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What Does a Plumber Do?

Clearwater Plumbers install, repair, and maintain pipes and fixtures that deliver water, sewage, and gas. They collaborate with other professionals, including construction teams and architects, to ensure plumbing systems integrate seamlessly into building projects and meet local regulations and standards.


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Plumbing is the network of pipes and fixtures that deliver water for drinking, cooking, washing, and bathing. It also removes waste and drainage in homes and commercial buildings. Plumbers install, repair, and maintain these systems to ensure they are working effectively and efficiently. Their duties include inspecting pipework, testing water pressure, locating blockages and leaks, fitting replacement parts such as taps and toilet valves, and cleaning drain lines.

A plumber can work in a variety of environments, including residential and commercial properties, hospitals, power plants and airports. They can also be self-employed and work on their own or with a group of plumbers under the name of a company.

Many states require plumbers to be licensed in order to work on plumbing systems. Plumbers typically obtain their license through an apprenticeship program, which combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. Those interested in becoming a plumber should have a high school diploma or equivalent and be able to follow detailed instructions. They may also choose to attend a trade school with courses in pipe system design, welding and safety.

A plumber’s job can be physically demanding and requires a lot of manual labor. They are often required to lift heavy objects and crawl into tight spaces, and they may be exposed to hazardous chemicals and sewage. It is important for plumbers to stay up-to-date on new tools and technology, as well as state and local regulations. They may also be required to work evenings and weekends in response to emergency calls, which can interfere with family life. This is why it is important for plumbers to have a flexible work schedule.


A plumber must deal with liquid waste, including sewage and grey water. A plumber’s duties may include repairing drain lines and installing new plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilets or bathtubs. They may also be responsible for septic systems that are not connected to municipal sewers.

Typically, a plumber will inspect an existing system to determine what needs to be done. They will take notes and prepare a written estimate before beginning work. The estimate will include the cost of the materials and labor for each step of the project. Some parts of a plumbing system are relatively inexpensive, while others are more expensive, such as large water lines or gas line installations.

Liquid waste can be either low or high risk, depending on the type of ingredients and concentrations in it. Low risk wastewater includes wash water from the washing of animals and vegetable matter, soap and diluted domestic-use cleaning solutions. It also includes snowmelt and noncontact cooling water.

HIGH RISK wastewater includes industrial sewage from businesses such as factories that manufacture paper, textiles and chemicals, plus oil and gas refineries. It also includes the dirt, twigs and other debris that screen at sewage treatment plants remove from storm runoff.

While a plumber may encounter many different liquid wastes, human waste poses the greatest risk of infection. The microorganisms excreted in faeces and vomit can cause diseases such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis. Plumbers that work on sewage systems should be especially careful when handling these types of substances. They must protect themselves by wearing rubber gloves and face masks. They should also avoid contact with contaminated hair, skin and clothing. This is to prevent contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction to these substances that can lead to itching, burning and redness.


Pipes are what allow your home to have a working plumbing system. They deliver and remove water, connecting every water fixture in your house (like sinks, toilets, showers, washing machines, dishwashers) to the sewer or septic system and back again.

They can be made of a variety of materials, depending on the function they’re designed for and where they’re going to be installed. In general, pipes are used to convey fluids like water and oil, but they can also be made of wood, lead (from the Latin plumbum), glass, concrete and plastic.

Galvanized steel pipes came into vogue as the world collectively figured out that lead isn’t good for you, but they aren’t used in modern homes. Most plumbing systems in newer homes are composed of copper, PEX or PVC pipe.

Copper is a popular choice for residential plumbing because it’s durable, can hold high pressure and tolerates hot or cold water temperatures. However, it’s expensive and requires special tools to install.

For the most part, plumbers use PEX or PVC piping for residential plumbing because they’re affordable and easy to install. PEX is a type of flexible plastic piping that’s often colored red for hot water and blue for cold. It’s also fairly resistant to rust and corrosion, but can become warped or cracked if exposed to direct sunlight.

PVC and ABS pipes, meanwhile, are more durable than their plastic counterparts, but still relatively lightweight. They’re most commonly used in drain, waste and vent piping. They’re also resistant to rust and corrosion, but can warp or crack if exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat. All of these different types of pipes have their own sizing standards, which are typically based on either the inside or outside diameter of the pipe.


A fixture is a device that receives water and waste matter and directs it into a sanitary drainage system. Examples include toilets, bathtubs, shower receptors, sinks and garbage disposals. Fixtures are made with durable materials like PVC, ceramic tile, glass and stainless steel.

A plumber can use a variety of fixtures to create different plumbing configurations. For example, he can install a Y-shaped fitting that connects horizontal drains to vertical ones. This prevents backflow and reduces the risk of clogs.

A plumber can also use Glug to dissolve sources of clogs such as oil, soap scum, hair and kitchen waste. It’s a safer alternative to acid based drain cleaners and is safe for all pipes and drains.


A good plumber has a variety of tools in their arsenal. Some of these tools are power tools while others are hand tools that are a must-have in every toolbox.

Some of the most common hand tools for plumbers include adjustable wrenches, pliers and utility knives. Adjustable wrenches are great for loosening or tightening hexagonal nuts found on most pipes and fittings. Plumbers also use a tool called a nipple extractor, which allows them to remove old or broken pipe nipples without damaging the fitting.

Another must-have tool for plumbers is a pipe cutter. This tool is usually attached to a drill or other power tool, and cuts through different types of metal and PVC pipe. A hole saw is also a tool that should be in every plumber’s arsenal. These are used to cut holes in various materials, including masonry or bricks, so that the plumber can run wires and other equipment inside a building.

Other tools that every plumber should have are a flashlight, power screwdrivers and wrenches. Plumbers often work in dark spaces, so flashlights are a necessity for them to see what they’re doing. Quality wrenches are important for plumbing professionals to have because they’re used to tighten or loosen a variety of different screws. Having a stubby screwdriver is also useful because it allows plumbers to reach hard-to-reach places that normal screwdrivers can’t. Another handy tool for plumbers is thread seal tape, which helps patch leaks in threaded joint connections and prevent future problems.