I think it is rather rude and a bit dishonest for people to not divulge their total fees upfront, an of course we should know to ask. But the normal person wouldn't know the questions to ask until they are burnt once like this, and then there still could be costs for walking up stairs or charge another service call if they need to go somewhere to use the bathroom and come back. THAT ISN'T A QUESTION I WOULD THINK TO ASK.
If you have a major fix in your home, it’s important to shop around for a plumber to do the work. At least three bids will help you determine the range of the project, so you can weigh the pros and cons of price and the reputation of the plumbers. Get references and contact them. Also, a good plumber isn’t likely to nickel and dime you. For the smaller jobs, check out these 11 plumbing tricks.
Plastic pipe is in wide use for domestic water supply and drain-waste-vent (DWV) pipe. Principal types include: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was produced experimentally in the 19th century but did not become practical to manufacture until 1926, when Waldo Semon of BF Goodrich Co. developed a method to plasticize PVC, making it easier to process. PVC pipe began to be manufactured in the 1940s and was in wide use for Drain-Waste-Vent piping during the reconstruction of Germany and Japan following WWII. In the 1950s, plastics manufacturers in Western Europe and Japan began producing acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipe. The method for producing cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) was also developed in the 1950s. Plastic supply pipes have become increasingly common, with a variety of materials and fittings employed.
Most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn their trade through a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship. Apprentices typically receive 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training, as well as some classroom instruction, each year. In the classroom, apprentices learn safety, local plumbing codes and regulations, and blueprint reading. They also study mathematics, applied physics, and chemistry. Apprenticeship programs are offered by unions and businesses. Although most workers enter apprenticeships directly, some start out as helpers. The Home Builders Institute offers a pre-apprenticeship training program in plumbing and other trades.
Let's start with the easiest possible project: Installing a new shower head is as simple as it gets. Typically, all you have to do is unscrew the old shower head from the shower arm (the pipe coming out of the wall), clean off the threads on the shower arm and wrap a bit of Teflon tape around it, then screw on the new shower head. It's really that simple (and if you don't believe me, check out the video above from Dummies.com). Do read the installation instructions on the shower head you buy, though. Some are designed not to require Teflon tape and can actually leak if you use it.
Water systems of ancient times relied on gravity for the supply of water, using pipes or channels usually made of clay, lead, bamboo, wood, or stone. Hollowed wooden logs wrapped in steel banding were used for plumbing pipes, particularly water mains. Logs were used for water distribution in England close to 500 years ago. US cities began using hollowed logs in the late 1700s through the 1800s. Today, most plumbing supply pipe is made out of steel, copper, and plastic; most waste (also known as "soil") out of steel, copper, plastic, and cast iron.
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.