Homeownership is awesome, and a lot of people strive to own their own property instead of reporting to a landlord. However, performing your own maintenance can be a bit of a culture shock after moving from renting to owning.

When you own a home, you can no longer call your apartment maintenance person anymore if your toilet is clogged or your shower drain is backed up. But if you’re ready to embrace the DIY home improvement lifestyle, a lot of minor plumbing issues can be solved with some elbow grease and internet tutorials.

Are you up for the challenge? Then you need these 11 plumbing tools on hand!

(We’ve placed an asterisk * next to the items you really need to have on hand. The rest are nice-to-haves for DIY enthusiasts.)

1) Plunger*

plumbing tools using cup plunger


You need a plunger. 🪠

No matter how much you don’t want to admit it, you’ll save yourself a lot of money if you have at least one good plunger on hand. Plungers are most famously used for unclogging toilets, but there are actually two separate types of plungers for different purposes.

  • Flange Plungers: These plungers have an extended rubber flap below the plunger head to help plunge a toilet bowl. This is the type you need to tackle a clogged toilet.
  • Cup Plungers: These are smaller plungers with a rubber suction cut attached to a wooden handle. They’re used to clear clogs in tubs, sinks, and showers.

2) Adjustable Wrench*

Adjustable wrenches are very versatile and useful for many small plumbing jobs, such as replacing faucets. They’ll tighten down on just bout any nut or bolt in your home, thanks to their adjustable nature.

These tools are so helpful that you may want to have a variety of sizes on hand. 6-inch and 10-inch sizes are often the most useful for plumbing projects.

3) Hacksaw

plumbing tools hacksaw

You might be wondering why on earth you would need a hacksaw. Many homeowners would say that if an issue requires a hacksaw, that’s when they draw the line to call a plumber. And that’s totally fair! (And honestly recommended.)

However, major DIY enthusiasts and ultimate handy homeowners like to have a hacksaw on hand to cut through PVC pipes easily. With the right blade, a hacksaw can even cut through metal pipes!

4) Pipe Wrench

You can get away with a lot by having an adjustable wrench on hand. However, if you really want to build your toolkit, a pipe wrench is a plumbing staple. Plus, if you ever want to dress up as a plumber for Halloween, you’ll definitely want a classic pipe wrench to complete your costume.

But all jokes aside, a pipe wrench allows you to grip a wide variety of objects due to its adjustable nature. Although it may seem very similar to an adjustable wrench, a pipe wrench is specialized for, well— pipes! It’s most commonly used to connect and disconnect iron pipes and fittings.

5) Tape Measure*

plumbing tools using tape measurer

This may go without saying, but you definitely need to have a tape measure in your toolbox. Even if you haven’t done math since high school.

Tape measures aren’t plumbing-specific, but they come in handy for numerous home improvement projects. And if you ever want to install your own sink or faucet, you’ll want to ensure you get the measurements completely accurate.

6) Plumber’s Tape

Plumber’s tape is also called Teflon tape or thread tape. This “tape” isn’t sticky like regular Scotch tape or duct tape. Instead, it almost feels like a very thin fabric. Plumber’s tape gets wrapped around pipe threading to provide an effective seal when connecting two pipes together.

An example where you’d have a use for plumber’s tape is if you want to connect a small water filter to your shower head.

7) Small Drain Snake*

plumbing tools snake drain

Almost everyone knows the annoyance of a clogged drain in the tub or sink. When hair and other debris build-up, it blocks the passage of water through the pipe. You can find “mini drain snakes” or “hand augers” that are convenient sizes for homeowners. You can manually crank the snake through the drain to snag the debris and then pull it back out.

However, don’t get too aggressive with this DIY task. If you’ve tried your drain snake a few times to no avail, call a local professional plumber instead to avoid damaging your pipes.

8) Pliers*

Out of all the pliers you can choose from, we recommend having a pair of needle nose pliers on hand. These skinny pliers help you work your way around smaller pipe fittings. They’ll also come in handy for a range of other home improvement tasks!

9) Caulk and Caulk Gun*

Caulk is good to have on hand for when the existing caulk starts to wear down around your bathtub, sink, and other appliances. Reapplying the caulk will help keep everything watertight. Plus, if you perform larger DIY projects like replacing a sink or installing a new toilet or bathroom vanity, you’ll need to have caulk on hand to complete the project.

10) Duct Tape*

roofing beacon ny using duct tape

It’s no joke! You need a big roll of duct tape in your toolkit. Did you know that NASA sends duct tape on every outer space mission? It helped save the Apollo 17 mission by holding together a replacement fender on the rover. A few years earlier, it kept the crew of Apollo 13 alive when they needed to repair a carbon dioxide filtration system.

If it can save the day in outer space, it can certainly save the day in your home when you’re in a pinch.

11) Plumber’s Putty

A great low-stakes alternative to duct tape is plumber’s putty. This clay-like material creates a watertight seal and is ideal for use with faucets, drains, and sink basket strainers. Keep in mind that plumber’s putty is not a permanent solution and should only be used to temporarily stop a leak.

When a DIY Fix Won’t Cut It, Call Paladin!

Are you ready to build your at-home plumbing toolkit? We know that these tools will help you navigate small plumbing issues that commonly arise. But when you run into a situation that feels outside of your scope, or if your DIY attempts just aren’t working, then you need a professional plumber partner on call.

If you live in the greater Twin Cities area, Paladin Plumbing is the best team to know. Simply give us a call whenever you need help, and we’ll provide you with a free estimate and speedy service!