The movement of liquids and gases through pipes is critical to modern life. In homes, water is needed for both drinking and sanitation. In factories, chemicals are moved to aid in product manufacturing. In power plants, steam is moved to drive turbines that generate electricity. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair these pipe systems.
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.
Get a minimum of three bids. Estimates for an average-sized job should be within a few hundred dollars. Be suspicious of anything that is substantially lower or double the price of the rest, and watch out for hidden fees, like charges for travel expenses. They could be signs of a home improvement scam. A good plumber will not nickel and dime you like this, and many of us will offer free estimates.
Faucets for the kitchen come in an array of styles, and costs vary as well, from simple single handle models running less than $50 to pull down faucets like those used in restaurant kitchens costing more than $200. One handle or two, separate pullout sprayer or pull down, countertop or wall mount, these also feature a variety of finishes from stainless steel to nickel and bronze.
Clogged or jammed garbage disposals are some of the easiest repairs to make. You don't even need an extra tool because every new garbage disposal should come with a hex wrench attached to the disposal itself. Your garbage disposal should also come with instructions on how to properly repair the disposal if it gets jammed. Always make sure the power to the disposal is turned off at the source before you attempt any repairs. Make sure you know what types of foods are intended for garbage disposals, and run it as often as you can to prevent clogs or jams.
After completing an apprenticeship program, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are considered to be journey workers, qualifying them to perform duties on their own. Plumbers with several years of plumbing experience may earn master status by passing an exam. Some states require a business to employ a master plumber in order to obtain a plumbing contractor’s license.