14 Emergency Plumbing Tools All Homeowners Should Have on Hand

Whether you’re dealing with a clogged sink or a loose faucet, these must-have plumbing tools can solve simple problems without the help of a plumber. 

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Whether you just purchased your first home or have lived in your house for years, having a few emergency plumber tools in stock at all times is important. It doesn’t matter if you live in a brand-new home or in an older space with years of charm—chances are high that you’ll face a plumbing conundrum at some point that calls for a plunger, an auger, putty, or a similar tool. 

These items can solve everything from minor problems (like clogged drains) to bigger issues such as small leaks or cracks in pipes. They can also buy you some time until you need to hire a professional plumber to come out and assess your issue. From the best pipe wrench to a top-notch drain snake for clogs, these plumbing tools are excellent at preventing major mishaps and solving minor slipups. 

1. Toilet Plunger

plumbing tools

It’s likely you’ll need a plunger at some point. The unique all-angle design of the Neiko toilet plunger makes it one of the best plungers on the market. The plunging end features four tiers of flanges, and it can fit toilet drains from 4 to 6 inches in diameter. Its aluminum handle resists mold and rust, and it even comes with a convenient hole in the handle so you can hang it up for easy access in a supply closet or utility room. 

Get the Neiko toilet plunger at Amazon for $17.70.

2. Plumber’s Tape

plumbing tools

When dripping occurs between two threaded pipe joints, plumber’s tape can come to your rescue. This particular tape holds in both high and low temperatures and can be used on almost anything: shower heads, sprinklers, gas heaters, appliances, and pipe and propane fittings. Plus, it’s easy to apply and can be removed years down the line if needed.

Get the PTFE plumber’s tape at Amazon for $6.99.

3. Drain Cleaning Auger

plumbing tools

From tubs to sinks to showers, a drain cleaning auger is one of the few tools for plumbing that can power through grease, hair, lint, and other buildup to clear drains in any room of your house. 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 auger is no exception.

Get the Ridgid drain cleaning auger at The Home Depot for $49.98.

4. Mini Sink and Drain Plunger

plumbing tools

Small clogs are no match for the Liquid-Plumr mini sink and drain plunger, which has a 5-inch flat bell cup that can clear minor clogs from a variety of drains. Its small size and nonslip grip make it easy to use, and it requires nothing more than a gentle push to plunge.

Get the Liquid-Plumr mini sink and drain plunger at Amazon for $14.95.

5. Plumber’s Putty

plumbing tools

When pipes develop small holes or cracks, plumbers’ tools like Harvey plumber’s putty can seal things temporarily until the pipe can be replaced or fixed by an expert. Plumber’s putty is a waterproof material that can be applied like a patch over small pin holes or cracks. This can save you some time and prevent unnecessary leakage until you receive professional help.

Get the Harvey plumber’s putty at Amazon for $7.49.

6. Pipe Wrench

plumbing tools

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

Get the Husky pipe wrench at The Home Depot for $19.88.

7. Pliers

plumbing tools

No matter whether you own a home or rent an apartment, you can benefit from having a pair of pliers in your plumbing arsenal. The Knipex Cobra pliers have a self-locking mechanism that prevents slipping and helps make adjusting pipes or nuts a breeze. This multipurpose tool can grip, turn, pull, hold, and screw hex nuts. It even comes with a pinch guard to protect your precious appendages.

Get the Knipex pliers at Amazon for $35.21.

8. Bucket

plumbing tools

It may seem simple, but a 5-gallon bucket can come in handy if you encounter a plumbing emergency. When it’s not catching a leak, it can be used as storage to hold other tools or equipment in your garage or utility closet. Although basic, it can be one of the most versatile and most necessary items in your home.

Get the Homer 5-gallon bucket at The Home Depot for $4.48.

9. LED Flashlights

plumbing tools

You’d be hard-pressed to find a professional plumber who didn’t own a top-notch flashlight. Because most plumbing is hidden behind walls, cabinets, or in tight spaces, it helps to have a flashlight on hand to see what problem you’re dealing with. These battery-powered GearLight LED flashlights can light up 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 flashlights at Amazon for $19.99.

10. Nitrile Gloves

plumbing tools

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

Get the MedPride powder-free nitrile gloves at Amazon for $9.99.

11. PEX Crimping Tool

Emergency Plumbing Tools Option PEX Crimping Tool
Photot: amazon.com

PEX tubing has become increasingly popular for plumbing thanks to its ease of use, resistance to corrosion, and because it is less likely than copper to burst in freezing temperatures. However, if you’re going to repair PEX piping you need special crimps and one of the best PEX crimp tools to secure them. The Kotto ratchet PEX crimping tool comes at a very reasonable price, and it includes a PEX cutter and an assortment of crimps to complete emergency plumbing repairs.

Get the Kotto ratchet PEX crimping tool at Amazon for $28.95.

12. Folding LED Work Light

Emergency Plumbing Tools Option Folding LED Work Light
Photot: amazon.com

Flashlights are great for lighting up dark corners. But if you need both hands free to repair plumbing, directing the beam can be a challenge. This rechargeable folding LED work light from Dr. Prepare is a compact, and super-convenient solution. It can operate as either a wide-area lamp or a pinpoint flashlight. The head can be posed anywhere in a 360-degree arc, and it rotates. Additionally, it has adjustable brightness and can be positioned either using the magnetic base or its hanging hook.

Get the Dr. Prepare folding work light at Amazon for $17.99.

13. Hacksaw

Emergency Plumbing Tools Option Hacksaw
Photot: amazon.com

A hacksaw is the optimal choice for cutting metal, making it an indispensable plumbing tool in homes with copper piping. It also has the versatility to cut plastics, laminates, and wood, so it’s a great addition to any DIY kit. The Craftsman 12-Inch hacksaw has a solid metal frame that resists flexing for more accurate cuts. The blade can be angled at 90 or 180 degrees. There is a large, easy-to-use tensioning knob, and the full-grip handle makes it comfortable to use.

Get the Craftsman 12-inch hacksaw at Amazon for $13.98.

14. Tubing Cutter

Emergency Plumbing Tools Option Tubing Cutter
Photot: amazon.com

A tubing cutter is another one of those plumbing tools you’ll find in just about every professional’s toolbox. They can quickly and accurately cut aluminum, PVC, copper, and stainless steel pipes (though they don’t work with PEX). The Wostore tubing cutter adjusts anywhere from ⅛ inch to 1⅜ inches, which covers all common tubing sizes. Blades are easy to change, and a spare is included. It also comes with a deburring reamer to clean up cut edges and help ensure a secure repair.

Get the Wostore tubing cutter at Amazon for $13.99.

Melissa Graham Avatar

Melissa Graham

Contributing Writer

Melissa Graham has worked with the BobVila.com team for 2 years. With more than 10 years of experience in the media industry, she has covered everything from the best gifts for new homeowners to how to remove a bird’s nest or move across the country. When she’s not wearing her writer’s hat, she’s chasing her two kids around their Dallas home, perfecting her baking skills, or reading the latest best-selling thriller.