In this article, we’ll give you a list and description of the 30 best plumbing tools to have on hand to serve homeowners and solve even the most complex plumbing problems as efficiently as possible and to give your customers a highly professional service and experience.
The list is broken down into two main categories:
Essential hand tools to get the job done (wrenches, etc.)
Software tools to help you run your plumbing business
The first part of the list is focused on the practicalities of plumbing, while the second part lists a range of software tools from ServiceTitan that you can use to help you manage and operate your plumbing business.
Below, we look at the 30 best tools for plumbers to service the modern homeowner.
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1. Pipe wrench
2. Basin wrench
3. Adjustable wrench
4. Faucet key
6. Tubing cutters and plastic pipe cutters
7. Plumber’s torch
8. Thread sealing tape
10. Press fitting systems
12. Hand Auger
13. Snake Machine
14. Inspection camera
17. Heat shields/pads
18. PEX pipe expander & fittings
20. Stubby screwdriver
21. Flow rate calculator
22. Pipe volume calculator
23. Call booking tool
24. Marketing tool
25. Contract tool
26. Scheduling tool
27. Dispatching tool
28. Invoice generator
29. Payroll tool
30. Mobile app & tablet
Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at each of the tools and why you should add them to your plumbing toolkit.
The Plumbing Tools List
No tool is more associated with plumbing than the wrench, and no plumbing tools list would be complete without it! There's no single all-purpose wrench, however, so well-prepared plumbers usually bring several to a job site.
1. Pipe Wrench
The pipe wrench serves as a plumber’s largest wrench. Plumbers use these heavy tools to tighten and loosen nuts and fittings on pipework. They typically use two of these wrenches together—one to hold a pipe in place and the other to rotate the nut or fitting in the appropriate direction. Pipe wrenches come in various lengths, and prepared plumbers typically work with an entire set of these tools.
2. Basin Wrench
The basin wrench is a T-shaped tool plumbers use specifically to work on faucets. The clamp-like mechanism on one end of these wrenches allows plumbers to reach into narrow spaces and loosen or tighten the nuts that keep our faucets working (and not leaking).
3. Adjustable Wrench
The adjustable wrench tightens and loosens hexagonal nuts and fittings on pipes. These wrenches come in various sizes, but plumbers most often have the 6- and 10-inch versions on hand.
4. Faucet Key
Not a traditional wrench per se, but a critical part of any plumbing tools list. Faucet keys are small, X-shaped tools designed to open and close spigots and sillcocks. There are versatile models on the market for dealing with different stem fittings—1/4", 9/32", 5/16", and so on.
If you work as a plumber, tools that make working with pipes easier appear prominently on your plumbing tools list. Modern plumbers use a variety of tools and techniques to repair, alter, replace, and install piping in various (and usually tight) spaces around the home.
Plumbers carry hacksaws to cut through a variety of hardware, including pipes, nuts, bolts, and screws. This is challenging work and plumbers need to tightly secure their blades (and keep spare blades in the truck). A hole saw is also a useful addition to the toolkit.
6. Tube and Plastic Pipe Cutters
If you're a trade professional who regularly deals with copper or plastic piping (and you probably deal with both frequently), you know you’ll eventually need to remove, replace, and resize them. There are an array of handheld tube and plastic pipe cutters on the market, so novice and veteran plumbers alike can choose which models work best for them.
7. Plumber's Torch
Many plumbers seal copper piping by soldering it. You need heat to solder. Plumber's torches are small, handheld tools that allow plumbers to apply intense heat in precise areas, soldering and sealing new piping for installs and replacements. They’re a must-have for any plumbing tools list.
8. Thread Sealing Tape
Also known as "plumber's tape," plumbers use this tape to patch or prevent possible leaks at threaded joint connections in piping. Quality thread sealing tape is resistant to high and low temperatures. It also stretches for better, form-fitting coverage and never dries out.
Like wrenches, plumbers use pliers every day. These smaller tools are among the best tools for plumbers because they allow professionals to loosen and tighten nuts and bolts too small for a wrench to grip. They also fit easily in a plumber’s hand to squeeze into tight spaces where a wrench won't fit.
10. Press Fitting Systems
Connecting pipes securely is critical to any plumbing project’s success. Iron Pipe Size (IPS) press-fitting systems physically press a connection onto a pipe, producing an impermeable connection or seal.
They save plumbers time and money because plumbers can make connections with them in less time than it takes to weld or solder the pipes.
Clearing Clogs and Blockages
Sometimes the problem isn't the pipe, it's what's inside, and drain cleaning is a regular part of any plumber’s job. Good plumbers know their way around a stubborn clog and which tools they need to keep a homeowner's plumbing uncongested and running smoothly.
“We try to have a pretty good variety of sewer machines,” says Chris Gist, owner of NWFL Mechanical in Gulf Breeze, Florida. “We have a couple of drain cleaning options on each line for our plumbers when we send them out.”
Most homeowners own toilet plungers and sink plungers, but plumbers should come equipped with them, too. Trade professionals should be ready with heavy-duty flange and cup plungers of different sizes, which produce significantly more suction than the average consumer plunger.
12. Hand Auger
A hand auger is a circular, handheld device that allows plumbers to drive a cable deep down a drain in order to break apart and clear clogs (via a hand crank). Hand-auger technology has come a long way over the years and there are various models and capabilities on the market for plumbing professionals to consider as part of their plumbing tools list. For smaller drains (hand basins or kitchen sinks), a drain snake or drain auger should be enough for the job.
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13. Snake Machine
A snake machine is essentially a larger, motorized version of the hand auger. When clogs are especially deep or difficult to displace, snake machines usually have the muscle to remedy the situation.
14. Inspection Camera (Borescope)
Plumbers used to view inspection cameras (also called borescopes) as top-of-the-line technology in the plumbing trade, but now most plumbers carry them. These small cameras tethered by a long, flexible cable are inserted far down into drains and sewer lines to give professionals a better look at the condition of the piping and whatever may be obstructing it. Smaller plumbing businesses can now use prosumer models that connect directly to a smartphone for fast, convenient application.
Experienced plumbers know there are many ways to get hurt on the job. Luckily, a number of different tools help to protect plumbing professionals and dramatically lower the chances of an accident. Any discussion about the best tools for plumbers should include these items.
Being a plumber means closely examining leaks, soldering, and other things that can be potentially dangerous to one's eyes. A good plumber is also a safe one. They always arrive at the scene with appropriate eyewear.
Plumbers are exposed to a lot of things that no one wants to touch with their bare hands. There are various types of heavy duty gloves on the market to protect a plumber's hands, allow them to grip slippery items more easily, and offer a range of other benefits.
17. Heat Shields/Pads
If soldering is a regular part of your day-to-day, then it's critical to use the proper safety equipment to protect yourself and the homeowner. Complete your plumbing tools list with reliable heat shields and pads. They help to protect plumbers and the surrounding environment from heat damage or fire when soldering is necessary.
From redesigned hardware to emerging technologies that are changing the face of the plumbing industry, there are always new tools and solutions for plumbing pros to consider when looking to up their game and better their business.
18. PEX Pipe Expander & Fittings
PEX piping is one of plumbing's latest innovations. It’s resilient, flexible plastic piping offering unprecedented convenience and reliability. A PEX expander is a drill-like tool that widens the mouth of the pipe so you can insert a metal fitting. Because PEX piping retains its original shape, the mouth closes in on the fitting, creating a perfect seal for water to pass through.
Crimp tools are critical in PEX-related plumbing, but plumbers use them with other types of piping as well. Crimping is joining multiple pieces of metal or other material by deforming or squeezing one or both of them to hold them together.
Be discriminating when purchasing crimpers for PEX, says Gist, the owner of NWFL Mechanical.
“The difference between buying the expensive ones and buying the cheap ones is pretty substantial,” he says. Gist recommends Milwaukee brand crimpers.
20. Stubby screwdriver
It might sound basic compared to other tools, but plumbers should consider the stubby screwdriver as a must-have on any plumbing tools list. It could be a job-saver when a plumber needs to tighten or loosen a screw in a hard-to-reach place inaccessible to a normal or electric screwdriver.
As with traditional screwdrivers, plumbers can purchase stubby screwdrivers with multiple flathead or Phillips bits.
21. Flow Rate Calculator
Easily calculate or convert units of measurement for volumetric flow rate using ServiceTitan’s Flow Rate Calculator. This free tool helps plumbers quickly determine the speed of water flowing through a pipe and how much space it occupies inside that pipe based on diameter and velocity—without complicated equations and manually converting metrics.
22. Pipe Volume Calculator
Figure out how much water a piping section can handle and tally how much the water in those pipes weighs using the freeServiceTitan Pipe Volume Calculator. Plumbers can easily convert pipe volume and mass using six different measurement units to save time, reduce waste, improve accuracy, and confirm appropriate pipe size for any plumbing job.
Software Tools to Help Run and Grow Your Plumbing Business
We built ServiceTitan to help plumbers more efficiently run their plumbing businesses after discovering that business tools specifically designed for home services professionals such as plumbers were sorely lacking.
Today, our field service software is trusted by 100,000+ contractors, and includes tools for call booking, marketing, invoicing, payroll, scheduling, dispatching, and drawing up time-sheets. In addition to the ServiceTitan web app, there is also a mobile and tablet app that makes it easy for you and your techs to manage your business on the go.
Let’s take a more detailed look at some of the essential tools included in ServiceTitan:
Software Tools to Increase Revenue
To speed up bookings and give customers a more personalized service, ServiceTitan’s call booking tool includes a cloud-based phone system. Whoever answers the calls can see who is calling and greet customers by name, giving them a better customer experience. It also has custom prompts for customer service reps (CSRs) to ensure they ask all the right questions on every call.
ServiceTitan also automatically records calls in case you need to review and files customer information as each call comes in. Overall, this tool helps you turn an otherwise haphazard process into something more repeatable and professional for your customers, helping you book more jobs.
24. Marketing tool
These tools help you easily book calls when advertising in Google (e.g. when someone searches “plumbers near me,” if you’re advertising in Google, ServiceTitan helps customers book an appointment in a few clicks), and see which of the calls from your ads has brought in money for your business. They can also rank your most successful campaigns so you can see what is working and what isn’t.
You can also pinpoint the exact geographical areas where your ads are working best using the ServiceTitan heat map. The more income you generate in a specific area, the bigger the highlighted area, which helps you identify where to focus your efforts.
Overall, our marketing tools let growing plumbing businesses use every marketing dollar as efficiently as possible to generate as many plumbing leads as they can.
25. Contract tool
ServiceTitan’s service agreement software gives you all the tools you need to effortlessly manage recurring jobs (such as regular maintenance visits) and turn more one-off jobs into recurring contracts. Our membership wizard simplifies the process of setting up regular maintenance contracts in a few steps, allowing you to apply discounts and schedule appointments so your team can never miss a contracted service visit.
Because every contract is unique, ServiceTitan lets you customize every aspect of a contracted service including monthly charges, opt-ins for additional maintenance tasks and upgrades for extra services. To make the entire process even easier, ServiceTitan also automatically costs labor and materials, so you can be certain that you invoice your customers correctly every time.
Tools for Plumbing Business Operations
26. Scheduling tool
Using ServiceTitan’s service scheduling software, you can schedule plumbing jobs weeks, or even months, in advance. This helps you make sure you have the plumbing techs with the right skills available for each job, on the right day.
If there’s a tricky job coming up that may take longer than a standard maintenance visit, ServiceTitan lets you reserve a longer time for that service, as well as add tags for the technical specifications of every job. So, there’s no need to waste your time or the homeowners’ time by sending a technician with the wrong skill set or the wrong toolkit.
27. Dispatching tool
ServiceTitan’s field dispatch software helps you make sure your plumbers arrive on time to their jobs. Our smart schedule optimization takes into account real-time changes in traffic, allows dispatchers to extend, shorten, or reschedule jobs as changes occur, and takes into account last-minute changes to every plumber’s schedule.
In addition, ServiceTitan sends out job confirmations and changes to appointments by text message to the customer, so the customer stays up to date on when the tech will reach their place and be instantly notified of any changes to the schedule. This means you can cut out confirmation calls completely, while still keeping everyone informed of arrival times.
Provide your team of plumbers with a mobile tool to easily create, save, and email or text customized invoices with ServiceTitan’s free Invoice Generator Tool. Eliminate paperwork, streamline invoicing, and give customers a convenient digital invoice they can pay on the spot, so you get paid faster and more reliably. Your reps will also love spending less time on invoicing paperwork.
ServiceTitan’s contractor payroll software is specifically designed to help service businesses to manage payroll, pay staff correctly and on time, with less effort, and to keep an eye on the profitability and efficiency of their businesses.
Keep track of timesheets in real time whilst taking into account commissions, bonuses, and overtime. Timesheets include details of time spent driving, time spent buying materials, and time actually working on each job so plumbing business owners can identify where to make efficiency gains.
Additionally, ServiceTitan’s Labor Rate Calculator reveals the true cost of employing plumbers on your payroll and determines how much your company should bill customers for labor to maximize profitability. Plug key metrics into this free, interactive tool to calculate a flat-rate billable hourly labor charge to cover the cost of doing business, and hit your net profit goals.
Make it easy for customers to order, buy, and pay for your company’s plumbing services with a simple tap-click-or-swipe on a mobile tablet. UsingServiceTitan’s Mobile App, techs build tiered estimates out in the field with vibrant photos, manufacturer videos, and detailed product information, so customers can browse and buy at their own pace—just like shopping online.
Give your plumbing customers the mobile-driven service they prefer by adding ServiceTitan’s Mobile App to your techs’ arsenal of tools. Other key features include:
Data Access: Give techs access to all information collected by CSRs, such as customer names, addresses, contact information, outstanding estimates, job histories, property details, prior invoices, call recordings, notes, and more, with a few taps on their mobile tablet.
Customization: Upload your own forms and pricebooks, and manage pricing and product updates easily across the entire ServiceTitan cloud-based system.
Job Automation: Automatically trigger certain forms to appear as the job progresses, so techs know which steps to take at every stage—from diagnosis and repair to invoicing and asking for a review.
Mobile Payments: Get paid faster by capturing checks and credit cards via the mobile tablet camera, or add a credit-card swiper. If customers prefer to pay with cash, techs can accept that, too, and automatically document payment in the field.
ServiceTitan: All-in-one Software to Manage and Run Your Plumbing Business
To grow a plumbing business, you need to have the right tools in your arsenal. Beyond the essential hand tools every plumber should carry to every job, you need marketing and advertising tools, scheduling and dispatch software, invoicing and accounting tools, and more to help you succeed.
ServiceTitan offers all of these tools and more, so professional plumbers can focus on their businesses.
To find out more about how ServiceTitan can help you manage your plumbing business, schedule a free demo here.
ServiceTitan Plumbing Software
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive plumbing business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.