The Complete Guide to Plumbing

The Complete Guide to Plumbing 5th Edition – Book Review

The Complete Guide to Plumbing 5th Edition – Book Review

  • Title: The Complete Guide to Plumbing 5th Edition
  • Author: N/A
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Cost: $19.40 (at time of review) from
  • Overall: (4.5 of 5.0)  This book covers the full spectrum of plumbing projects, techniques and tools.  Its a great resource for any DIY’er when plumbing is in your project scope.
  • Link To Amazon:  Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Plumbing, Updated 5th Edition


Plumbing that you can do yourself will save you the most money.  Learning how to solder “sweat” copper pipes alone has saved me thousands of dollars whether I worked on custom multi-head shower systems or simply raised the toilet water supply up a few inches to clear a higher baseboard.   The introduction of this book says it best, “some plumbing repairs are extremely complicated and laborious, but others are really quite simple and entirely manageable.  The reason you should own this book is that it will help you determine which projects you can take on yourself.”  I agree!

Things I liked:

  • Modern & Updated.  The book covers a wide range of topics in the plumbing space.  They address newer plumbing topics like tank-less water heaters which I first installed myself about three years ago.  The topics are too numerous to list here but you should expect a thorough overview of just about everything you will encounter in new plumbing installs, upgrades and repairs.
  • Repairs Section.  So many times we are baffled by the most simple of repairs.  This book breaks down some common plumbing issues and provides a step by step solution for each.
  • Tools & Materials.  The tools and materials section will introduce you to unfamiliar products.  For folks new to plumbing, the glossary of terms and part names will allow you to ask questions at Home Depot about your project and identify the tools and parts you need.

Thing I didn’t like:

  • Hot Mop Missing.   The book covers custom shower pans but I am surprised it doesn’t discuss the value of hot mopping or using a some newer products like the Pacific Polymers BT series membrane system.  Hot mopping or the Pacific Polymers System are how the pros do it and I would never build a shower pan any other way.  A bit of a gripe here.
  • PEX.  The section on PEX (Cross-Linked Polyethylene) which is a alternative to using copper lines for both hot and cold water is brief but it does provide a five page overview of the product, design and installation techniques.

A good reference guide and it will more than pay for itself.  All it takes is one less visit from the plumber and you will very likely be able to buy ten copies of this book.  Happy plumbing!

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