often anywhere running water is a reality. To that end, let’s run through the basic things to add to your toolbox. Thankfully, many of these tools are likely part of your normal around the house toolbox. A pair of crescent wrenches is a good start. Some people prefer channel locks or similar, but I think that the crescent wrench allows adjusting and a solid back drop for screwing and unscrewing plumbing fixtures that have plenty of room around them. From here a pipe cutter is a staple of plumbing tool boxes around the world. A basin wrench is great for those hard to reach places that make it literally impossible to screw on and off plumbing fixtures with normal wrenches. A roll of Teflon tape is needed to ensure water tightness in some connection. A small hack saw is the final piece of the basic plumbing set that will get you through the majority of basic plumbing that will come your way.
Plumbing tools needed if you plan to be soldering pipe
Now, if you plan on being sweating and soldering pipe there will be a few other things that you need to ensure you are ready for your plumbing projects. A soldering kit is a necessity. Make sure that it has a torch of course (propane gas works fine, but MAPP gas will help a lot if you are willing to spend a few extra dollars). In addition it needs to have solder (silver colored roll stock) and flux (it will be in a container that looks like lip gloss). Not normally included in these soldering kits is some industrial sandpaper or similar to rough up the copper piping for sweating. An adjustable wrench is nice to have for holding loose copper pipe you are sweating, but is not an absolute must.
If you add the above list of tools to your arsenal, you should be ready to handle all the basic plumbing problems that come your way. I personally keep them in a separate tool box in my basement so that I can go and grab them all at once when I know I am going to be working on plumbing.