Mike M wrote in with a fantastic question!
What should homeowners include in an essential home repair supply kit? O-rings? Washers? Adhesives?
Hey, I was just looking at your essential tools for DIYers post, and I had an idea for a future blog: essential materials and repair items to keep around the house.
For example it’s probably a good idea to always have some compatible o-rings and washers in case of a leak in the middle of the night (along with some plumbers grease).
And everyone should keep some WD-40, duct tape, twine, wood glue, etc. I started putting together a shelf in my basement for these essentials, and was wondering what I might be missing.
This brought to mind a post I wrote some time back, about screw and fastener assortments. I bought a couple of quick-access socket cap and button head machine screw assortments, which came in handy, but were a little limiting.
So then during a big sale at an industrial supplier, I ordered a lot of fastener boxes, making my own massive machine screw assortment.
My father has a rule: never start a plumbing repair project on a Sunday. If you start working on a minor faucet or toilet repair, do it on a Saturday morning when the plumbing supply shops are still open.
I think that one can stock up on o-rings, rubber washers, and things like that, but I have some hesitations about whether they would make for good essential or emergency repair prep.
I remember going with my father to the local hardware store to pick up a part for a faucet. He first looked through his stash of spare parts, but nothing fit. So he shut off the water to the faucet, and took the washer to the hardware store, matching up sizes before buying a replacement.
If you’ve got one toilet or water faucet, then yes, it might make sense to buy some spare parts should something fail at midnight before a big Sunday holiday party. But if you’re able to shut off access to that facility for a day or two, is it essential to be able to repair it on a moment’s notice?
In another post, a reader commented that they bought 2 replacement parts whenever something failed. Unless very cost prohibitive, this might be a good way to build up a replacement part kit. It’s a good way to stock up on light bulb sizes too.
When your car’s headlight or blinker light goes out, do you have the replacement on-hand, or do you head to the store to buy what you need when you need it?
That being said, here are a few things that I think might go into a homeowner’s essential supply kit:
- WD-40 (maybe replace every few years)
- 3-in-1 oil
- Essential tools
- Duct tape
- Adhesives: Silicone repair tape?, Gorilla Glue, Crazy Glue, Elmer’s glue, maybe epoxy
- Indoor and outdoor caulk
- Drywall anchors and screws
What else? I’m drawing a blank about what else I might need.
I recently read a copper pipe leak repair post somewhere, where the DIYer blogger recommended keeping a couple of parts on-hand for emergency repair purposes.
I don’t recall my father ever having to repair a pipe in the home I grew up in. We’ve got copper pipes in our new home, and I assume that if there’s ever a pinhole leak or similar, that’s when I’ll gather what I need to do a quick repair.
I’ve been hesitant to build up a big supply kit for myself, for 2 reasons.
1. What the heck will I need?
There is no way to anticipate every need.
2. Things go bad.
I just had to throw away a bunch of chemicals because they were so old they likely lost their potency, even some new in the bottle. I have yet to replace some of them.
Things like rubber washers can absolutely degrade over time, whether they’re in open air or sealed away in a tool box.
What Supplies or Kind of Supplies Would You Put into a Home Repair Kit?