Every homeowner should have certain tools and supplies on hand in case of a plumbing emergency. Here are a few bathroom plumbing supplies that will give you the basics for repairing or at least stemming the flow of most plumbing problems.
We all have to deal with a leaky sink, a toilet that won’t flush, or water that won’t turn off at some point. The best way to deal with this is to make sure you always have repair kits on hand. You can pick up simple toilet-repair kits at any big-box store or hardware-supply store. They generally include all the basic parts needed to repair a toilet.
Sink-repair kits will generally have bolts, nuts, and washers included, and some may have the stem for the handle, as well.
While plumber's putty won’t cure a leaky pipe, it will certainly work in a pinch. You can buy this in small tubs at most hardware stores. It’s designed to form a temporary seal for leaky pipes or similar parts. If you discover your bathroom sink is leaking from the connector, this is the best thing to apply until you can either call a plumber or arrange for a more permanent fix. Having this material on hand can potentially save you lots of money in water-damage repair.
Epoxy is similarly not a permanent fix to a hole in a pipe or hose, but it will plug it up long enough to get it fixed. Just as with the putty, the epoxy is good to use in a pinch. The difference is the epoxy can generally be used on wet or dry surfaces and forms a more secure bond. Use sparingly, though, as it can be very difficult to remove later.
You never know when you’ll need to tighten a bolt in a hard-to-reach place. Pipe wrenches are designed just for this. They are large enough to reach and grip the farthest pipes in the back of a cabinet or wall.
Washers, Bolts, Nuts
These are so inexpensive that it’s silly to not have some extra ones on hand. You can store these in a small decorative jar or even an old coffee tin under the sink. If you have them, you won’t have to worry about running out in the middle of a repair to get them.
If a drain isn’t draining properly, or, worse, a toilet keeps backing up, the easiest fix is to use a snake to remove the clog. Letting a clog go untreated will only make it worse and can potentially cost you a lot more down the road in repairs. You can pick up an inexpensive snake for around $20. Just keep it in the package and tuck it under the cabinet somewhere out of sight, and then you will have it when you need it.
A Well-Stocked Toolbox
Keep a toolbox handy and accessible. More than that, make sure you have all the essential tools inside it. Screwdrivers with both flat and Phillips heads, wrenches of different kinds, extra screws, hammers, a level, etc. This will prevent you from scurrying around later trying to find a misplaced tool when you need it most.