Even if you don’t feel very handy with a wrench, a good DIY plumbing book can help you take care of basic maintenance and repairs yourself, saving you money and hassle. If you’re already an experienced home improvement enthusiast, a more advanced DIY plumbing guide will give you more options for upgrading your home with new fixtures, kitchen appliances, and outdoor plumbing.

Ultimate Guide: Plumbing, 4th Updated Edition

Editors of Creative Homeowner (2017)

With 608 pages and more than 800 photos and diagrams, this book guides the novice do-it-yourselfer step by step through a range of common home plumbing tasks, from simple jobs such as unclogging a drain to more complex projects such as renovating a bathroom. Water softeners, lawn sprinklers, and some other less common topics are also covered.

To give you a big-picture understanding of how your home’s plumbing works, it provides a general overview of the typical plumbing system, including supply, waste, and vent piping. It also offers guidance on techniques such as soldering copper tubing and connecting PEX and PVC pipes. Project instructions are light on theory, though, and won’t do much to help you understand why things are done the way they are.

Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Plumbing Updated 7th Edition

Editors of Cool Springs Press (2019)

This highly rated DIY plumbing book covers a wide range of common home plumbing jobs in 228 well organized pages. You’ll learn how to take care of simple problems such as repairing faucets, perform upgrades such as installing a dishwasher or a jetted spa, and even handle accessibility improvements. The book also addresses related issues you might encounter, including dealing with flooring and cabinetry.

Clear, color photos and beginner-friendly descriptions accompany every step throughout each project guide. You’ll also find simple explanations of basic home plumbing systems.

Today’s Homeowner Tips

As a beginners’ guide, it goes for breadth over depth. If you already have some DIY plumbing experience and you’re looking for more advanced information, you might find this book lacking.

Plumbing Complete: Expert Advice from Start to Finish (Taunton’s Complete)

Rex Cauldwell (2009)

Focusing on common maintenance and repair jobs, this popular 256-page guide will teach you how to unclog pipes, repair dripping fauces, deal with running toilets, and care for your plumbing to cut down on problems in the future. Each project includes a tools list and detailed, step-by-step instructions with photos and exceptionally clear diagrams.

It covers the basics of installing new bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances and offers a broad overview of the essential aspects of a home plumbing system. The visual symbols in the table of contents help you find information at a glance. This isn’t a project book, though, so it doesn’t go into much depth on DIY upgrades.

Plumbing Do-It-Yourself For Dummies

Donald R. Prestly (2007)

True to its mission of helping absolute beginners, this 170-page book approaches basic DIY plumbing jobs in the simplest way possible. It offers detailed yet easy-to-follow instructions and hundreds of photos and illustrations to guide you through 40 of the most common plumbing jobs. You’ll learn how to repair leaks, unclog drains, apply caulk, and solve pipe problems. It even covers a few more advanced projects, such as replacing toilet parts, repairing and upgrading faucets, and replacing a dishwasher.

The book starts you off with an overview of your home’s plumbing system and guidance on complying with local plumbing codes. Project guides advise on planning, choosing tools and safety equipment, and even preparing for common problems.

Today’s Homeowner Tips

If you’re already up on the fundamentals of DIY plumbing, this book might be too basic for you.

Plumber’s Handbook

Howard C. Massey (2006)

Are you an experienced DIY-er who knows your way around a bathroom remodel? Then this is the book for you. This highly detailed 350-page guide will help you design and install a new residential or small commercial plumbing system that easily passes inspections.

Everything a pro needs to know is covered – basic fixtures, hot and cold water supply systems, wells, vents, drainage, waste piping, and septic tanks. The book also dives into more complex systems, such as fire protection piping and solar energy systems.

Theory, technical details, and plumbing code specifics are covered in depth. Black and white photos, illustrations, diagrams, charts, and tables help clarify every topic. Just keep in mind it’s not a repair guide and won’t be much help with issues such as replacement parts compatibility.

Plumbing: Basic, Intermediate & Advanced Projects

Mr. Merle Henkenius/Creative Homeowner (2002)

This 272-page book aims to arm you with all the know-how you’ll need to handle any home plumbing job suitable for a do-it-yourselfer. You’ll get a complete overview of how your home’s plumbing system works, from the supply pipes to the drainage system.

More than 700 illustrations and color photos show you exactly what needs to be done for each project. You’ll also find tips on project planning and spotting any dangerous techniques or materials previously used in your system.

Today’s Homeowner Tips

Because it’s an older book, you’ll want to check for yourself that the techniques recommended still comply with your local codes. 

Plumbing 1-2-3

The Home Depot (2005)

More than 90 common maintenance, repair, installation, and upgrade projects for both indoor and outdoor plumbing are covered in this 224-page book. It takes you through each project step by step with helpful expert tips.

The book’s troubleshooting suggestions make it an ideal guide for determining whether you can handle a job yourself or whether it’s best left to a professional. The actual project guides, however, aren’t highly detailed or particularly well illustrated and might not be enough to get you through those jobs unless you already know the basics.

Most of the best DIY plumbing books cover a good range of common jobs, but they differ in how much detail they include. To find one that fits your needs, pay attention to the skill level the book is aimed at and the types of projects it includes.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Henry Parker

Henry Parker

Henry Parker is a home improvement enthusiast who loves to share his passion and expertise with others. He writes on a variety of topics, such as painting, flooring, windows, and lawn care, to help homeowners make informed decisions and achieve their desired results. Henry strives to write high quality guides and reviews that are easy to understand and practical to follow. Whether you are looking for the best electric riding lawn mower, the easiest way to remove paint from flooring, or the signs of a bad tile job, Henry has you covered with his insightful and honest articles. Henry lives in Florida with his wife and two kids, and enjoys spending his free time on DIY projects around the house. You can find some of his work on Today’s Homeowner, where he is a regular contributor.

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