What Do You Need for Plumbing?

Taking on DIY plumbing projects can be exciting, challenging, and rewarding (if you correctly complete the job). While many plumbing issues will require the training and expertise of a professional plumber, there are some projects that any homeowner can undertake with the help of a few videos, tools, and appropriate safety gear. Before undertaking a DIY project, it is recommended that you have an idea of what to do, what not to do, as well as the potential dangers involved. Whether you are replacing parts in your toilet, checking your shower head for issues, repairing a leaky faucet, or clearing a drain, there are certain things that you should be prepared with before you begin. 

Knowledge of Your Plumbing Fixtures and Pipes

Taking apart your shower, toilet, etc. without having knowledge of how to inspect, repair, or put them back together is never a good idea. It has taken humanity thousands of years to develop the modern plumbing system. This is why it is recommended that you spend some time learning about the fixture, pipes connected to it, etc. before you begin your project. YouTube offers incredible DIY videos and there are a countless number of blogs available for your research. If you run into a problem that seems too complicated, it is best to call a reputable contractor instead of potentially causing major damage to your home. 

Tools for DIY Repairs

The days of fixing your plumbing issues with your bare hands are long gone (if they ever existed). You will likely need effective tools to successfully complete a DIY plumbing project at home. In most cases, a basic toolbox will have the tools that you need. Sometimes a project may require a more specialized tool (i.e. a drain snake, plunger, etc.). Some of the most common tools needed for simple plumbing repairs include:

  • Plumbers Tape: Also referred to as “Teflon tape.” It helps to ensure that your threading pipes maintain a strong seal. Most often used for showerheads and faucets. 
  • Locking and Needle Nose Pliers: Needle-nose pliers are great for tight spaces, tough to reach areas and small parts. Locking pliers or adjustable wrenches are great for turning water lines on and off as well as screwing/unscrewing plumbing fixtures. 
  • Plumbers Putty: This is great for creating water-tight seals on joints that don’t often experience pressure like sink drains. 
  • Caulk and Caulk Gun: Whether you are replacing a sink, recaulking your tub, or repairing seams in your shower, caulk can always come in handy. 
  • Basin Wrench: Helps with reaching difficult areas like pipes under your sinks. 

When to Call a Plumber

Before you undergo a DIY plumbing project at home, it is imperative that you have a healthy amount of respect for the potential dangers of any plumbing project as well as safety gear. Common safety gear can include safety glasses, rubber gloves, and a first-aid kit. When you investigate a seemingly small problem and realize that it is an issue beyond your scope of knowledge and/or comfort level, it is time to reach out to a professional plumber. Furthermore, if your water completely stops working, you smell sewage, your home smells like gas, or if there is a major leak, it is not the time for a DIY project. It is time to call a reputable plumbing contractor to immediately and safely handle your issues. 

Posted in: Personal Finance

Top of page