The straight sections of plumbing systems are called "pipes" or "tubes". A pipe is typically formed via casting or welding, whereas a tube is made through extrusion. Pipe normally has thicker walls and may be threaded or welded, while tubing is thinner-walled and requires special joining techniques such as brazing, compression fitting, crimping, or for plastics, solvent welding. These joining techniques are discussed in more detail in the piping and plumbing fittings article.
As with other construction workers, employment of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. On the one hand, workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
Although plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters perform three distinct and specialized roles, their duties are often similar. For example, they all install pipes and fittings that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. They determine the necessary materials for a job, connect pipes, and perform pressure tests to ensure that a pipe system is airtight and watertight. Their tools include drills, saws, welding torches, and wrenches.
For details about apprenticeship or other opportunities in this occupation, contact the offices of the state employment service; the state apprenticeship agency; local plumbing, heating, and cooling contractors or firms that employ fitters; or local union–management apprenticeship committees. Apprenticeship information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor's Apprenticeship program online, or by phone at 877-872-5627.
Sometimes, a repair job isn’t quite enough. When this happens, we offer expert plumbing installation services from our professional plumbing contractors. We strive to offer customers high-quality water heater installation service, water heater replacement, home water filtration installation, and more. We always suggest the most cost-effective repair or installation options to make sure that our solution meets your needs and your budget.
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.
Sometimes a faucet leak can be stopped by replacing the rubber washer at the end of a faucet stem or cartridge. This is a more common repair on older fixtures when things were built to last and designed to be able to be maintained. Other times the whole stem or cartridge needs replacement or the bibb seat deeper back into the fixture needs replacement. That leads to matching up the right components and often times making a trip to the hardware store or plumbing supply house necessary due to the many varieties, makes and models of faucets. My advice is to make sure your Plumber has faucet repair kit on their truck before having them come out to assess the issue.