Person doing plumbing.

4 Essential Plumbing Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

There’s no getting around it: at some point, you’re going to encounter a plumbing problem. And when you do, you’ll wish you had the right tools. Here are four tools that you should have at-the-ready. Use them correctly and you could save yourself a call to a plumber.

Flange Plunger

You likely own a cup plunger already but consider adding another type of plunger to your plumbing arsenal. Why? Because your basic cup plunger isn’t always the best tool for the job. Your standard cup plunger is designed for flat surfaces to create a seal around the drain in your bathtub or sink. It’s not ideal for toilets. To dislodge clogs in toilets, you’ll need a flange plunger. The rubber cup on the flange plunger has an extended sleeve to fit the contour of your toilet’s drain for better suction. Besides, it’s more sanitary to have a plunger dedicated to toilet duties.

Drain Snake

If your plunger doesn’t do the trick, the drain snake might. This handy tool uses a flexible auger to clear away obstructions. Tread the auger into the drain and wind it down until it reaches the clog. Then maneuver the head up and down to bust up the blockage. Use with caution: don’t try to jam the drain snake through and try not to scrape the pipe walls.

Slip Joint Pliers

If you accidentally drop your ring down the sink drain, don’t panic. You can retrieve it by removing the P-trap. That’s the curved section of the pipe under the sink. In addition to being a repository for dropped objects, its primary purpose is to prevent sewer gases from leaking into your home. To remove the P-trap, you’ll need slip-joint pliers or a pipe wrench. These tools have adjustable jaws designed to grip and turn pipes.

Thread Seal Tape

Before replacing the P-trap, it may be necessary to seal the threads to prevent leaking. For that, you’ll need thread seal tape or plumber’s tape. (Caution: Only use this if your pipes are metal.) Thread seal tape comes in various colors, indicating the type of pipe for which the tape is designed (yellow is for gas piping, green for oxygen piping). For common household plumbing jobs, the white tape will do.


For all of your plumbing needs, contact EJ Plumbing at (650) 513-8852.