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Plumbing Tools List for 2024 Top Necessities for Plumbers

This article has been reviewed by Billy Stevens for accuracy.

Residential plumbing contractors constantly look for ways to support their plumbers. In 2024, contractors can best empower plumbers to be successful at job sites by ensuring they have the right plumbing tools to complete jobs. With the right tools, plumbers are well-equipped to respond to even the most challenging service requests. An enhanced customer experience and employee experience are the results, often followed by increased productivity and profitability. Keep these essential plumbing tools well-stocked for success in 2024.

Plumbing Hand Tools

Wrenches

The wrench is the most recognizable plumbing tool. But no one wrench is designed for all tasks — plumbers need multiple wrenches, including:

  • Adjustable wrench: Use when working with hexagonal nuts and pipe fittings. The most common sizes are 6 to 10-inch wrenches.
  • Basin wrench: Designed for use with faucets, this T-shaped wrench has a clamp-like component for accessing narrow spaces to loosen and tighten the nuts on faucets.
  • Internal wrench: Remove rusty fittings on galvanized pipes with an internal wrench.
  • Pipe wrench: Plumbers use these large wrenches to correct issues with pipework. Pipe wrenches fix fittings and nuts and can hold pipes in place.
  • Torque wrench: Use to apply torque to nuts and bolts.
  • Faucet key: A similar plumbing tool to the wrench is the faucet key. These small tools close and open spigots and sillcocks on faucets.

Pipework Tools

Pipework is a staple of plumbing jobs. These tools simplify pipework and enable plumbers to handle many tasks, from installations to replacements and repairs:

  • Buckets: Some water leakage is inevitable with plumbing jobs, so make sure plumbers have buckets on hand to avoid leaving a mess.
  • Flashlight: Ensure plumbers can illuminate the subject with a reliable flashlight.
  • Hacksaw: Cut through pipes, bolts, nuts, and screws with a hacksaw.
  • Hole saw: A hole saw kit provides the tools and attachments to cut clean, round holes in plumbing materials.
  • Metal file and brush: With a metal file, plumbers can polish rough edges. Brushes help clean up the residue. 
  • Mole grips: This tool holds metal pieces in place when welding or completing similar tasks.
  • Pipe bender/tube bender: Plumbers can bypass creating a new fitting with this tool, which allows for bending pipes and tubing.
  • Pliers: Pliers tighten and loosen nuts and bolts too small for wrenches to handle.
  • Plumber’s torch: This handheld tool enables plumbers to solder piping to seal it for installation and replacement projects.
  • Plumber’s putty and knife: Plumber’s putty seals cracks and holes in bathtubs, pipes, sinks, and toilets to prevent leaks. Use a putty knife to apply it.
  • Press fitting systems: Iron Pipe Size (IPS) press fitting systems make it easier to create watertight seals when connecting pipes without soldering or welding.
  • Ratcheting pipe threader set: Craft pipes from threads with the ratcheting pipe threader set. It ensures pipes pair with fittings when connecting them.
  • Thread-sealing tape: Also referred to as “Plumber’s tape” or Teflon tape, it prevents leaks at threaded joint connections on pipes. Choose a thread-sealing tape that can withstand extreme temperatures, has ample elasticity, and doesn’t dry out. 
  • Tubing cutter/plastic pipe cutter: These plumbing tools allow plumbers to cut through tubing to remove, replace, and adjust pipes.

Drain Cleaning Tools

In addition to pipework, a large part of plumbing work involves clearing clogs and blockages from pipes. Key tools for these jobs include:

  • Drain auger: Also called a drain snake, this tool clears clogs in small drains, such as in kitchen sinks or hand basins. 
  • Drain inspection camera: Typically used on sewer lines, drain inspection cameras (borescopes) allow plumbers to view deep into pipes to see what may be causing the clog. Many new models connect to smartphones. 
  • Hand auger: This tool features a long, flexible wire with a corkscrew auger at the end for unclogging hard-to-reach areas. 
  • Hydro jetting machine: This equipment shoots water into drain and sewer lines for clearing clogs. 
  • Plungers: Plungers are common household items, but contractors should ensure plumbers have them in their toolkits as well. Heavy-duty flange and cup plungers offer more suction than a standard household plunger. 
  • Snake machine: A “plumber’s snake” is a motorized hand auger for handling especially difficult clogs.

Additional Plumbing Tools

The plumbing industry is subject to constant innovation, with new technologies developed frequently to enhance the abilities of professional plumbers. The following are some miscellaneous items to add to your plumbing tools list:

  • Crimpers: Crimping involves warping pieces of metal to fasten them together. Crimpers are especially advantageous with cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) plumbing applications but are also useful for other types of piping.
  • PEX pipe expander and fittings: PEX expanders open the mouth of pipes wider to place metal fittings. PEX piping is flexible so it closes around the fitting, providing a tight seal.
  • Stubby screwdriver: When working in tight spaces, plumbers can use stubby screwdrivers to access those parts that are difficult to reach with a traditional or electric screwdriver. 

Safety Tools

Safety is of utmost importance with any plumbing job. These tools will protect your plumbers during every project:

  • Heat shields/pads: For projects requiring soldering, heat shields protect the plumber and surrounding area from fire or heat damage. 
  • Personal protection equipment (PPE): PPE refers to wearable equipment that shields plumbers from hazards. Examples include:
    • Back and knee protection
    • Face masks
    • Hard hats
    • Heat-insulating gloves
    • Nonskid work boots
    • Safety goggles

Make Plumbing Software Part of Your Toolkit in 2024

Even for the smallest operations with only a few techs, residential plumbing contractors can make sure their business makes a big impact with the right tools. With all the tools they need, techs are better equipped to handle all jobs and deliver better service, which leads to customer satisfaction and business growth.

When thinking about which plumbing tools to keep in your inventory in 2024, be sure to account for tools that empower techs with their daily tasks and support the entire operation. Various software tools help streamline daily processes, such as dispatching, customer booking, scheduling, and quote-building tools.

While plumbing contractors can find individual software tools to assist with each function, Sera offers an all-in-one solution with field service software. Built on four principles that address the specific needs of small-to-medium-sized field service businesses, our FSM software helps residential plumbing contractors save time and boost efficiency. This enables them to focus on supporting their plumbers in delivering great customer service.
Our software also helps similar businesses in the industry, including residential HVAC contractors and electricians.

Contact us to learn more about plumbing software or schedule a 15-minute discovery call or 45-minute demo today.

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