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Pipefitters, steamfitters, and plumbers typically perform the following tasks:
Provide clients with cost estimates
by reading blueprints and following local building codes
for each job
installing pipes and fixtures
, test installed pipes and pipelines
The responsibilities of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters differ, but they often overlap. In addition, they install pipes and fittings that transport water, gas, and other fluids and substances. Materials are determined, pipes are connected, and pressure is tested to ensure an airtight and watertight system is installed. Drills, saws, welding torches, press fitting tools, and drain cleaning tools are among their tools.
Depending on the project, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters may use different materials and construction techniques. A plumber installs copper, steel, and plastic pipe in residential water systems, for example. Industrial plant water systems, however, are made of large steel pipes that require a crew of pipefitters to install.
Plumbing, pipefitting, and steamfitting journeymen and masters frequently supervise apprentices and helpers.
On construction jobs, master plumbers may design blueprints showing the placement of pipes and fixtures. Plumbing professionals ensure that a structure’s plumbing complies with building codes, remains within budget, and matches up nicely with other features, such as electrical wires. With Building Information Modeling (BIM), many diagrams are created digitally, allowing workers in several occupations to collaborate to plan a building’s physical systems.
Among their responsibilities are the following:
In homes, businesses, and factories, plumbers install and repair water, gas, and piping systems. In addition to plumbing fixtures, they install appliances such as dishwashers and water heaters. Drain cleaners remove obstructions, fix broken pipes, and replace fixtures. As part of their job, plumbers also maintain septic systems, which are underground holding tanks that collect waste from houses without sewer connections.
A pipefitter or steamfitter installs and maintains pipes that may transport chemicals, acids, and gases. They are most commonly found in industrial, commercial, and manufacturing settings. Pipefitters install and repair pipe systems in power plants and large office buildings. Systems designed to move liquids and gases under pressure are the specialty of steamfitters. Gasfitters and sprinkler fitters may also specialize.
Plumbers risk getting burned when they solder pipes.
In 2020, there were 469,900 plumbing, pipefitting, and steamfitting jobs. The following are the largest employers of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters:
Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning contractors 64%
Construction, heavy and civil
The job of a plumber, pipefitter, or steamfitter is to install and maintain pipes and related systems in factories, homes, and businesses. A plumber or fitter lifts heavy materials, climbs ladders, and works in tight quarters. Some plumbers travel daily to their work sites. Outdoor work may be required at any time of year.
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters typically work full-time, including nights and weekends. Emergency calls are common. Independent plumbers may be able to set their own schedules.
Plumbing, pipefitting, and steamfitting are usually apprenticed. Vocational-technical schools are also available. Plumbing licenses are required in many states and cities.
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