7 Basic Plumbing Supplies for Home Tool Kits

Basic Plumbing Supplies For Homeowners

Every home needs plumbing maintenance. The plumbing system is part of what makes modern homes luxurious compared to our ancestors, and keeping your pipes in good condition takes the occasional work of a pro. But, as you know, most everyday plumbing problems can be handled at home. Most people are not helpless in the face of a little clog, or even a dropped ring. There’s a reason we keep a plunger in the bathroom and an Allen wrench near the garbage disposal; there are plenty of plumbing problems that homeowners and residents can solve for themselves.

The question is, what kind of tools should you have handy for those simple DIY plumbing solutions? This is a good question, since you can only tackle repairs when you have the right gear. We’ve put together a helpful checklist of basic plumbing supplies that every home toolkit should include. With just a few items, you can tackle a lot of temporary plumbing issues in your home before it becomes necessary to call a pro.

1. Plumber’s Wrench Set

  • Basin Wrench
  • Pipe Wrench
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Channellock Pliers

First on the list are the wrenches. It’s always good to have a few wrenches in your toolkit no matter what you get up to. You may already have an adjustable wrench or channellock pliers. For plumbing specifically, you will also want a pipe wrench which is designed to grip a pipe and a basin wrench which is essential for handling sink installations and certain repairs.

2. Hand Auger – Drain Snake

The drain snake is along, flexible cable with an auger – spinning and cutting device – on the end. This is used to trace drain lines and break up clogs. Your plumber has an industrial and likely powered auger to snake a drain, but you can also snake nearby clogs with a hand-auger at home. These are about the size of a small blender and weigh five to ten pounds. You snake one end down the drain and turn with the hand crank when you hit a clog. For clogs that won’t break up with drain chemicals or boiling water, a hand auger can save you many calls to the plumber for clogs within twenty feet of pipe from your drain access.

3. Garbage Disposal Tool

When the garbage disposal clogs, what do you do? Many disposals come with a large crank-shaped Allen wrench that can manually turn the blades to spin backward or forward while the power is disconnected. This is the safest way to remove things like bent silverware, shattered glass, loose change, bones, or even gummy, un-cutting chicken skin stuck in your garbage disposal.

4. Tubing Cutter and Hacksaw

If you plan to rebuild your own pipes (and are a homeowner), you may want a tubing cutter and a hacksaw. The hacksaw can cut through PVC pipe and is most often used to size a replacement part. With the right tubing and plumber’s tape/putty, you can rebuild sections of your under-sink pipes. Tubing cutter can be used for both plastic and copper tubes and cuts a clean, flat circle without error.

5. Both Types of Plunger

  • Cup Plunger
  • Flange Plunger

There are actually two types of plunger. Cup plungers are the “stereotypical” shape with a simple rubber cup on a stick. These work best to plunge tub and floor drains. Flange plungers have the extra inward flare at the bottom that fits into the drain of a toilet bowl. These are the best for quick, efficient clearing of toilet clogs.

6. Caulk Gun

Plumbing and sealing go hand-in-hand. A caulk gun simply presses tubes of various sealants into a bead. You can use them to attach or reseal the edges of tubs and sinks. You can use caulk glue, or silicone sealant in various forms to reseal your bathroom, fixtures, and pipes.

7. Plumber’s Putty and Tape

Plumber’s tape and plumber’s putty help to create a seal when screwing two pieces of PVC or metal pipe together. Tape goes over the threads before you screw the two pieces in, while putty can be used to help seal an incomplete connection. Plumber’s putty can sometimes be used as a temporary solution to joint leaks.


Many residential plumbing issues can be solved quickly and easily with this simple tool list. Stock up your home tool kit with plumbing supplies so that the next time you face a clog, a leak, or something dropped down the drain, you’ll be able to tackle the solution with the right tools in-hand.

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