How to Build a Plumbing Emergency Kit


It’s best to be prepared for all the emergencies life can throw at you. Just like anything else, your home’s plumbing could throw a soggy surprise your way when you least expect it. That’s why our friendly Orcutt plumbers have come up with a list of the most important items to include in a plumbing emergency kit to save you time, money and potentially a whole lot of heartache.

Large Bucket

This is a multipurpose plumbing disaster tool that you really can’t do without. From catching leaks to storing tools, make sure you’ve got at least a 5-gallon bucket on hand just in case. You can utilize a bucket to position under a pipe with a leak or to catch water when you’re separating pipes. If it’s not catching water, a bucket is the perfect tool storage system for the rest of the emergency items on this list.

Plumber’s Putty

No plumbing pro leaves the shop for a job without plumber’s putty. It can be utilized for creating watertight seals on pipes, faucets, drains a more. Pretty much any hardware store will carry it, so make sure you’ve got plenty on hand in case of a plumbing emergency.

Take the Plunge

From a simple clog that doesn’t classify as an all-hands-on deck emergency to something a little more complex, a plunger is probably one of the first tools you’ll want to turn to. Keep in mind, you’ll want to keep separate plungers for sink and other drains and one for the toilet (pro tip: toilet clogs clear more easily with either a flange or accordion plunger) to minimize pathogen transfer.

Tools of the Trade

Sure, you’ve got tools lying around the house, but all tools are not created equally. These tools are a must for any basic plumbing job: Pipe wrench, adjustable wrench, mid-size slip-joint pliers and a multi-bit screwdriver. You’ll also want to keep handy any specialized removal tool or Allen wrenches that came with faucet or showerhead kits.

Replacement Bits and Pieces

Washers in faucets and other plumbing appliances are likely to need replacing every once and awhile, so it’s good to have replacements on hand. The pipes directly under sinks also take a lot of abuse, so having spare P-traps and attachment pieces is also a good idea. Having spare assembly screws, tighteners, clamps, cartridge valves, etc. — basically having two of everything – can at the very least save you an unplanned trip to the hardware store.

Duct Tape

Does this really need to be said? Be a plumbing emergency MacGyver and never be caught without a roll of duct tape on hand – to be used for, oh, just about anything.

Odds and Ends

Flashlight/headlamp: Whether it’s under a sink or in a crawlspace, it’s usually dark when you’re working on plumbing.

Gloves: Heavy duty work gloves for the rough jobs and rubber gloves to protect your hands from bacteria and other contaminants on those gross jobs.

Cleaning supplies: Any plumbing emergency usually results in a mess, so be ready for the aftermath cleanup.

Although having a plumbing emergency kit is important for all homeowners, sometimes it’s simply a job for the plumbing pros. So, feel free to contact our friendly Orcutt plumbers when any plumbing problem comes up.


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