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The Basics of Plumbing

Oharra Plumbing is an essential part of your building. It’s the system that brings water in and takes waste out.


It’s essential to understand the different components of a plumbing system. This includes understanding the different plumbing symbols and drafting a plumbing plan. It’s also important to know about the risk level of plumbing jobs.

Plumbing is the network of pipes, fixtures and other apparatuses that convey water in a building. This system delivers potable water, removes waste and enables heating and cooling. Plumbers are skilled tradespeople who install, maintain and repair these systems. They must understand the layout and design of pipe networks, as well as local codes and regulations. Plumbing is a hands-on career, and plumbers must be comfortable working with their tools and in tight spaces.

There are many different types of plumbing, but most involve copper, PVC, PEX or galvanized steel pipes that transport water to and from various fixtures. Some of these include toilets, faucets, sinks, bathtubs, showers, water heaters and other appliances. A plumber’s work can also include removing and installing these devices. They must be careful to not damage these items as they work. Plumbing also involves the maintenance of sewage systems, which can present unique challenges. For example, a plumber may need to remove and replace a toilet that has been contaminated with human waste. This can contain dangerous microbes that can cause disease, including cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, ascariasis, schistosomiasis and more.

A plumber’s job can be very rewarding, but it is also challenging and physically demanding. Plumbers must be willing to work hard and learn new skills to advance in their careers. Most plumbers gain their skills through an apprenticeship, which combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. After completing their apprenticeship, plumbers must pass an exam to become licensed.

The plumbing industry is regulated by local and state authorities. These governing bodies set the standards for plumbing practices, inspections and licensing. In addition to these regulating bodies, plumbers can improve their knowledge and skills by taking courses offered by trade schools, community colleges and online.

The Basics

There are a few key basics that anyone looking to get into plumbing should understand. The first is that plumbing encompasses the pipes, fixtures and other apparatuses used to convey water in a building. This includes both the supply systems that bring fresh water into the structure and the drainage systems that take waste water away. It does not, however, include the drilling of water wells or the manufacture of plumbing fixtures.

The piping that makes up a plumbing system can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete, metals and plastics. It is important for plumbers to know the differences between pipe types and how they are joined together. For example, pipe that is bent or curved has to be joined using joints that can accommodate the curve. Straight sections of pipe are joined using joints such as compression fittings, crimping or, for plastics, solvent welding.

Some people mistakenly use the terms piping and plumbing interchangeably. This is because, at a basic level, they look very similar. However, it is important for people to understand the difference between the two systems, as they serve very different purposes.

While plumbing deals with the transmission of water, piping is more involved in conveying fluids for other uses. Boilermakers and pipefitters, for instance, work with piping but are not considered plumbers. The term piping was derived from the Latin plumbum, which was used for lead pipes in ancient Rome.

Homeowners often do not think about their plumbing systems until something goes wrong with them. This is because the majority of a plumbing system is hidden behind walls and underneath floors. However, understanding how a plumbing system works can help homeowners identify and prevent problems before they become serious.


Plumbing can be dangerous when the proper precautions are not taken. Accidents while working on plumbing can cause damage to the house and even harm family members. To keep your loved ones safe, ensure that the following plumbing safety tips are followed:

While working on a plumbing project, it is important to wear appropriate footwear. There may be puddles or spills on the ground, so slip-resistant shoes are essential. Additionally, long pants and gloves should be worn to avoid burns from hot equipment parts and chemicals. It is also recommended to wear eye protection to prevent contaminants like drain gunk or sewage from getting into the eyes.

A plumber should always check building and plumbing codes before starting a project. This will help them avoid future problems and ensure that they deliver a quality service to their clients. For example, if there is no vacuum breaker in the water line, it is crucial to install one to avoid contamination of drinking water.

Plumbers should use only quality tools and make sure they are in good condition before using them. Using poorly maintained or faulty tools can lead to accidents and cause more damage. Additionally, plumbers should always check the location of a pipe before digging to avoid hitting underground pipes.

Plumbing projects often involve a lot of noise, so it is important to wear earplugs to protect the ears. Additionally, wearing a mask can help protect the face from mold and other hazardous materials that may be present in the air. Moreover, if a plumbing project involves working with electricity, it is important to wear an appropriate harness to minimize the risk of electric shock.


If you’re interested in becoming a plumber, it is important to know that certification and licensing requirements vary by state. Certifications are a way to show potential employers that you have the skills, education, and experience necessary for the job. The process typically involves completing an apprenticeship program and meeting educational requirements, such as earning a degree from a vocational school or community college.

Apprenticeships typically take two to five years and include classroom instruction for technical topics such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety, plumbing codes, blueprint reading, and backflow prevention device testing. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to sit for the state certification exam.

Once you have completed the apprenticeship and passed the state certification exam, you can become a journey level plumber. A journey level plumber is capable of performing the installation, alteration, repair, and service of a system used for potable water, waste, vent, and gas piping in residential, commercial, or industrial settings. This includes installing water heaters and repairing existing water heaters, removing and replacing fixtures such as faucets, toilets, showers, tubs, and sinks, and laying pipe for new construction or renovation projects.

You will also need to meet minimum work experience requirements. These requirements vary by state but can include working as a journey level plumber for a minimum number of years and passing a state-mandated examination. Some states also require that you have a minimum amount of experience as an apprentice before you can become a journey plumber.

Finally, if you want to become a master plumber, you will need to meet additional requirements such as having a minimum of 10 years of experience as a journey level plumber and 5 years of experience in plumbing design. Many states also have continuing education requirements that you must complete to keep your license active.


Today’s plumbers do much more than repair clogged toilets and sinks. They also lay out plumbing systems for new construction and renovations. These professionals may specialize in specific types of plumbing applications or work on piping that brings freshwater into buildings, removes wastewater, or carries gas to power equipment or lights.

Some plumbers choose to continue their education and become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. This accreditation demonstrates a plumber’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices, making them attractive to customers who want their homes and businesses to be as energy efficient as possible.

Many colleges offer certificate programs in plumbing. These courses include classroom instruction and hands-on training. These programs usually last a few years and lead to a job as a plumbing assistant or an apprentice.

Other vocational schools and community colleges offer associate’s degrees in plumbing, which often take three or four years to complete. Then, students can find work as a licensed plumbing technician.

In some cases, a union may offer an apprenticeship program that includes both on-the-job experience and coursework. These programs are typically very competitive and require a high grade point average.

Some plumbers choose to enroll in continuing education classes. These courses can help them stay abreast of industry trends and developments. In addition, some schools offer certification exams that can give their graduates an edge when seeking employment or applying for a journeyman license. Plumbers can also seek out specialized licensing for plumbing work, such as medical gas system installation. This certification enables plumbers to install and maintain plumbing systems that provide oxygen and other gases to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics.