The word plumber comes from the Latin word “Plumbum”, meaning lead. Lead was primarily used in drain pipes and conduits on Roman roofs and some were covered with lead as well. In the Middle Ages, any individual who had lead experience was referred to as a plumber.
A plumber is a person who specializes in the installation and repairing of the pipes, appliances and fixtures relating to water supply, sewage and drainage for both interiors and exteriors of the buildings. A skilled plumber requires years of training and experience. In some places, it is mandatory to have a license to be able to work as a plumber.
Activities of a plumber
- Installing, maintaining, diagnosing and repairing all types of plumbing fixtures, sanitary wares and systems
- To be able to detect faults that may occur in plumbing, appliances and systems, and diagnose them
- Marking positions and locating the areas for correct installation of pipes, passage holes and fixtures on walls and floors
- Making all necessary measurements, joining, cutting and fixing of pipes using hand or power tools
- Testing pipes and fixtures for leaks using gauges and testing apparatus
- Determining the layout of water supply and waste systems
- A plumber should be aware of all safety as well as legal regulations relating to plumbing
- To ensure that all building regulations and safety standards are met
Regulations and licensing
- For a valid license in the United Kingdom, plumbers are required to pass Level 2 and Level 3 vocational requirements of the City and Guilds of London Institute.
- In some countries, the licensing requirements for plumbers differ from state to state. In general, a 4-year apprenticeship along with a minimum 2 years of experience is required. To maintain their plumbing license, plumbers are required to maintain minimum relevant training.
- In the United States, there is no specific federal law regarding licenses for plumbers. However, each state may have its own licensing and taxing structure.
- Do remember it is always a safer option to hire licensed individuals because you are assured of their credibility and ability to handle pipes. Else this could lead to long-term damage and mishandling of your precious plumbing line in the hands of novices.
The nature of a plumber’s job requires traveling to various work sites on a regular basis and they may often have to work nights or on weekends as well. To be a successful plumber, one has to be good with problem solving skills, have a good mechanical aptitude and must be ready to work in cramped and dark spaces. The demand for a good plumber is always on the rise with advancement in urbanization and more and more people upgrading or renovating their bathrooms, appliances and plumbing. Also, constant maintenance is required to ensure proper functioning for which experienced plumbers are in huge demand.
Common mistakes to avoid:
- Always look for an experienced plumber who knows his work well, so that the work is of good quality and is completed on time.
- In places where licensing is required, one should always check whether the plumber has a valid license so as to ensure professionalism.
- When required, it is always better to call for a plumber’s help early than to be late and avoid the risk of not being able to use your bath or appliances.
- Regular maintenance in the plumbing lines is required for years of trouble free operation. Also, in places where there is high heat and humidity, exterior plumbing needs more attention so as to avoid leakages, cracks, etc.
Now that you know what to look for, always use good quality materials for peace of mind and years of trouble-free operation.