A plumber is a type of maintenance worker who deals primarily with plumbing systems used in households and commercial buildings. They get this job done by possessing highly specialized expertise in how household plumbing systems work, as well as the skills required to use the right tools in the right situations. Specific tasks may include installing and repairing pipes, unclogging drains, installing vents and traps, cutting and threading pipes, and making modifications to walls and floors to accommodate pipes. Plumbers especially need to understand how to read blueprints and floor plans for buildings, as they may need to refer to these to understand how the plumbing system in the building they are working on works. However, it should be noted that plumbers will not always be provided with these documents and may have to make educated guesses about a building’s plumbing system. Plumbers may also inspect a building’s plumbing system to ensure that safety and building regulations in regard to plumbing are not being violated.
Unlike many other workers, plumbers do not need to undergo a college-level program to learn their trade, though there are many programs that provide specialized training in the field of plumbing. Plumbers are required to earn a special license to perform their job. The steps in getting this license differ from state to state, as there’s no federal law regulating how plumbers are supposed to operate. Plumbers will usually own their own businesses, as quite a large number of them work alone. Some may have partnerships with other plumbers or have subordinates to help them out, but because of the nature of the work, they will usually work alone.
- Cut and thread pipes.
- Install vents and traps in the plumbing system, in accordance with required codes.
- Utilize appropriate plumbing and shop tools.
- Install and repair pipes and fixtures and open clogged drains.
- Cut openings in floors and walls to accommodate pipe and pipe fittings.