10 Emergency Plumbing Tools All Homeowners Should Have on Hand

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Whether you just bought your first home or have lived in your home for years, it’s important to always have a few plumbing tools on hand for emergencies. It doesn’t matter if you live in a brand new home or an older space with years of charm — chances are you’re facing a plumbing problem that will require a plunger, auger, putty, or similar tool.

These items can solve everything from small problems like clogged drains to larger problems like small leaks or cracked pipes. They can also buy you some time before you need to hire a professional plumber to come out and assess your problem. From the best pipe wrench to a top-notch drain snake, these plumbing tools are great for preventing major breakdowns and fixing minor slips.

1. Toilet Plunger

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It’s likely you’ll need a plunger at some point. The unique all-angle design of this NEIKO toilet plunger makes it one of the best plungers on the market. The plunging end has four rows of flanges and fits 4″ to 6″ diameter toilet drains. Its aluminum handle resists mold and rust and even features a handy hole in the handle so you can hang it in a pantry or utility room for easy access.

Get the NEIKO 60166A Toilet Plunger on Amazon for $17.

2. Plumber’s tape

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When it comes to dripping between two tube fittings, thread tape can help. This special tape holds up to both high and low temperatures and can be used on almost anything: showerheads, sprinklers, gas heaters, appliances, and pipe and propane fittings. In addition, it is easy to attach and can be removed again years later if necessary.

Get the PTFE Plumbers Water Sealant Thread Tape on Amazon for $6.49.

3. Drain cleaner

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From tubs to sinks to showers, the drain cleaner is one of the few plumbing tools that can penetrate grease, hair, lint and other debris to clear drains in any room in your home. Its cable is kink resistant and it can be operated manually or with a variable speed drill. Ridgid plumbing tools are known for their quality and high performance and this drill bit is no exception.

Pick up the Ridgid Power Spin Hybrid Drain Auger at The Home Depot for $53.98.

4. Mini sink and drain plunger

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Small clogs are no match for the Liquid-Plumr Mini Sink and Drain Plunger, which features a 5-inch flat bell cup that can clear minor clogs from a variety of drains. Its small size and non-slip grip make it easy to use, and only gentle pressure is required to dip.

Get the Liquid-Plumr Mini Sink and Drain Plunger at Amazon for $10.50.

5. Plumbing putty

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If pipes develop small holes or cracks, plumbing tools like WM Harvey Professional Grade Plumber’s Putty can temporarily seal things until the pipe can be replaced or repaired by an expert. Plumber’s putty is a waterproof material that can be applied over small holes or tears like a patch. This can buy you some time and prevent unnecessary leakage until you get professional help.

Get WM Harvey’s Professional Plumbing Putty on Amazon for $7.44.

6. Pipe Wrench

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If you have a leaking pipe on your hands, it may need to be tightened to get it working again. The cast iron body of this wrench makes it durable and strong enough to tighten even the most stubborn of pipes. It also has a steel jaw for a firm grip that makes turning the long handle less of a hassle.

Pick up the Husky Heavy Duty Cast Iron Pipe Wrench at The Home Depot for $19.98.

7. Pliers

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Whether you own a home or rent an apartment, you can benefit from having a pair of pliers in your plumbing arsenal. The Knipex 7.25″ Cobra Pliers feature a self-locking mechanism that prevents slipping and makes adjusting pipes or nuts a breeze. This multi-purpose tool can grip, turn, pull, hold and screw hex nuts. It even comes with a pinch guard to protect your precious limbs.

Get the Knipex 7 1/4″ Cobra Pliers on Amazon for $29.30.

8. Bucket

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It might seem simple, but a bucket that holds up to 5 gallons of water can come in handy when you run into a plumbing emergency. When not catching a leak, it can be used as a place to store other tools or equipment in your garage or utility closet. Although simple, it can be one of the most versatile and important things in your home.

Get the 5 Gal. Homer Bucket at Home Depot for $4.98.

9. LED flashlight pack

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You would be hard pressed to find a professional plumber who doesn’t have a top-notch flashlight. Since most wiring is hidden behind walls, closets, or in small, tight spaces, it’s helpful to have a flashlight handy to see what problem you’re dealing with. The battery operated GearLight LED flashlight pack can illuminate an entire room with a narrow beam. It’s also indestructible, compact enough to fit in your pocket and water-resistant.

Get the GearLight LED Flashlight Bundle on Amazon for $21.99.

10. Nitrile gloves

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Tackling a plumbing emergency can get messy, which is why a pack of MedPride powder-free nitrile disposable gloves is good to have in your tool kit. With nearly 70,000 reviews, these gloves are great for people who are sensitive to the powder found on other disposable gloves, and they don’t break down as easily as latex. A pair of disposable gloves can help protect your hands from germs and other chemicals you come into contact with.

Get MedPride’s powder-free nitrile gloves on Amazon for $13.49.

The prices listed here are correct at the time of publication on 5/5/22.

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