What does a Plumber do?

Assemble, install, or repair pipes, fittings, or fixtures of heating, water, or drainage systems, according to specifications or plumbing codes.

Jobs Roles

  • Assemble pipe sections, tubing, or fittings, using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing, or welding equipment.
  • Fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to detect and locate leaks.
  • Review blueprints, building codes, or specifications to determine work details or procedures.
  • Locate and mark the position of pipe installations, connections, passage holes, or fixtures in structures, using measuring instruments such as rulers or levels.
  • Measure, cut, thread, or bend pipe to required angle, using hand or power tools or machines such as pipe cutters, pipe-threading machines, or pipe-bending machines.
  • Install pipe assemblies, fittings, valves, appliances such as dishwashers or water heaters, or fixtures such as sinks or toilets, using hand or power tools.
  • Cut openings in structures to accommodate pipes or pipe fittings, using hand or power tools.
  • Anchor steel supports from ceiling joists to hold pipes in place.
  • Maintain or repair plumbing by replacing defective washers, replacing or mending broken pipes, or opening clogged drains.
  • Direct helpers engaged in pipe cutting, preassembly, or installation of plumbing systems or components.
  • Install underground storm, sanitary, or water piping systems, extending piping as needed to connect fixtures and plumbing.
  • Weld small pipes or special piping, using specialized techniques, equipment, or materials, such as computer-assisted welding or microchip fabrication.
  • Calculate costs or savings for water- or energy-efficient appliances or systems.
  • Compile information on governmental incentive programs related to the installation of energy or water saving plumbing systems or devices.
  • Determine sizing requirements for solar hot water heating systems, taking into account factors such as site orientation, load calculations, or storage capacity requirements.
  • Install alternative water sources, such as rainwater harvesting systems or graywater reuse systems.
  • Install green plumbing equipment, such as faucet flow restrictors, dual-flush or pressure-assisted flush toilets, or tankless hot water heaters.
  • Install, test, or commission solar thermal or solar photovoltaic hot water heating systems.
  • Perform domestic plumbing audits to identify ways in which customers might reduce consumption of water or energy.
  • Recommend energy or water saving products, such as low-flow faucets or shower heads, water-saving toilets, or high-efficiency hot water heaters.
  • Keep records of work assignments.
  • Estimate time, material, or labor costs for use in project plans.
  • Inspect structures to assess material or equipment needs, to establish the sequence of pipe installations, or to plan installation around obstructions such as electrical wiring.
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