Whenever the word plumber is mentioned it is associated with water problems but there is more to plumbing than water. There is the gas plumber who works on and installs natural gas lines.
When most people think about plumbers, they usually group them into two large categories, commercial and residential plumbers, and only consider calling them for water pipe issues. However, there is much more to plumbing, and many plumbers specialize in specific areas like home remodeling or installing sprinkler systems.
Usually the natural gas plumber will have a license that states he or she is licensed to work on and install natural gas lines. When looking for a plumber to help with a natural gas issue, homeowners should consider whether the plumber has a master plumbing license. The master plumbing license signifies a high degree of experience, qualifications and knowledge regarding the plumbing profession.
Regardless of the plumbing involved there are certain skills that are required of a plumber. These are mental skills, physical skills and acquired skills.
Plumbers need good manual dexterity. This includes the ability to hold the arm and hand steady when supporting a tool or piece of pipe, the ability to use the fingers to manipulate small objects and the ability to coordinate movements of both hands. Vision should be sufficient to allow the plumber to spot problems, use measuring devices and line up fittings properly. Occasionally, a plumber may need to work in a prone position or in cramped spaces, so the ability to do so while maintaining coordination between multiple limbs is important. Plumbers frequently need to climb, lift heavy items and work in extreme temperatures, and they therefore need the physical fitness to perform such tasks.
Because plumbers are often required to make precise measurements, they should have a grasp of basic mathematics; a knowledge of geometry and algebra is also helpful. Plumbers should have adequate oral communication skills to speak with customers to gain an understanding of their plumbing problems and explain what needs to be done to resolve them. Knowing what tools, machines and methods are best for each situation means learning certain mechanical basics, such as whether a repair method will hold up to the water pressure to which it will be subjected or if a material can be safely cut with a specific tool. Certain jobs require the ability to read and follow blueprints to determine where pipes and equipment should go. Plumbers should also know the local codes that apply to various types of jobs so they can comply with the regulations.
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Different plumbing contractors are specialized in different things thus charging different prices. A plumber who offers emergency services might charge more than one who does specific plumbing duties. So that you know what you are getting into it is important to ask certain questions.
Are you Licensed? The first question you should ask any plumber is: are you licensed? Being licensed proves that your plumber is professional enough to complete any plumbing task you throw at them. Working plumbers with enough experience are required to perform government testing that certifies them as county, regional or state plumbing contractors. With the addition of annual re-certification tests, licensed plumbers are able to remain up to date with building codes, ensuring you hire a plumber who is knowledgeable about current building practices.
Are you Insured? Besides licensing, insurance plays an important part of any plumber’s credentials. Insurance provides the stability needed when mistakes and accidents occur. While it does rarely happen, theft, accidents and mistakes can occur, causing some big problems especially when insurance is not present. A plumber with proper builder’s risk, bonds and workers compensation insurance is qualified to take on any job risks without worry about them defaulting and you paying unexpected costs out of your own pocket.