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10 Must Have Tools for Emergency Plumbing Services

As a homeowner, you never know when a plumbing emergency might strike. Whether it’s a clogged drain, a leaky faucet, or a burst pipe, having the right tools on hand can make all the difference in addressing the issue quickly and effectively. In this article, we’ll explore the 10 must-have tools for Emergency Plumbing Services that every homeowner should keep in their toolkit.


One of the most basic yet essential tools for any plumbing emergency is the humble plunger. Plungers come in different types, such as the standard cup plunger and the flange plunger, which is designed for toilets. When using a plunger, make sure to create a tight seal around the drain and plunge vigorously several times to dislodge any blockages. If the first attempt doesn’t work, try again with a bit more force. Remember to keep enough water in the sink or toilet bowl to cover the plunger’s head, as this helps create the necessary suction.

Basin Wrench

A basin wrench is a specialized tool designed to reach and tighten or loosen the mounting nuts on faucets and other fixtures in tight spaces. It’s particularly useful when working on sinks, as the extended handle and pivoting head allow you to access nuts that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach with a standard wrench. When using a basin wrench, make sure to apply steady pressure and avoid overtightening, as this can damage the fixture or cause leaks.

Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench, also known as a Crescent wrench, is a versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of plumbing tasks. Its adjustable jaw allows you to fit it to various sizes of nuts and bolts, making it a go-to tool for many plumbing repairs. When using an adjustable wrench, be sure to position it correctly to avoid damaging the fixture or rounding off the edges of the nut or bolt. Always adjust the wrench to fit snugly to prevent slippage, and avoid using it as a hammer or pry bar, as this can damage the tool and potentially cause injury.

Plumbing Snake

For more stubborn clogs that a plunger can’t handle, a plumbing snake (also known as a drain auger or a plumber’s snake) is your next line of defense. Plumbing snakes come in both manual and motorized versions, with various lengths and diameters to suit different types of drains and clogs. To use a plumbing snake, insert the end of the coiled cable into the drain and turn the handle or engage the motor to guide it through the pipe. As you feel resistance, continue to push the snake through until you break through the blockage. Retract the snake slowly, allowing it to bring back any debris it has caught. Always clean the snake thoroughly after each use and store it properly to maintain its effectiveness.

Pipe Wrench

A pipe wrench is an essential tool for gripping and turning pipes, fittings, and other plumbing components. It comes in various sizes to accommodate different pipe diameters, with the most common sizes being 10-inch, 12-inch, and 14-inch. When using a pipe wrench, always position it in the direction of the turn to avoid slipping or damaging the pipe. Apply steady pressure and use both hands for better control and leverage. Remember to adjust the wrench’s jaw to provide a secure grip on the pipe, but avoid overtightening, as this can cause damage or deformation.


A hacksaw is a versatile cutting tool that can be used to cut through various plumbing materials, such as PVC, CPVC, copper, and even metal pipes. Hacksaws come with interchangeable blades of different sizes and tooth counts, allowing you to tackle different cutting tasks. When using a hacksaw, make sure to secure the pipe or material you’re cutting in a vise or clamp to prevent it from moving. Use steady, even strokes, letting the blade do the work, and apply moderate pressure to maintain control and achieve a clean cut. Always wear protective gloves and safety glasses when using a hacksaw to avoid injuries from sharp edges or flying debris.

Torch Set

For tasks that involve soldering copper pipes or thawing frozen pipes, a torch set is an indispensable tool. Torch sets typically use either propane or MAPP gas as fuel, with MAPP gas providing a higher temperature and faster heating. When using a torch, always follow proper safety precautions, such as wearing protective gloves and eyewear, ensuring adequate ventilation, and keeping a fire extinguisher nearby. Before soldering, clean the pipe and fitting surfaces thoroughly, apply flux, and heat the joint evenly until the solder melts and flows into the joint. For thawing frozen pipes, apply heat slowly and evenly along the length of the pipe, being careful not to overheat any one spot, which could cause the pipe to burst.

Plumber’s Putty

Plumber’s putty is a soft, pliable sealing compound used to create watertight seals around drains, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures. It’s easy to apply and molds easily to the contours of the surface, providing a reliable seal that can last for years. To use plumber’s putty, roll a small amount between your hands to form a rope, then press it firmly into the gap or space you need to seal. Smooth the putty with your fingers to create an even, continuous seal, and remove any excess with a putty knife or your fingers. Plumber’s putty is an essential tool for preventing leaks and ensuring a professional-looking finish on your plumbing projects.

Plumber’s Tape (Teflon Tape)

Plumber’s tape, also known as Teflon tape or PTFE tape, is a thin, stretchy tape used to seal pipe threads and prevent leaks. It comes in different widths, with the most common being 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch, to match the size of the pipe threads. To use plumber’s tape, wrap it around the pipe threads in a clockwise direction, starting at the second thread from the end. Overlap each layer by about half the width of the tape, and apply enough tension to stretch the tape slightly as you wrap. Typically, 2-3 wraps are sufficient for most applications. Plumber’s tape creates a lubricated, watertight seal that helps prevent leaks and makes it easier to tighten and loosen threaded connections.

Leak Detection Equipment

Early detection of leaks can save you from costly water damage and high utility bills. Leak detection equipment ranges from simple tools like moisture meters and dye tablets to more advanced devices such as acoustic listening discs and infrared cameras. These tools help you pinpoint the exact location of a leak, even if it’s hidden behind walls or under floors. By investing in leak detection equipment and learning how to use it properly, you can catch leaks early and prevent them from causing extensive damage to your home.

Bonus Tool: Plumber’s Auger

For tough clogs that a plunger or standard plumbing snake can’t handle, a plumber’s auger (also known as a closet auger or a toilet auger) is a specialized tool designed to clear obstructions in toilet drains. It consists of a flexible cable with a curved, spring-loaded head that can navigate through the toilet trap and break up or extract blockages. To use a plumber’s auger, insert the head into the toilet bowl and guide it through the trap, turning the handle to extend the cable. Once you feel resistance, continue turning the handle to break through the blockage, then retract the cable and flush the toilet to clear the drain. A plumber’s auger is a valuable addition to your plumbing toolkit, especially if you have a household prone to frequent toilet clogs.

Additional Tools to Consider While the 10 tools mentioned above are essential for most plumbing emergencies, there are a few additional tools that can make your plumbing repairs and maintenance even easier:

  1. Drill and hole saw: For cutting precise holes in drywall, wood, or other materials when installing or repairing plumbing fixtures.
  2. Tubing cutter: A specialized tool for making clean, precise cuts on copper or plastic tubing.
  3. Caulking gun: Used for applying caulk or sealant around sinks, tubs, and showers to prevent leaks and improve appearance.
  4. Needle nose pliers: Useful for gripping and manipulating small plumbing components, such as clips, pins, and washers.

Building a Comprehensive Plumbing Toolkit

Investing in quality plumbing tools is essential for effectively addressing plumbing emergencies and maintaining the plumbing systems in your home. When purchasing tools, look for well-made, durable items from reputable brands, as these will provide better performance and longevity. As you acquire your plumbing tools, organize them in a toolbox or bag dedicated to plumbing repairs. This will keep your tools easily accessible and in good condition, ready for use whenever a plumbing issue arises.


Having the right tools on hand is crucial for dealing with plumbing emergencies quickly and efficiently. The 10 must-have tools we’ve covered in this article – plunger, basin wrench, adjustable wrench, plumbing snake, pipe wrench, hacksaw, torch set, plumber’s putty, plumber’s tape, and leak detection equipment – form the foundation of a well-equipped plumbing toolkit. By investing in these tools and learning how to use them properly, you’ll be prepared to tackle most plumbing issues that come your way, saving you time, money, and stress in the long run.


Can I use a regular wrench instead of a basin wrench for tight spaces?

While a regular wrench can sometimes be used in tight spaces, a basin wrench is specifically designed for this purpose and will make the job much easier and less frustrating. Its long handle and pivoting head allow you to reach and tighten or loosen nuts that would be difficult or impossible to access with a standard wrench.

How often should I replace the blade on my hacksaw?

The frequency of blade replacement depends on the amount and type of use your hacksaw gets. As a general rule, replace the blade when you notice it becoming dull, bent, or damaged. A sharp, straight blade will make cleaner, more precise cuts and put less strain on the saw and your hands.

What’s the difference between propane and MAPP gas for torch sets?

Both propane and MAPP gas are commonly used fuels for plumbing torches. MAPP gas burns at a higher temperature than propane, allowing for faster heating and soldering. However, MAPP gas is more expensive and can be harder to find. Propane is more readily available and sufficient for most plumbing tasks, making it a popular choice for DIY plumbers.

Can I reuse plumber’s putty?

While it’s technically possible to reuse plumber’s putty, it’s not recommended. The putty can pick up dirt, debris, and oils from surfaces it comes into contact with, which can reduce its effectiveness and potentially cause leaks. It’s best to use a fresh piece of putty for each application to ensure a proper, long-lasting seal.

How do I know if I have a leak in my plumbing system?

Some signs of a potential leak include a sudden increase in your water bill, the sound of running water when no taps are open, damp or discolored walls or floors, and a decrease in water pressure. If you suspect a leak, use leak detection equipment like moisture meters or infrared cameras to pinpoint the location, and address the issue promptly to prevent further damage.

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Ahmed Raza
Ahmed Raza

Ahmed Raza is a versatile and accomplished writer known for his ability to simplify complex topics for diverse audiences. With a rich portfolio of contributions to esteemed platforms like,, and, he has established himself as a reliable source of insightful and engaging content. His broad experience across various sectors allows him to bring a unique and informed perspective to his work, making him a valuable asset to Ahmed's dedication to thorough research and his skill in crafting compelling narratives enrich our platform, offering readers content that not only informs but resonates deeply.