"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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The expression "a craftsman is only as good as his tools" can also be rephrased to "a DIYer is only as good as his tools". If you are serious about doing a good job you should buy good or better than good tools.
I cannot stress enough the importance of working with high quality tools. There is nothing worse than a tool breaking down in the middle of a project or the tool being too flimsy to do the job properly. Cheap tools are no bargain, you get what you pay for. They also break easy and can cause accidents.
Good quality tools will last a life time. I still use tools that were purchased decades ago. Don't convince yourself that you do not need to buy the best quality because you will use the tool only occasionally. I would argue the opposite. Buy the best quality tool you can afford and you never will have to purchase another one, that is, if you don't loose it or forgot who borrowed it from you!
Before starting any plumbing job take an inventory of the basic hand tools you will need. It may surprise you that most of the required tools you most likely already own. They are the same tools you use for other projects in and around the house. The job at hand determines which tools you may need. As an example you will not need a sledge hammer to replace a rusted out vanity sink (at least I don't hope so!!) but it will come in handy if you have to break up the basement floor to install a new bathroom or kitchen.
Be organized. Keep your tools in one place or location. There is nothing worse than going through the house or garage to hunt down the tools you will need for the next job. A toolbox is a good start but if you have room,  a pegboard would be even better. This way all the tools are displayed and easy to find. Adding a few shelves on each side of the pegboard is handy for storing power tools.

Temporary duct tape application.
Proper repairs should be made
as soon as possible.

Plumbing Tools
Basic hand and power tools

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As most of you know, calling a plumber to your home to get an estimate for a plumbing problem can be a shocker. We still need the professional plumber in emergency situations but most homeowners should be able to do the "run-of-the-mill" plumbing repairs. Having the right tools is an absolute must for any job on hand whether it be plumbing, electrical or carpentry. Tools should also be of a good quality and properly looked after.
- Educate yourself before starting
- Quality tools
- Tool care
- List of basic plumber hand and power tools
- Tool storage


Big plumbing jobs are best left to the professionals but there are all kinds of "maintenance" repairs that can be done by most DIYers. I'm talking about fixing small leaks, replacing worn out washers, installing a new bathroom sink (LINKXXXX) or kitchen faucets, (LINKXXXX), fix a running toilet, replacing the toilet wax seal or fixing a slow or clogged drain.(LINKXXXX). Even installing a new bathroom or giving a face-lift to an older one is not that complicated for a knowledgeable homeowner.
Prepare yourself by purchasing an introductory book on plumbing. It should explain in easy language how plumbing works and teach you some basic plumbing skills. For a brief overview of the plumbing system in your house go to "Plumbing-How It Works". There is also an abundance of self-help books and videos about plumbing on the internet.

The tiny pipe cutter (to the right of the blowtorch and below the handsaw)
comes in handy for tight spots. An old toothbrush is ideal for applying flux
to copper pipes and fittings.

In real estate sales the battle cry is "location, location, location". For tools it should be "Cleanup, cleanup, cleanup". Quality tools should last a lifetime, that is, if you do a thorough cleanup immediately after each use. Not later or tomorrow, because you will forget. Usually cleaning with water and soap will do the job. Sticky stuff, better known as "gook" can be removed with WD 40 or lighter fluid. Always dry your tools and lightly oil after each cleaning. Excess oil should be wiped away. I always keep an oil soaked rag handy and use it to wipe down my tools before putting them away. Files and rasps can be cleaned with a wire brush. Never, never work with dull cutting tools. Dull tools are not effective and can cause injuries. Bottom line: Buy quality tools and keep them clean and sharp.

Adjustable wrenches
Allen keys
Ball-pien hammer
Caulking gun
Chisels - cold, wood
Claw hammer
Crow bars
Drywall saw
Hole saw kit
Needle nose pliers
Pipe cutters
Pipe wrenches
Side cutters
Socket set
Sledge hammer
Step ladder

Tape measure
Tin snips
Utility knife (box cutter)
Vise grip pliers
Wire strippers
In addition to the hand tools listed above you may need some of the power tools listed below. Again, these tools you may already have as they can be used for other jobs around the house.
Angle drill
Angle grinder
Auger bits
Circular saw
Electric drill
Extension cords
Garden hose
Pipe cutters
Propane torch
Toilet auger
Duct tape. It has been said that this country is held together by bailing twine and duct tape. This may be true in many cases and is OK as long as it is used temporarily in emergencies till the proper repairs can be made.
Soldering supplies Solvents Teflon thread sealing tape

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