Did you ever take the time to stop and think exactly what is a plumber? It is not a question that is as easy to answer as simply saying it’s a person who unclogs drains. More appropriately they should be classified as master technicians that have a lot of different skills they use to get the jobs done they are called on to do. Here is a list of jobs that more fittingly describe what is a plumber and the types of activities within the scope of those jobs they are called on to do.
General plumbing jobs are the types of jobs that people most commonly associate with as those being done by a plumber. This basically includes keeping anything that moves or drains water working and in a state of good repair. They will do such things as open clogged drains, rebuild the insides of a toilet and fix leaks on plumbing after a line has become frozen and cracked. They will also fix broken valves, replace worn bathroom fixtures and re-caulk areas of the bathroom that need it. They are able to work with both PVC and metal plumbing pipe. The work can be either residential or commercial in nature.
These are the people who put the plumbing accessories and piping into the house or building that eventually need to be fixed by those in the general plumbing category. They will install sinks, showers and tubs in a bathroom; hook up the other sinks in the house, plumb the lines coming into the house and also plumb the lines that connect the various appliances in the house that use water. They often have to be skilled at reading blueprints and be experts at putting together and sealing different kinds of pipe.
These are plumbing professionals that are basically concerned with plumbing that takes place outside of the house or building. They lay the framework in the yard for such things as drainage, sewer lines and water supply lines. They not only have to be skilled at plumbing but they also have to know how to run trenching machinery and know how to adjust the grade properly of the trenches they dig for drainage lines and sewers. Their scope of work may even include putting together oil and gas lines and the ability to use welding torches as well.
These are plumbers that take care of the various plumbing duties that are required in power plants or industrial settings. They will install and maintain the piping for large heating or cooling systems, supply plumbing to various industrial apparatus that need it and also repair and maintain different types of plumbing lines. They may additionally be tasked with installing and maintaining the automated controls which various plumbing systems use in an industrial or power plant setting too.
These are individuals that are highly trained and specialize in systems that require the use of high pressure liquids or gases. These jobs are mostly found in industrial type settings also.
These are plumbers who specialize in installing and maintaining building sprinkler safety systems that will come on automatically in the case of a fire.
So now the next time someone asks you what is a plumber, you will have a much better idea of the roles these professionals play in the world that surrounds you.