April 25 is National Plumber’s Day…but what exactly does a plumber do? Most people think of toilets and sinks when they think of plumbers, but in reality there is a wide variety of tasks a plumber can be called upon to perform.
Some interesting facts about plumbers that you may not know include:
- The word “plumber” comes from the Latin word plumbum, which is the name for the element and the metal lead. Up until the past few decades, all pipes were made of lead, so the people who worked with the pipes were called plumbers.
- A plumber cannot be called a plumber until he or she has trained as an apprentice under a qualified plumber. The amount of time an apprentice has to train varies by state, but is usually four to five years before the apprenticeship is complete.
- A plumber must pass exams, just like many other professions.
- It’s not just water pipes plumbers work with; they can also work with gas, sewer, and wastewater pipes.
- A plumber works with the architect and construction crew when a new building is built in order to determine where pipes of all varieties should be laid, and to install them.
So, what can a plumber do?
- Install and repair water heaters. Even if your water heater is electric, an electrician won’t work on it. Plumbers can even specialize in installation versus repair. If you call a plumber about your water heater, make sure they know why you are calling.
- Repair and unclog sewer lines. Your town or city is not responsible for the lines that connect your home to the main lines. The lines you are responsible for can leak, clog, or rot…and you’ll need a plumber.
- Repair and install gas lines. Yes, a plumber does gas…not the gas company. If you smell gas, call a plumber. If you’re running gas to an existing fireplace, call a plumber. If you need a gas line removed…well, you know.
- Install, repair, and replace water softeners. An independent plumber will give you straight-up advise about your water softening needs. Call one first before you call a company that only has one brand of softener.
- Install, repair, or remove water pipes. Those pipes can lead to sinks, dishwashers, faucets, showers, toilets, etc.
- Unclog pipes. These clogs can come from sinks, dishwashers, toilets, showers, etc.
- Deal with septic systems. Empty, install, and repair.
- Answer water pressure questions. And fix water pressure issues.
So, plumbers, for dealing with all the things we don’t know how to deal with; for coming in the middle of the night and drying out our basements; for unclogging our drains and helping install our beautiful new bathrooms, Thank You!