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A plumber is a tradesman who specialises in installing and maintaining systems used for plumbing, heating, drainage, potable (drinking) water or industrial process plant piping.[1] (In most jurisdictions the piping for heating systems are installed by steam-fitters, pipefitters or gas-fitters.)

Plumbers install and repair pipes, fixtures and other plumbing equipment used for water distribution and waste water disposal in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

Job Related Skills, Interests, and Values

  • Reading blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine layout of plumbing systems, water supply networks and waste and drainage systems
  • Installing repairing and maintaining domestic, commercial or industrial plumbing fixtures and systems
  • Locating and marking positions for pipe connections, passage holes and fixtures in walls and floors
  • Measuring, cutting, bending and threading pipes using hand and power tools or machines
  • Testing pipes for leaks using air and water pressure gauges
  • Communicating with co-workers, other trades and contractors
  • Planning and performing complex calculations for specialized projects
  • Costing and estimating the work to be performed


  • "If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances." -Albert Einstein, The Reporter, November 18, 1954

Shortly after making this remark, the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union, A.F.L. in Washington, D.C. voted to grant Einstein an honorary membership. Einstein was reportedly well pleased with this honor.

  • The word "plumber" comes from the Latin word plumbum meaning "lead", since pipes in Roman times were made of lead.
  • People who install lead roofing are sometimes called plumbers.


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