Plumbers are skilled professionals who are trained to install and maintain pipes and systems for drinking water, sewage and drainage. They usually have trained through four- to five-year training programs, which include apprenticeships, via trade schools and community colleges. Plumbers’ areas of expertise typically go beyond pipes to include mathematics, blueprint reading, plumbing codes and water distribution. They handle plumbing emergencies, such as broken pipes or clogged drains, and install and maintain everything from a new piping system to a replacement faucet. Plumbers also know how to install bathtubs and showers, toilets, water heaters and dishwashers. Plumbers may work on residential or commercial sites, sometimes designing and laying out a pipe system during construction.
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.
late 14c. (from c.1100 as a surname), "a worker in any sort of lead" (roofs, gutters, pipes), from Old French plomier "lead-smelter" (Modern French plombier) and directly from Latin plumbarius "worker in lead," noun use of adjective meaning "pertaining to lead," from plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)). Meaning focused 19c. on "workman who installs pipes and fittings" as lead water pipes became the principal concern of the trade. In U.S. Nixon administration (1969-74), the name of a special unit for investigation of "leaks" of government secrets.
Before you get involved with most plumbing projects, you'll need to shut off the water flowing to whatever you're working on. Most of the time, there are easy-to-access gate valves or compression valves that you can turn with your hand. Turn them clockwise all the way to turn off the water and counter-clockwise to turn it back on when you're done. For sinks, look under the sink and you'll usually see two valves—one for hot water and one for cold. On kitchen sinks, you might also see valves for the ice maker on your fridge or your dishwasher. Just turn them all off. For toilets, the valves are on the wall or right on the pipe behind the toilet.
Two-handle faucets are most often found in the bathroom, but you see them in some kitchens. Two-handle faucets use three types of mechanisms. The first two are the same as two of the mechanisms used in a single-handle faucet: cartridge and ceramic disc. The third type is a compression (or reverse-compression) mechanism. Compression faucets are the simplest type, using rubber washers that get compressed against one another to seal the valve. They do tend to wear out faster than other faucet types, but are also least expensive to repair.
“I have used Central Penn for many repairs/installs over the last 15 years. They have always responded in a prompt manner and I found their people to be very friendly, efficient and competent in diagnosing and repairing any issues I had, whether related to plumbing or HVAC. Furthermore, which you can’t take for granted these days, the guys are very respectful of your home and are careful in their work and thoroughly clean up after the job is completed.”
The thicknesses of the water pipe and tube walls can vary. Pipe wall thickness is denoted by various schedules or for large bore polyethylene pipe in the UK by the Standard Dimension Ratio (SDR), defined as the ratio of the pipe diameter to its wall thickness. Pipe wall thickness increases with schedule, and is available in schedules 20, 40, 80, and higher in special cases. The schedule is largely determined by the operating pressure of the system, with higher pressures commanding greater thickness. Copper tubing is available in four wall thicknesses: type DWV (thinnest wall; only allowed as drain pipe per UPC), type 'M' (thin; typically only allowed as drain pipe by IPC code), type 'L' (thicker, standard duty for water lines and water service), and type 'K' (thickest, typically used underground between the main and the meter). Because piping and tubing are commodities, having a greater wall thickness implies higher initial cost. Thicker walled pipe generally implies greater durability and higher pressure tolerances.
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Every family will be faced with plumbing problems from time to time, but that does not mean that they must deal with those problems on their own. In fact, it is best if plumbing problems are dealt with by a professional plumber who has the skill and experience to leave your systems safe and functioning. Without the help of a licensed plumber, a homeowner may be saddled with a plumbing issue that they simply cannot overcome on their own. At Petri Plumbing, we are an experienced Manhattan plumber ready to help you and your family with all of your plumbing issues, take a look at what your neighbors are saying in our customer reviews.
How do you know a company cares about the quality of their work? They stand behind it - that's how. At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, the warranties and guarantees are industry leading because of our experienced technicians and the high quality parts we use. Our technicians are friendly, clean, polite, drug-free and experienced--and our techniques are state-of-the-art, guaranteed!
Cast iron and ductile iron pipe was long a lower-cost alternative to copper, before the advent of durable plastic materials but special non-conductive fittings must be used where transitions are to be made to other metallic pipes, except for terminal fittings, in order to avoid corrosion owing to electrochemical reactions between dissimilar metals (see galvanic cell).