Plumbing is any system that conveys fluids for a wide range of applications. Plumbing uses pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, tanks, and other apparatuses to convey fluids. Heating and cooling (HVAC), waste removal, and potable water delivery are among the most common uses for plumbing, but it is not limited to these applications. The word derives from the Latin for lead, plumbum, as the first effective pipes used in the Roman era were lead pipes.
"We have found our plumber for life! Jim is awesome! We just bought a house with a leak in the foundation, and in spite of the complicated and extensive nature of the repairs needed, Jim quoted us an incredibly reasonable price. Having just closed on a house, though, we were extremely short on funds, and so to help us out, Jim did a temporary fix for much less, and even though he was going above and beyond and doing this extra work for us, he said he'd even deduct the cost of that repair from the total of the final, permanent repair, when we had that done!! I can't say enough good things about him - there's much more, but I don't have room!"
Drain snake. This is a simple, shorter version of the big gas-powered snake that plumbers use to clear clogs deep in your drains. But if the clog is not so deep, owning one of these can save you a good bit of money. They come in different lengths and you can buy powered versions, but a simple 25' snake with a hand-powered crank will set you back less than $25.
Get a minimum of three bids. Estimates for an average-sized job should be within a few hundred dollars. Be suspicious of anything that is substantially lower or double the price of the rest, and watch out for hidden fees, like charges for travel expenses. They could be signs of a home improvement scam. A good plumber will not nickel and dime you like this, and many of us will offer free estimates.
Plumbing originated during ancient civilizations such as the Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese cities as they developed public baths and needed to provide potable water and wastewater removal, for larger numbers of people. Standardized earthen plumbing pipes with broad flanges making use of asphalt for preventing leakages appeared in the urban settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization by 2700 BC. The Romans used lead pipe inscriptions to prevent water theft. The word "plumber" dates from the Roman Empire. The Latin for lead is plumbum. Roman roofs used lead in conduits and drain pipes and some were also covered with lead. Lead was also used for piping and for making baths.