What is a plumber?

I often think when a customer call us that they are not really sure of what it is we exactly do and or service we can provide for them?

A definition of a plumber

imagesA plumber is a person who installs, repairs and maintains plumbing fixtures or systems used for water distribution and water waste disposal in businesses, industries and residencies. Plumbers in the Roman times used to work with lead piping and this is where the word plumber resides. The meaning of the word plumber originates from the Latin word Plumbum, meaning lead. Indoor plumbing in actual fact dates back to at least 2500B.C.

Copper piping which is the number 1 material used for plumbing work today, is the same materials the Egyptians used to lay their own pipes, some 3000 years ago!

The main duties of a plumber are:-

  • Supply, measure, cut, shape, assemble and join various materials (e.g. pipes, fittings, fixtures) with various tools, servicing the water supply
  • Use, clean and maintain various equipment
  • Read, prepare or interpret blueprints and drawings
  • Conform with building codes and other regulations
  • Prepare cost estimates and documentation for clients
  • Supervise apprentices and other workers

There seems to be a general misconception for many people that a plumber is no more valuable to a builders mate or general dogsbody. This is definitely not the case, most Gas Safe registered engineers are highly qualified and have gone through rigorous training and continuous assessment.

A little known fact is that to work on a bathroom in a domestic environment, it is the most highly regulated room in the house.

To work on gas appliances requires many hours of training, testing of competency to be able to comply with stringent British Standard regulations.

There are also many Health and Safety issues for plumbers, most plumbers work in a variety of settings and some may contain many hazards which your plumber must be aware of and the best code of practice for dealing with such hazards.

  • Exposure to hazardous substances, such as lead, asbestos, solvents and toxic substances
  • Exposure to biohazards in raw sewage
  • Proximity to flammable and combustible materials
  • Infection from bird and rodent droppings
  • Injury due to the lifting of heavy and awkward objects
  • Exposure to electricity

And the list goes on with all the usual Health and Safety risks that exist. A plumbers knowledge can be extensive and they need to be more than just proficient in water distribution and water waste disposal in residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

Can you then imagine how much knowledge a heating engineer must have to be able to become a Gas Safe registered engineer, not only do they need plumbers knowledge but electrical wiring is also an essential part of their requirements too. The modern plumber is a craftsmen trained to work on dry and wet pipes, as well as able to work on your heating systems. Making plumbers the Swiss Army Knife of tradesmen!

We feel the confusion has come from some plumbers, as their trade can cover a multitude of tasks when it comes to Bathrooms, Kitchens wet pipes, dry pipes, boiler maintenance or servicing and heating systems. A lot of plumbers are well trained on heating systems and install them on a regular basis. The majority of these plumbers that know a boiler system like the back of their hand are Gas Safe Registered, to find out if they are or their business is a a gas safe business visit the Gas Safe Register.

Do you know who are the most famous plumbers of all time? Why it’s Mario and Luigi of course! They have been in over 200 games since their creation in 1985!

So remember to have a little faith in your Bristol plumbing and heating engineer as he is not as stupid as he looks! Especially our engineers at Watertite!

Have a good week ahead!plumber_as_santa_by_blistinaorgin-d5orslc