5 Most Essential Plumbing Tools

Thinking of starting a plumbing job, repairs or project? Having the proper tools for plumbing can make plumbing repairs much easier. In some cases a project or plumbing job is virtually impossible to do with out the appropriate plumbing tools. It is not necessary to buy a lot of tools and gadgets to do your plumbing repairs but having the essential and right tools for an everyday plumbing repairs. Keep reading to know the most essential plumbing tools you need to have in your tool box.

most essential plumbing tools

Home owners face common plumbing problems every day. While some plumbing issues are complex and require an expert hand and specialized tools, some mishaps are simpler: leaky pipes, clogged sinks, or plugged-up toilets can be turned into DIY jobs. However, before you can dive into your plumbing project, you will agree with me that it’s important to be prepared. Here are 5 most essential plumbing tools that you should always keep in your toolbox.

Most Essential Plumbing Tools

1. Tongue-and-groove pliers: Plumbers used to be known for carrying pipe wrenches that were needed for just about every job. And while the pipe wrench is still used for steel and iron pipe, as an all-purpose tool it has effectively been replaced by tongue-and-groove pliers. Commonly know by the popular brand name Channel Lock, tongue-and-groove pliers have angled jaws, long handles, and a wide range of adjustment positions.

They can take apart most plumbing easily and quickly. Like pipe wrenches, these pliers work best in pairs, one for stabilizing the pipe and one to loosen or tighten the nut or fixture. The standard 10-inch size is suitable for most plumbing work, but it can be handy to have a couple of larger and smaller pliers for some situations. This versatile tool is a type of slip-joint plier with serrated jaws that are set about 45 to 60 degrees from the handles, giving it a curved appearance.

2. Basin wrench: Also sometimes called asink wrench. A basin wrench can be very handy when changing out an old faucet in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry sink. It is a self-tightening wrench designed for loosening or tightening fittings in hard-to-reach places. It can go into deep, narrow spaces behind sinks in order to reach the faucet bolts.

3. Compression sleeve puller: If you have copper, PEX, or CPVC tubing in your house you most likely have compression angle stops or shutoff valves that supply water to your toilets and faucets. Although it is usually easy to unscrew the angle stop itself by holding the valve with pliers or a wrench and unscrewing the nut with another pair of pliers or a wrench, often the compression sleeve remains stuck on the pipe so that you can’t remove the sleeve or compression nut.

This is where the compression sleeve puller comes in handy. It can remove the nut and compression sleeve without damaging the pipe.

4. Pipe wrench: Often larger than the adjustable wrench, the pipe wrench is a heavy tool that tightens and loosens fittings and nuts. Two pipe wrenches will be needed, as one is used to turn, and the other is used to grip and hold. Be sure to wrap the wrench’s jaw in cloth to avoid damage to your fixtures’ finishes.

Pipe wrenches, although not as prevalent as they once were, but are still necessary plumbing tools for plumbers. Pipe wrenches are very useful when it comes to something threaded, such as iron or galvanized steel pipe and fittings. Many fittings, like the water heater nipples, yard hydrants, or pressure regulators, require the use of a pipe wrench or two to provide enough leverage to unscrew them. In many cases, it’s essential to have two pipe wrenches to prevent stress on the installation; one wrench holds the pipe or fitting steady, while the other wrench turns the other pipe or fitting.

5. Adjustable wrench: An adjustable wrench, also known by the popular brand name Crescent wrench, is used when removing angle stops, compression nuts, and supply lines to faucets and other fixtures. It can also be used for other things, like tightening or loosening a showerhead so that the finish does not get scratched. A good-quality adjustable wrench will last a lifetime and will perform much better than a cheap version. Quality adjustable wrenches have a firm jaw setting that won’t slip while you work.

See also other handy plumbing tools which includes:


Many shapes and sizes are preferred because there are so many different types of screws to remove when doing plumbing repairs. Screwdrivers are needed for faucet handles, overflow plates, tub spouts, and more.

Allen wrench set

Many designer faucet and shower handles are held on with Allen screws or recessed hex screws or bolts. An Allen wrench has six sides and is also called a hex wrench. If you have a recessed hex screw, this is the only tool for the job. Allen wrench sets come in either metric or standard sizes; it’s best to have a set of each. Also, choose sets with loosely hanging keys rather than a folding tool. Loose Allen keys are easier to get into more positions and tight places.


With a hacksaw, you will be able to cut through metal and plastic pipes, screws, stubbron nuts and bolts, and other hardware as needed. Be sure to keep extra blades in your toolbox in case the hacksaw’s blade grows dull or breaks.When handling tough cuts, make sure the blade is tense for easier use.

With a hacksaw you can remove the blade, wrap one end with a cloth, and slip it in to hard-to-reach places. You can also buy a compact, or one-handed, hacksaw, which is essentially a handle for holding one end of a standard hacksaw blade. These are great for tight spaces, but the usable blade length is quite short so they aren’t efficient for regular cutting tasks

Metal file

Smooth the edges of cut metal pipes with a metal file. There are different file sizes, and it’s recommend that you have a half-round file and a rat-tail file in your plumbing toolbox. Half-round files have rounded and flat surfaces, while a rat-tail file is round and tapered.

Hand auger

When a plunger can’t handle a clog, try a hand auger. A hand auger uses a hand crank to push a metal wire through the drains of tubs, showers, or sinks in order to clear them of clogs.A hand auger should not be used on flush toilets — instead, use a toilet or closet auger to do the job.

Drill machine

Drill machine though less thought of and not very famous, to plumbers drill is an essential tool too. Its main function is to make holes, through metal and plastic pipes. They come in various types with the most common being pistol grips. But in plumbing, the often used is the right angle drill. This drill machine main function is to access tight, confined areas, that aren’t easily reached. This makes it invaluable in pipe installation.

Even though the list above, has not included all the plumbing tools. The above discussed are a must have for all plumbers, or for any one who is about to perform any plumbing duty. Among others a plumber cannot afford to live them out of tool box.

Small plumbing issues like leaky pipes and clogged drains happen each day. A well-stocked toolbox of essential tools means you’ll be prepared to handle just about any simple plumbing problem that comes your way.