What Does a Plumber Do?

Plumbers Dunwoody install and repair pipes transporting water, gas, and waste in homes and businesses. They may also work with fixtures such as sinks, bathtubs, toilets, and appliances. They read and interpret blueprints and building codes to determine the best locations for plumbing systems.

Plumbing work requires physical strength, good manual skills, and the ability to climb ladders and crawl into tight spaces. It can involve exposure to hazardous materials and chemicals.

Plumbing Basics: This Is How Your Home Plumbing System Works

Plumbing systems are complex networks of pipes, fixtures, and appliances that deliver clean drinking water, remove waste, and regulate indoor climate in residential and commercial buildings. Plumbers install these systems in new construction and repair them when broken. They use various tools to inspect, test, and evaluate plumbing components, including video cameras, pressure gauges, and electronic leak detection devices. They must also have good customer service skills to interact with clients, provide advice and estimates for work, and address any concerns.

Plumbing installations often involve working on building sites, following blueprints and plans to lay out piping systems, and connecting them to water supply, drainage, and heating systems. They may also be responsible for installing toilets, showers, sinks, and other fixtures. When working on new construction, they might need to adjust based on the location of appliances and fittings or the materials used.

On maintenance jobs, they might need to replace parts such as valves or faucet washers and may also be called upon to re-pipe sections of a plumbing system where the original pipework is damaged or obsolete. Re-piping can be done to accommodate new fixtures, add or relocate appliances, and, in the case of sewage systems, remove potentially dangerous microbes from the drain lines through regular sanitization procedures.

Plumbers must also have strong technical knowledge of plumbing codes and regulations and how they apply in specific jurisdictions. They frequently use specialized inspection equipment, such as video cameras, to examine pipes and sewers. They can utilize high-powered water jetting equipment to clear blockages from drains or remove tree roots without needing to dig up the entire plumbing system.

Plumbers sometimes need to be on-call for emergency repairs, and so need to have a flexible schedule. This can mean working evenings and weekends and being on-call for urgent plumbing issues like burst pipes or flooding. It can also mean traveling to client locations to perform repairs and being exposed to hazardous substances such as asbestos or fecal matter in the course of their duties.

Plumbers repair and maintain the pipes and fixtures that deliver water, heat, and waste disposal services in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. Their responsibilities include:

  • Inspecting and testing existing systems to identify problems.
  • Finding solutions.
  • Ensuring all components function properly.

This work often involves working in cramped spaces, requiring physical stamina to lift heavy objects and spend long periods on one’s feet. Plumbers also use various tools and equipment to perform their duties, including drills, snakes, and hydro jets to unclog drains and pipes; video cameras to inspect underground pipes; and pressure gauges to test for leaks and confirm water pressure levels.

Some plumbers specialize in installing plumbing systems for new construction projects. These plumbers collaborate with architects, builders, and construction professionals to design piping layouts that meet building codes and client specifications. They may also install appliances like toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, faucets, and heating and cooling systems. Other plumbers focus on maintenance and repairs of existing systems. These tasks include replacing worn washers and gaskets, fitting replacement parts such as valves and taps, repairing or replacing broken pipe pieces, resolving water leaking issues, and power flushing heating systems.

Because plumbing emergencies often occur at inconvenient times, many plumbers respond to service calls from customers on a 24/7 basis. These plumbers must be available on short notice and often work overtime to resolve urgent problems, such as leaking pipes or water heater failures. This can lead to additional stress and fatigue, but it also allows plumbers to build a strong rapport with their clients and gain valuable experience.

All plumbers must be skilled at their trade, but some soft skills can help them excel in this career. For example, plumbers who interact with customers regularly must be friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable about their products and services. They should also have good listening skills to understand the nature of each customer’s problem and provide effective solutions. In addition, plumbers need to be detail-oriented to ensure they complete their installation and repair tasks correctly the first time.

The plumbing system in your home or building takes a beating daily. You depend on it for everything from taking a shower to washing dishes. You also rely on it for proper water pressure and temperature and keeping drains clear of clogs and sewer lines from back-ups.

Like any other system in your home or building, it needs regular maintenance to stay functional and prevent problems from arising. Plumbing problems can be costly and disruptive, but many are preventable. Regular plumbing maintenance can help you avoid many issues, including leaky faucets and fixtures, low or fluctuating water pressure, and foul odors from drains.

If you’re like most homeowners, the idea of dealing with plumbing maintenance is enough to give you nightmares. You might think that changing the oil in your car or scheduling an air filter change is enough to keep things running smoothly, but it’s not. Aside from catching and fixing serious issues, plumbing maintenance can help you avoid costly and stressful problems.

Regular inspections by a professional plumber can help you maintain your plumbing and catch problems before they become major. During an inspection, your plumber will look at your pipes and fixtures to see if they show signs of wear and tear. They will check for cracks, corrosion, water flow problems, and leaks. They will also test your water heater drain and sewer lines for proper operation and to ensure they’re free of clogs or damage.

Some plumbing maintenance tasks are simple enough to do yourself, such as checking toilet flappers and cleaning drains regularly. But others require specialized equipment that your plumber may have access to. For example, if you have a clogged drain that regular drain cleaners can’t fix, your plumber might have to snake the sewer line using a special tool.

When you invest in regular plumbing maintenance, you ensure that your plumbing will last as long as possible and continue serving your home or building efficiently. You can avoid many plumbing disasters like burst pipes and keep your family or workers safe from health hazards like mold and mildew.

Plumbers often work with customers in their homes or businesses and may have to troubleshoot plumbing problems that cannot be easily identified. For example, a customer might complain about low water pressure, and the plumber may need to inspect the entire system to find the source of the problem. This process requires a great deal of attention to detail and the ability to determine the root cause of the problem and recommend an appropriate solution.

Another common task that plumbers perform is unclogging drains. This can be challenging, as the pipes carrying waste and sewage can become blocked by food scraps, hair, or other debris. Plumbers use various tools to remove these obstructions and clean out the pipes. In some cases, the pipes may need to be replaced entirely.

Plumbers are also responsible for installing or repairing appliances such as garbage disposal units and hot water heaters. They also maintain gas lines and ensure all plumbing fixtures are installed correctly. This includes ensuring that the right type and size of the pipe is used, as well as connecting gas appliances to the correct gas line. Plumbers may also be responsible for arranging inspections and obtaining the necessary permits to complete a job.

To be successful as a plumber, it is important to have strong interpersonal skills and the physical stamina to perform physically demanding work. Plumbers spend a lot of time on their feet and may need to climb or crawl in tight spaces. They must also have good manual dexterity to manipulate small parts and tools.

Additionally, plumbers frequently interact with customers, so it is important that they have excellent customer service skills. They should be able to explain complex issues in an easy-to-understand manner and provide clear estimates for their services. They also need to be punctual and respectful of their customers’ property. If you want to become a plumber, it is a good idea to talk with a few different plumbers to learn more about their skills and experience.