Who Needs a Plumber?


What is a plumber?  What does a plumber do?  Most people know that a plumber fixes your plumbing related issues, but a plumber does so much more that you may not recognize!

The word “plumber” originates from the Roman Empire where plumbum is Latin for lead.  Conduit and drain pipes were made out of lead, so workmen using these lead based products were referred to as plumbers. The Merrian-Webster dictionary defines a plumber as “one who installs, repairs, and maintains piping, fittings, and fixtures involved in the distribution and use of water in a building”, but let’s look a bit further into the history of plumbing and the importance of a good plumber!

Brief History of Plumbing:

Plumbing has existed in the US since about 350 BC when farmers were hand digging irrigation canals running 250 miles long.  Of course, there wasn’t any piping or actual plumbing fixtures (toilets, faucets, pipes, etc.) involved, but this can definitely be viewed as plumbing.  Throughout time, plumbing has come a long way.  From outhouses to indoor flushing toilets, it is significant evidence to the evolution of plumbing that many of us may take for granted!

Important Plumbing Innovations throughout History:

  • 1596: The first flushing water closet (more commonly referred to as a toilet) was invented by John Harington
  • 1728: The first underground sewer was installed
  • 1830: First public water main was installed
  • 1870: First water heater was installed in private home
  • 1928: The first plumbing code was published
  • 1961: All plumbing in public buildings required to be accessible to physically handicapped (later in 1990, ADA act was passed regulating this further)
  • 1966: Plastic piping was used for plumbing due to a shortage of copper
  • 2003: Building agencies were formed to help regulate the plumbing code

Some Facts About Plumbers:

Plumbers are Smart

You may think that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to plunge a toilet, but not everyone can read plumbing plans or determine what size piping is right for a job.  In addition to this, there are a lot of hidden plumbing issues that arise that a good plumber can diagnose and fix pretty quickly.  An experienced plumber will be decent at math so they can determine pipe sizing and they will be familiar with plumbing codes. They also have to think quick on their feet to diagnose, troubleshoot and resolve issues, especially in emergency situations such as a gas leak or water line break.

Plumbers are Life Savers

Plumbing emergencies arise all the time, such as a pipe that bursts and requires a main line repair…or a sewer repair needed because human waste is backing up into your home.  A plumber will be the person to save the day when a plumbing issue causes a crappy situation!

Plumbers Get Dirty

Ok, so plumbing isn’t always the most glamourous of jobs.  They literally deal with crap regularly, but are not afraid to do so!  We must recognize and commend plumbers who are willing to get their hands dirty to help others out.

Plumbers Do What?

Plumbers Read Plans:

Plans are created by a contractor when there is a new project.  Whether it is a new home being built or an already existing property being remodeled, if there is any plumbing work, there will need to be a drawing for the plumber.  The plumbing drawings will show where the sewer lines or water lines are located, what fixtures are to be installed, etc.  The plumber performing the work will need to know how to read these drawings to make sure they install their work according to what was approved.

Plumber for Gas Lines:

Plumbers not only deal with water and sewer lines, but they also install and repair gas lines.  A qualified plumber can detect a gas leak by performing a leak detection and determine what is needed to repair the leak.  This is an important job for a plumber since gas leaks can be very dangerous.

Plumbers for Code Upgrades:

New codes and regulations are implemented on a regular basis.  A lot of consumers are not aware of these changes and they do not need to be.  It is a professional’s job to know the codes and to notify others.  For example, in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, & Boulder City; water heaters are required to have a permit pulled and an inspection passed when they are installed.  A lot of times, people will install their own water heater or hire a handyman to perform the work at a cheaper rate.  If there is an issue where the gas company has to come out, they will flag the water heater if it wasn’t installed correctly and you will need a plumber to fix the issue before service will be restored.

Where would we be without plumbers?

Consider all the amenities we have thanks to plumbers!  Running water to our homes, flushing toilets, hot water, showerheads, etc.  A plumber had to lay the pipes in our homes and install the water heater providing that hot water.  At one point or another, every person either has needed or will need help from a plumber- because some things cannot be fixed by following a YouTube video.  So, let’s be thankful for the people who chose to be a plumber so we can have all the things we may not realize wouldn’t be possible without one!

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