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Every Homeowner Should Have These Basic Plumbing Tools

pipe wrench

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Even if you don’t consider yourself the least bit handy -- the type who keeps their plumber on speed dial -- you should have at least a few basic tools if you run into a minor emergency.

Keep these tools on standby when you need to tap into your inner plumber.


That’s right, plungers -- plural. There are at least three different types of plungers, each designed for a specific purpose.

  • Cup: You probably already have a basic cup plunger. This is intended for sinks and bathtubs where the flat cup can make a strong seal around the drain.

  • Flange: This is your dedicated toilet plunger. The cup narrows at the end for a better fit within the contours of the bowl.

  • Accordion: Use for only the most stubborn of clogs. The accordion plunger has flexible ridges that, when compressed, deliver a burst of air to bust the obstruction.

We’re not saying you need each of these plungers, but you should at least have a cup and a flange plunger. That way, you’re not using the same plunger for both the toilet and the sink -- gross.

Drain snake

If the plunger doesn’t do the trick, the drain snake, or plumber’s snake, is your last resort before calling a plumber. This tool features a long flexible cable that you’ll uncoil down the drain until it reaches a clog. Once you hit the obstruction, gently move the head back-and-forth and up-and-down until you feel it breaks free.


There are a variety of wrenches, but only two are designed with plumbing in mind.

  • Basin wrench: If you’re feeling ambitious and you want to replace your old, inefficient faucets with low-flow models, the basin wrench is going to make the job easy. This tool allows you to grip the nuts at the bottom of the faucet vertically in a confined space -- a task that would be impossible otherwise.
  • Pipe wrench: With large, adjustable jaws, the pipe wrench is made to grip and turn threaded pipe and pipe fittings. It may come in handy when you have to remove the p-trap -- that’s the curved section of pipe below your sink -- to retrieve a piece of jewelry you dropped down your drain.

Hopefully, you’ll never need to use these tools, but you’ll be glad you have them in case you do. Of course, if you’re ever in a jam, feel free to reach out to the pros at Quality Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. To schedule your appointment, call (865) 622-7785.

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