4 Must Have Tools for DIY Plumbing Jobs

The average home has plenty of plumbing jobs that creep up and need your attention. Although it s not for the amateur and requires a healthy respect for the craft of plumbing, it is possible to tackle these projects yourself. To be better equipped and ready to handle anything, have these four tools handy when the plumbing calls.

1) Soldering

Many homeowners have a propane torch for soldering and that may be all that you need for smaller jobs. But if you re taking on an extensive plumbing project that requires a lot of soldering you should get your hands on an acetylene torch.

Hotter than propane, this torch will make soldering a breeze. Sourcing out the fuel may be a bit more difficult, but most local welding shops can hook you up with tanks and a fuel supply.

2) Cutting Copper Tubing

Yes, you can use a hacksaw. But if you want a smooth, precise cut that will result in the best fittings and a solid job invest in a quality tube cutter. It s a specialty tool with a hardened steel cutting wheel that fits around the tubing. You tighten the blade and the result is a fine cut that s generally free from the frayed and rough edges your hacksaw delivers.

3) Wrenches

Pipe wrenches are impressive things that look as if they could do genuine damage. You need to have a few different sizes on hand when you re tackling a plumbing project. Be sure to have at least a 14 pipe wrench and look for another one that s adjustable. Getting around that toilet and mastering those tight fits is much easier with good quality wrenches.

4) Laying the Pipe

Besides all of the tools to handle the actual plumbing and fittings, you will need a good reciprocating saw to make a path for the plumbing. Cutting through studs, flooring and ceilings with precision and speed is much easier with a reciprocating saw. The good news is that you ll find plenty of other uses for this tool, from woodworking to drywall repairs and running electrical wiring.

Besides all of these tools you ll also need the usual suspects: a good set of screwdrivers and plenty of pliers on hand; tape measure and levels for the planning and layout stages and marking tools like carpenter s pencils or chalk.

Make sure to invest in the best quality tool you can afford. Even if you will only use it every so often, you will appreciate that the tool is dependable and can take the abuse you re bound to hurl at it. Always clean and dry your tools after use and store them properly. It can be surprising that you need to dry your plumbing tools, but the components and parts will break down and corrode if not taken care of well.

Safety equipment is important when working with the saws and torches you ll need for DIY plumbing projects. Get yourself a pair of steel toed boots and safety goggles or a full mask before you start the planning stage. And don t forget to take out the proper permits.