What Does a Plumber Usually Do?

Plumber Sarasota often works in residential settings, interacting with customers to understand their plumbing issues and provide service estimates. Plumbers may also collaborate with architects and construction teams to ensure that plumbing systems are seamlessly integrated into building projects and meet all necessary standards and regulations. Read on to learn more about this career, including salary information and job duties.


Plumbers install the pipes that deliver water and gas to, or carry waste away from, homes and businesses. This work requires them to read blueprints and building codes to determine the location of pipes, fixtures, and appliances. They use hand tools and power tools to cut, bend, and thread pipes and fittings. They also weld and solder to join pipes together.

Most plumbers specialize in a specific area of the plumbing industry. Some specialize in residential plumbing, while others focus on commercial or industrial systems. Some even choose to focus solely on repairs and maintenance. Plumbers who work on residential systems often spend their time in people’s homes or apartments. This can be challenging because they must navigate through tight spaces while also dealing with personal belongings and furniture.

Homeowners often request plumbers to fix leaky faucets or toilets. This type of work is a regular part of a plumber’s job description, and it helps ensure that the homeowner’s plumbing system functions properly. Plumbers who are skilled at their craft can usually diagnose problems quickly and make the necessary repairs to keep a household running smoothly.

Many plumbers participate in an apprenticeship program, which combines classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training. This can last from four to five years and prepares the plumber for his or her journeyman status. Those who wish to advance in the field should take advanced classes in pipe system design, welding, and safety.

Plumbing work can sometimes be hazardous, especially for those who are not careful. Plumbers should wear heavy-duty work gloves to protect their hands from cuts and scrapes. They should also wear protective eyewear when working with chemicals or solvents. Finally, they should have sufficient physical strength to lift heavy objects.

Commercial and industrial plumbing jobs are more involved than those in residential settings. These plumbers may be responsible for laying out entire piping systems, connecting them to water and waste management systems, and setting up fixtures like sinks, bathtubs, and toilets. They may also be needed to repair or replace a large number of water heaters and other heating equipment.


Plumbing systems are complex, and even though many problems have easy solutions for homeowners (such as a leaky faucet or running toilet), some issues are better left to the professionals. Plumbers are trained to repair a wide variety of plumbing problems, from clogged drains and sewer lines to broken water heaters.

Before starting any plumbing repairs, it is important to shut off the water supply to the affected area. This can be done by turning off the water at the main water valve for the home or building, usually located in the basement or yard. From there, the plumber can access the necessary tools and parts to make the repair. It is also a good idea for the plumber to open any sink faucets in the home or building and flush out all the pipes by opening the drains. This will remove any standing water and help prevent leaking from the faulty pipe during or after the repair.

Repairs may include repiping, water heater installation, and repair or replacement of toilets, bathtubs, showers, sinks, faucets, garbage disposals, and more. Plumbers must have excellent troubleshooting skills to determine what the problem is and how best to fix it. They often work in cramped spaces where they must maneuver around furniture, appliances, and other fixtures. They must also be able to follow building codes and regulations regarding the use of materials and safety precautions when working with plumbing fixtures and pipes.

Many common plumbing problems can be prevented with regular maintenance and by using preventative measures, such as installing mesh drain covers in showers, baths, and kitchen sinks. These can keep hair, soap scum, and other debris from clogging the drains. Leaky faucets and toilets can also be easily fixed by replacing faulty parts or tightening loose connections.

Larger repair jobs may require the plumber to break into walls and floors to make the necessary repairs. This type of repair is more invasive than other types of plumbing, and it is important that the plumber take the proper safety precautions. These precautions include wearing a protective suit and using the correct tools for the job. Plumbers who specialize in service and repair are more likely to be called into homes or businesses to perform these repairs than those who install new plumbing.


Plumbers are responsible for installing and repairing pipes that deliver water, gas, and waste to and from homes and businesses. They also install plumbing fixtures such as bathtubs, sinks, and toilets. In some cases, plumbers may work on large-scale plumbing projects for factories and hospitals. In these situations, they may be required to use welding equipment to join sections of pipe together.

Plumbers also diagnose problems with existing plumbing systems. They use specialized tools to inspect pipes for leaks and clogs, and they can repair or replace parts as needed. When a plumbing problem occurs, it is important for plumbers to act quickly. Otherwise, the issue could worsen, leading to more expensive repairs or even structural damage to a home or business.

In residential settings, plumbers often work directly with homeowners or apartment residents. This can involve working in tight spaces and navigating around furniture or other household items. Interacting with customers is a regular part of the job, as plumbers are expected to explain their repair options and provide estimates for services. In some cases, plumbers may need to collaborate with other trade professionals, like electricians, to complete their work.

Plumbers must have a variety of skills to succeed in their careers. They must be able to read blueprints and understand the basics of electrical work. In addition, they need to be comfortable working with their hands and using hand tools. Plumbers are regularly exposed to hazardous materials, so they must follow safety precautions when handling them. Finally, they must be able to think critically and solve complex problems quickly. They are also typically required to be licensed, which involves passing an exam and meeting state or local requirements. While these requirements vary by jurisdiction, most require plumbers to have several years of experience in the field. Plumbers are also required to keep up with new technologies and regulations in their fields. If you are interested in becoming a plumber, consider enrolling in a vocational school or apprenticeship program to learn the skills of the trade. These programs typically last four to five years and offer a combination of educational hours and on-the-job training.


Plumbing problems can be a nuisance, but they don’t have to be. With some do-it-yourself knowledge and the right tools, many common plumbing issues—like a dripping faucet or a toilet that won’t flush—can be repaired quickly and inexpensively. But some repairs, like clogged drains or sewer system backups, are best left to professional plumbers.

Some of the most common reasons people call plumbers are for leaking pipes or fixtures, clogged drains and toilets, and water heater problems. Leaky pipes are a major problem because they waste water and can cause mold, wood rot, and even structural damage to a home or business. If a plumber suspects a leak, they’ll shut off the water supply and then check the pipes to find out where the leak is coming from. Plumbers can also repair or replace faulty pipes, using epoxy or other sealers to ensure a tight seal.

When a toilet or drain becomes clogged, it’s usually not a simple fix. Clogged toilets can be caused by hair, baby wipes, dental floss, and other items that should never go down the drain. A plumber may have to disassemble the toilet and use more powerful tools to remove the clog. Plumbers can also handle more serious clogs by cutting through the clogged pipe or trenching and digging up the affected area to clear out the blockage.

Sewer systems are another area where plumbers often work, and they can be very dangerous. Back-ups from septic systems or main sewer lines can create toxic fumes, and they require expert plumbing skills to clear. A plumber will know how to turn off the water to a house or business, then disconnect the sewer line and use powerful cleaning equipment to clear out the blockage.

Plumbing requires a number of different skills, including the ability to listen to customers and understand their concerns. Plumbers also need to follow strict safety guidelines when working with chemicals and installing new fixtures. They must also keep up with new technologies and plumbing codes to make sure they’re providing customers with the highest quality of service.