The Ultimate List of Plumbing Materials for Beginners

When it comes to plumbing materials, we know how a lot of people find it very difficult to identify each of the materials as well as what it’s used for. 

A beginner can also be a homeowner who is seemingly tired of hiring and spending a fortune on professional plumbers. But with the right knowledge on how best to use the types of plumbing materials and fittings, you should soon be on your way to becoming an expert. On the other hand, people that are just getting started in plumbing will also find this list to be useful. 

This article lists some important plumbing materials in no particular order and what they are used for. With this list, you should be able to identify the plumbing tools and materials suitable for your current needs. 

Types of Plumbing Materials And Their Uses

1. The Flange Plunger (Toilet Plunger)

We all know how the toilet gets clogged sometimes. Truth is, we can’t really avoid this as we are always bound to make mistakes when it comes to this.

As a beginner plumber, the flange plunger is a type of plumbing material that you should never forget to carry along in your bag. It’s a special tool that is made to help with clearing a clogged toilet.

It comes with a sealed bottom. This means that the plunger can be used to cause a hydraulic pressure that will indeed help you effectively unclog even the worst in the category of clogs.

2. Toilet/ closet Auger 

Just like the plunger, a toilet auger is used to remove all clogs from the toilet. In plumbing, creating and mastering the different alternatives will make you stand out from other rookies in your field.

A Toilet auger (also called a water closet auger) comes in a very long metal rod. It has a sort of bend that is designed to extend to the bottom part of the toilet when it’s time to fix any clogs.

Do not worry about the porcelain of the toilet getting scratched or spoilt as there’s a runner material that was created to protect it. Then, you must place the toilet auger properly and do some twisting moves at the bottom part of the toilet to quickly clear out the clog.

3. Sink Auger

We’ve talked about the plumbing tools used for taking care of toilet clogs. The sink auger, like the name sounds, is used to unclog the sink whenever it gets clogged. We all know how the food particles and debris can fill up the sink in the kitchen and go on to prevent the movement or draining of water.

Also known as a drum auger, the sink auger is also one of the bathroom materials for plumbers as it serves a good purpose. It’s most ideal when it comes to the bathroom tubs and sinks unclogging. This tool is a must-have in every home, not just for plumbers.

This auger comes as a cable that has a corkscrew at its end. Coupled with a drum canister, this cable is usually inserted into the drain. And it’s done in such a way that it quickly gets to the affected area and draws out the particles responsible for the clog.

4.  Pipe Wrench

This is yet another of the plumbing tools to consider having. What you have here is a very exceptional material that plumbers use to twist threaded pipe and pipe fittings.

You can make adjustments for loosening and tightening purposes. From its design, a pipe wrench is used to hold and grab objects in place while you’re working. That’s possible through its sharp teeth that dig deep into the pipe and add sufficient pressure to it.

5. Cup plunger

Also called sink and tub Plunge, the cup plunger makes a regular appearance if you ever get to look into a plumber’s toolbox.

Unlike the flange plunger, you cannot use the cup plunger to unclog your toilet. Instead, it’s meant for unclogging your shower, bathtubs, and even your sink. The cup plunger has a handle made of wood and is shaped like a cup. It works perfectly as a bathroom plumbing material.

6. Faucet Packing, Washers, and O-rings

This combo is one of the best tools that you can have as a plumber. Ever met anyone who complained of their sink constantly dripping water (or maybe even their radiators) in the past?

Faucet packing, rubber washers, and O-rings are used to remedy this sort of problem in the home or wherever such an issue arises. 

The Packing refers to a string that’s made of graphite and also wax coated. You use it by wrapping it all over the stems of the valve. Using this tool beneath the packing nuts makes a watertight seal.

If you’ve seen the Rubber washer and O-rings, you’d notice from the plumbing materials price list that it’s always available in different packs, structures, and sizes.

This is what helps when you have a spoiled faucet or want to find a replacement for the already existing one. The variety of packs that it comes in should make it easier for you to find a new one. As a plumber who’s just starting, you need the faucets, washers, and O-rings in your tool bag.

7. Tubing Cutter

Next on our list is the tubing cutter. With this material, you can work well enough with copper material. It’s a cutting tool that’s designed/ formed in a wheel used to cut metal. When you twist the knob, go on to add pressure to whatever object you’re working on.

This tool works well with copper pipes. To fully explore the extent of its value, note that copper usually will need the tubing cutter and square cuts.

While in use, ensure that you clip the tubing cutter onto the copper pipe, then tighten the cutter’s knob. Keep tightening and rotate the knob about  2 to 3 times and the wheels of your cutting tool will cut the pipe.

Usually, after cutting, you’ll note a material lying at the edge of the pipe. It’s called a burr. You will need to remove it from where it’s located inside the pipe through the use of a deburring tool. This tool comes with a tubing cutter. 

8. Plumber’s Tape

The plumbing tape is made using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Also called the Teflon tape, the plumber’s tape is a tool that is used to stop or protect the plumbing connections against leaks. 

These plumbing tools come in the form of a thin white tape that you can put around pipes and fittings in a thread-like manner just before you join the parts together. It’s made with silk material and most times sold in stores in a small pack. The Teflon tape helps to lubricate and makes the process of threading easier. It also helps with sealing joints to protect them against leaks.

9. Faucet valve seat wrench

Whenever you want to pull off the valve seats from the compression, the faucet valve seat wrench is your go-to tool, like the name implies. The compression faucet is an old (if not the oldest) type of faucet.

The valve seat can get spoilt, damaged, and might not seal tightly when the washer gets completely worn out. If it comes to this, you must pull out the valve seat just as mentioned before. Then, go on to replace it with the use of a faucet valve seat wrench.

In a situation where you aren’t able to pull out the valve seat, the reseating tool will help you with grinding, so you can transform it into a smooth surface.

 10. Pipe Saw

As a beginner plumber, you will most often find yourself in situations where you need to cut through pipes. There are some types of saws that are made for the cutting of pipes. It shouldn’t be hard to find pipe saws as you can easily get them in stores.

Professional plumbers consider this as a huge part of their job. When getting one, ensure you buy a very sturdy saw that can cut PVC, CPVC, and ABS with ease. Some very strong saws also have the ability to cut through drywall. Another upside is that pipe saws help you to achieve a neat finish.

11. Channel-Type Pliers

Channel type pliers are part of the plumbing tools that also have great relevance in the plumbing tool bag. They have the same look with adjustable pliers but happen to come with sections that allow for adjustments.

Also called channel locks by some, channel-type pliers allow you to clamp against pipes or some of the other tools used for the plumbing. And you can do this regardless of their build and size.

It comes with a long handle that helps you to twist without interruption. They are used for clamping and tightening any material. As mentioned above, this tool is one of the special tools that help and make the job of every plumber easier.

12. Ratchets

A good plumbing tool that has proved itself to be a lifesaver is the Ratchet. One thing about this tool is that it isn’t only meant for plumbing as it can help one out in other areas of the home. It’s especially handy and can be of immense help at any point in time. This is also one of the most affordable in the plumbing materials price list.

Plumbing Materials FAQ

Below are some of the questions that beginners ask often about plumbing and related tools:

Q1: What is the best material for plumbing?

When it comes to the best, copper pipe is one of the most recommended for plumbers. That’s because it’s been existing for a very long time and has marked a place for itself in history.

Copper pipes have been in use for about 80 years now to practice copper piping. It also doesn’t cause pollution to your drinking water as many tend to think. They are still very much in use.

Q2: What types of pipes are used in plumbing?

There are different types of pipes that are used for plumbing in most homes and commercial areas. They include:

  • PEX or cross-linked polyethylene piping
  • Cast iron plumbing pipes
  • Galvanized steel pipe
  • Stainless steel pipe
  • Rigid copper pipe
  • ABS Pipe
  • Cast iron plumbing pipes

Q3: What are the different types of fittings?

When it concerns plumbing, different types of fittings can be used for job performance and they include:

  • Adaptors.
  • Reducer.
  • Coupling.
  • Olet.
  • Tee type.
  • Unions.
  • Elbow.
  • Cross-type.

Q4: What are the pipes and types?

A: plumbing pipes come in different categories and also bear different sizes. It’s also classified into Metallic pipes (which comprise cast iron pipes, galvanized iron pipes, and steel pipes) and Cement pipes (comprising asbestos cement pipes and concrete cement pipes).

Q5: What is a pipe joint called?

Also known as pipe connectors, pipe fittings or pipe joints are made in such a way that they allow the connection between two pipes or more. They do this to create a long pipe system that helps plumbers to get the exact length they need.

The reduction, diversion, or combination of the water supply flow is dependent on this. They also come in different forms and measurements. This is to allow the pipes to properly connect in any situation. 

Q6: How long is a pipe joint?

A pipe joint, in this case, has to do with the casing or tubing of a drill pipe. The usual length of a drill pipe is about 30 ft. (9 m). When it comes to the casing, the usual length of the pipe joint is about 40 ft (12 m). This, however, isn’t the most recognized length as different pipe joints can be longer or shorter.


Mastering the identification and use of plumbing tools is a must for plumbers, especially for those who are still at the rookie level.

This guide is a comprehensive highlight of all you need to know about plumbing tools as a rookie. We hope this helps. You might also want to download more guides about plumbing materials and uses pdf formats and read for more graphic illustrations.

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