What it means to be a Plumber
Plumbing is one of those skilled professions we all have to turn to at some time in our lives. Whether we pay for the initial installation of plumbing pipes and equipment, or the maintenance of our existing fixtures, we are all going to have to pay the piper, or the plumber in this instance, at some point. And as is the case with many household items, making sure our original install of plumbing fixtures and appliances is correct can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years.
But if you do have to turn to a plumber for some type of maintenance, it’s a good idea to consider installing new equipment. But new install, or simple maintenance, although you may be able to handle some small jobs yourself, at some point in your life you will have to employ a professional plumber.
And as a desirable profession, plumbing is definitely an evergreen skilled trade. Water lies at the center point of our existence, so we will always need plumbers. Washing machines, faucets, hot water heaters and dishwashers all rely on water to be effective, and this will always be the same regardless of any advances in technology. Certainly reliability will be improved over time, but these items will always need installation and maintenance. And any corner-cutting or use of substandard equipment by builders to save money will only further guarantee the need for plumbers moving forward. For those seeking a good paying career, plumbing is guaranteed to be in demand for the foreseeable future.
It pays to be a Plumber
And unlike becoming a doctor or lawyer, learning the plumbing profession does not take years of schooling, tons of money and expensive universities. Also, plumbers make well above the national average salary. Some on-the-job training and a trade qualification, coupled with a plumbing apprenticeship, and a determined student can become a professional plumber in very little time. You obviously need the ability to work with your hands, but this is a knowledge-based job. Once you learn certain crucial tasks, you can perform them for years, as the basics change very little.
As far as the basics are concerned, many Do-It-Yourselfers and homeowners with a basic grasp of plumbing and some basic tools can perform their own money-saving plumbing jobs. But don’t kid yourself. If you are unsure what you doing, you could turn a very small job into an expensive nightmare repair for a professional. And you should definitely locate and use the water shut-off or stop-cock before you start any job, large or small. This not only limits the amount of damage an untrained plumbing hopeful can do, but also gives you plenty of time to get a professional on the job should something go wrong.
Basic installation and maintenance jobs can be handled by just about anyone with a rudimentary grasp of plumbing. This often involves simply unscrewing an old faucet or fitting and installing the new one. But if there are underlying problems, even this simplest of plumbing repairs and get out of hand quickly. Plastic pipes are a favorite for rats and mice to chew on, and this is just one example of the many considerations you should take before beginning even a simple job.
Of course, whenever your level of expertise is in doubt, calling a professional is definitely the way to go. And with the power of the World Wide Web, there are online resources, streaming videos and How To instructionals which can help you acquaint yourself with the job in question. This then allows you to speak intelligently with any plumbing tradesman you hire. Certainly, most professional plumbers are hard-working, honest and scrupulous individuals. But there are some shysters out there, and it is very important that you know what each job entails, including labor, materials and overall expense, so you don’t get taken to the cleaners.
When you do decide to contact a professional plumber, it’s a good idea to ask about upgrades instead of repairs. Sometimes the repair is just a band-aid that needs to continually be replaced. In this case, paying for new fixtures or appliances now saves you time, money and frustration down the road. If you simply patch cheap materials, you’ll be calling your plumber back. But having made the replacement now, as opposed to repair, you’ll sleep better at night, and keep more money in your pocket over the long run.
And now that almost every reputable plumber has a presence online, finding a good professional plumbing service in your area is as easy as turning on your computer. Plumbers understand that if they can’t be found, they can’t work. That is why reputable plumbers join online business directories, and the sites invite customer feedback. Checking the reviews of previous customers is an outstanding way to ensure your satisfaction is high, and your cost is low. And with the increasing proliferation of smartphones, many plumbing websites and directories have even been optimized for mobile, which is a big help when you need to make an emergency call.