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DIY Plumbing Toolkit

Few things strike terror in homeowners' hearts like plumbing gone awry. And, conversely, few things are as satisfying as having the right tool handy when trouble strikes. You could save yourself the cost of a new floor. Likewise, if you want to extend supply pipes or install a faucet, the job will be a lot easier with a few specialized tools—like the ones suggested below.

Safety First
First-aid kit. Plumbers work in places where bacteria thrive, and they're always getting nicks and cuts that need quick treatment. A liquid disinfectant is great for fast first aid. In fact, if your plumbing chores require crawling under the house, you'll want to rinse your hands, arms and knees several times a day with a liquid disinfectant. Likewise, attend to minor cuts. Antiseptic mouthwash is perfect for this task—keep a large bottle near at all times. But don't use mouthwash with sugar in it—it doesn't disinfect as well. To treat larger cuts, a small first-aid kit with gauze and tape is a must.

Goggles and gloves.
Always wear goggles, especially when doing any work at or above eye level—or whenever you're using striking or power tools. Gloves are also a good idea.

Ground-fault protection.
Ground-fault protection on your corded electrical tools can be lifesaving. If your house has none, buy a 2- to 3-foot extension cord that has GFCI protection built in.

Good information.
Never cut into a wall without knowing what's inside. Cutting through a water pipe with a power saw could be a fatal mistake. Better to cut a small exploratory hole first; use a drywall saw or a utility knife, and the hole can be easily patched.


First-aid kit Safety goggles
Gloves Extension cord (w/ GFCI)
Drywall saw Utility knife
Plunger Auger
10-inch pipe wrench 14-inch pipe wrench
18-inch pipe wrench Basin wrench
6-inch adjustable wrench 10-inch adjustable wrench
12-inch adjustable wrench Tubing cutter
Mini tubing cutter 1/2-inch circular wire brush
3/4-inch circular wire brush Torch
Spray bottle Heat-resistant cloth
Fire extinguisher Reciprocating saw
Cordless drill Spade bits
Flat file Rat-tail file


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