Whether you're looking into becoming a plumber as a full-time career, or you simply want to be more prepared to handle issues around the house, there are some tools and supplies you'll absolutely need. Now, this article can't go into enough detail to tell you how to replace every faucet and fix every burst pipe, but we can at least give you a good starting point so you'll be well-equipped to work on your skills. It's worth saying that either way, having even a basic knowledge of plumbing can save you lots of money (and headaches), as you'll be able to perform some maintenance and repairs on your own.
Wrenches: Probably the single most common tool to immediately come to mind when we talk about plumbing is the wrench. There are many types of wrenches used by plumbers, the most recognizable of which is the pipe wrench. In fact, if there's one tool you can't have too many of as a plumber, it's the wrench, especially the different types of adjustable wrenches.
Basin wrench: This is listed separately as it's a different type of wrench that doesn't resemble others. A basin wrench is a crucial tool for getting hard-to-reach places underneath sinks. There are many plumbing jobs you can't do without one.
Screwdrivers: You're going to need as many screwdrivers as you can get, and no matter what it's a good idea to keep an assortment of them around.
Tape measure: A vital part of any set of tools, you're likely to need more than one tape measure to fit in different areas — especially compact ones.
Levels: When you're angling a pipe to fit in a tight spot or anywhere else, you need to get your angle right or the fittings and pipes aren't going to fit. Find a level that works on flat and angled surfaces.
Wireless inspection camera: This handy tool will allow you to look behind walls and inspect plumbing without needing to break the wall down first. Broken walls add on to repair costs and plumbing companies don't always cover those costs.
Pipe and tube cutters: These are essential for cutting pipes and tubes, especially since sometimes you may need to cut them in small areas. They're adjustable to cut different diameters of pipes.
Solder guns: How do you think those pipes stay connected? Pipe joint tape isn't always going to stop a pinhole leak from springing at the point of connection. Solder guns permanently seal fittings together.
Flashlight and other lighting: If you're working underneath a cabinet, you're going to need to see what you're doing! Invest in some bright flashlights and work lights that can be positioned near your work area.
Toolbox: You will need a toolbox both for storage and for carrying your tools to the room where you'll be working. Make sure you have enough room for organization so you can find the proper tool for the job.
Remember to check out the reviews on tool brands as different brands do make all the difference. There's nothing more frustrating than cheap tools snapping as soon as they're used on a corroded pipe under the sink, toilet, or on a water heater. As you get more involved in plumbing and move into more specialized projects, you'll find yourself in need of more specialized plumbing tools and replacement parts. Even if you could accomplish a certain job without them, specialized tools make it much easier and cleaner because they're built specifically for dealing with certain components. Replacement parts include pipes and fittings, faucets, and more.
There are few things more satisfying than being able to complete a necessary maintenance project yourself or for your customer. Good luck!