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As a homeowner, tools are some of the most important things you can own. Eventually things will wear out and break, and tools are what you’ll need in order to fix them. This is especially true for plumbing repairs, as a number of different pieces of equipment require tools to install or repair properly, and not having the tools can make the job difficult or even impossible.

However, simply going to the hardware store to look for plumbing tools can lead you to buy some that are too specialized for your everyday plumbing needs, or even some which are downright useless. To make your shopping list short and easy, here is a list of five plumbing tools that every homeowner absolutely needs to have in their toolbox to make their next plumbing job easy.


You flush the toilet, and instead or receding, the water level in the bowl simply continues to rise. Uh-oh. That means you’ve got a clog in your toilet’s drain line. This is actually perhaps the most common plumbing problem you’re going to face, and your best friend when it comes to fixing it is the good-old plunger. A plunger is a simple device—it creates a vacuum which is then used to try and suck what’s causing the clog back up your plumbing line a short distance in order to dislodge it. Once it’s dislodged, gravity will take care of the rest, and let the water and waste drain out of your toilet bowl. You absolutely need a plunger, and it’s a smart idea to have a plunger for every toilet in your house, and keep it near the bathroom so you can respond quickly if a clog suddenly appears.

Hair Snake

While none of the tools on this list are particularly expensive, a hair snake can be arguably the cheapest. They can usually be purchased for no more than two to three dollars at your local hardware store. All these little devices are is a thin piece of plastic with molded teeth in it. These teeth are designed to catch onto clogs of hair in your bathroom drains and drag them out. Using the device is simple: hold on to the end with the little ring, feed the snake down into your drain line until it encounters resistance, then push a little further to dig the snake into the clog. Twist it around a couple of times to catch as much of the clog as possible, then pull it back out of the drain. The hair clog should come with it. You may have to repeat this a few times, but within just a few minutes your drain should be clean and running smoothly again.

Pipe Wrench

A pipe wrench is important for making adjustments to your plumbing lines. When you’ve got a leaking pipe, there’s a good chance that the leak is coming from where two pieces of a plumbing line fit together. A pipe wrench is a large wrench with toothed jaws that are designed to grab and grip on to pipes. This allows you to twist an entire section of pipe, or perhaps a connector that is holding the two together, making adjustments simple.

Adjustable Wrench

Rather than having an entire set of wrenches, an adjustable wrench can handle just about any job you might need, making them invaluable for plumbing repairs. Adjustable wrenches allow you to quickly grab ahold of the various sized nuts and bolts used in plumbing devices, tightening them or loosening them with ease. Is that bolt metric or imperial-sized? Don’t know what size it is? None of that matters with an adjustable wrench, which quickly uses a thumbscrew to adjust its size and fit perfectly. Adjustable wrenches are useful for fixing more than just plumbing problems as well!

Duct Tape

Finally, a roll of duct tape can fix just about anything. Granted, any repair with duct tape should be nothing more than temporary, but you’d be surprised just how many issues you can temporarily stop by simply covering them or bonding them with duct tape. Duct tape is water resistant, extremely durable, and its adhesive is completely unaffected by water, which makes it extremely useful for solving plumbing problems. In fact, it’s great for solving nearly any problem you might have! There’s a reason it’s used to repair everything from minor leaks in your home plumbing to extremely fast race cars to even the space station currently orbiting the earth!

If you’ve got a plumbing problem, let the Sterling plumbing experts from Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing get it fixed for you. Contact us by calling (703) 457-8676 today to schedule your service.
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