3 Essential Tools for Common Plumbing Repair

“Somebody go jiggle the handle!”

If you know exactly what I mean by that phrase, you also know that a constantly running toilet is a pretty common plumbing problem.  Not only is it a nuisance and irritating, it’s a waste of water, and subsequently, your hard earned money.

Running toilets, clogged sinks and leaky faucets are all common household plumbing problems that don’t necessarily require the work of a professional plumber.  A little patience and know how on your part and you can easily master these and other common plumbing repair jobs on your own.

Having the right tools on hand for the job can keep small problems from becoming bigger problems.  For example, do you know the difference between a sink plunger and a toilet plunger?  Use the wrong one on your clogged toilet, and you could be there for hours, and possibly up to your ankles in overflowing water.

Head to the local hardware or big box store and make sure you have these three plumbing basics on hand for a quick fix for your plumbing repair jobs.

  1. Plungers:  There are two main types of plungers used for household problems like clogged sinks and toilets.  One has a flange inside the bowl area, to properly seal to the drain opening of a toilet.  Sink plungers, on the other hand, have no flange.   Plungers are relatively inexpensive, and if you use the right one, can unclog a toilet or drain very quickly.
  2. Snakes and Augers:   While sink plungers might work on a simple clog in a flat bottomed, kitchen sink, they don’t always form a good seal on curved sinks, such as commonly found in the bathroom.   Sink augers look and act quite a bit like the reel on a fishing rod.  They can be inserted through the sink drain to free up the clog, or if that doesn’t cut it, remove the waste trap and insert the auger from the bottom.
  3. Plumbing Kits:  Most hardware stores will carry plumbing kits that you can purchase for a few dollars, containing an assortment of common plumbing repair pieces.  Sealant, plumbers putty and teflon tape along with a small assortment of common fittings and washers are found in kits.  Some fix-it kits are specific, such as toilet repair kits that include instructions to handle problems such as that will-not-stop-running toilet.   You can pick up ready made kits, or create your own.

Having a few wrenches in various sizes is also a good idea to handle the different sizes of pipes.  You’ll be surprised (and quite pleased with yourself) when you discover how quickly and efficiently you can handle simple plumbing repairs around your home.  Not only will you save yourself a good deal of money, but you’ll also discover that plumbing jobs aren’t nearly as intimidating as those professional plumbers would have you believe.