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The Job of a Plumber

Plumbers are the skilled tradespeople behind the scenes who help keep water running in homes, businesses, and factories. It’s a tough job that requires focus and perseverance.


Plumber Woodlands install and connect pipes, fixtures, and appliances. They also interpret blueprints and building codes to ensure plumbing systems meet standards and regulations.

Sump pumps are a great way to prevent basement and crawl space flooding, and they help protect your home’s foundation. But these pumps can only work if they’re in good working order, and that means routine maintenance to keep them operating properly.

Annual sump pump maintenance should include a review of the pit and the pump. A plumber will rinse away any caked-on debris, and they’ll also scrape the pump and clean out the pit with a wet vacuum. They’ll also inspect the inlet screen at the base of the pump to make sure it is clear of dirt, mud, pebbles and other obstructions that might cause the pump to clog or shut off. They’ll also look at the discharge pipe, to ensure that it’s free of blockages and is directing water away from the house.

In addition, the plumber will check for proper connections to the power outlet and a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, as well as a battery backup. The plumber will also drain the pump and examine it for signs of rust or corrosion. If they find rust or corrosion, they will recommend that you replace the pump.

A professional will also test the float switch by pouring water in the pit to see whether it activates the pump and then checks to see that the float switch is closing properly. They will check the discharge line, to confirm that it is directing water far enough from the house and isn’t obstructed or clogged by debris, as well as to make sure that it has a one-way valve. They’ll also take the opportunity to re-lubricate the bearings, if necessary.

If the float switch isn’t activating or shutting off, or if the pump is constantly running, it might be undersized for its task and should be replaced with a larger model. A plumber can help you determine the right size of pump for your home and provide installation services as needed.

Inspect the Sump Basin

A sump pump is a small pump that sits in a pit/crock and helps keep the crawl space under buildings dry and prevents water damage. The pump is activated by a float switch that turns it on when the water level rises, and then pumps the water out of the basin and through a pipe away from the structure. When a home inspector inspects a property, they check that the sump pump is in good working order.

A clogged pump can cause a lot of problems. The float switch (which alerts the pump to start operating) could be tangled in wires or jammed by debris. The pump may also be constantly running, which can lead to a worn-out motor. If the sump pump is noisy, it could be a sign that its impeller has been damaged or choked. Loud rattling noises can also mean that the pump’s outer casing has broken.

Cleaning a sump basin on a regular basis can also prevent problems with the system. The pit should be cleaned at least twice a year to ensure it is free of dirt, sediment and organic debris. It’s a good idea to pull the pump out of the basin and clean the inlet screen as well, which is located on the bottom of the unit for submersible pumps and at the end of the inlet pipe for pedestal units.

The pit should be placed in a location far from where water, sewer and utility lines enter the house. If it isn’t, the sump pit can get clogged and overflow, which can cause major flooding and structural damage.

Some people prefer to use a perforated sump basin, which allows groundwater to enter the pit but blocks silt and other debris from entering the pump. Others, however, think that a non-perforated pit is better because it can allow water collected from the French drain back into the basin instead of being pumped outside through the sump pump.

The inspector should check where the discharge pipe ends as well. Some older homes have the line connected to the foundation drains, which can result in the clogging of those lines. This can be difficult to spot, and the sump pump may continue to function even though it’s not able to properly drain the property. It’s important to have the discharge pipe rerouted to a safe place as soon as possible, and this is something that a plumber can fix.

Check the Float Switch

Float switches are used to control the operation of sump and sewage pumps, as well as the level of water in tanks. They can fail, resulting in a pump that runs continuously and heats up. It is important to check these devices on a regular basis.

The float switch contains a magnet and a reed switch that are connected to a pair of wire leads. As the float rises and falls it passes by the reed switch, closing the contacts and providing an electrical signal that the desired level has been reached.

As a plumber, you will need to possess many skills to succeed. These include technical knowledge of plumbing systems, as well as the ability to troubleshoot and make repairs. In addition, you will need a number of soft skills to work effectively with customers and coworkers.

One of the most valuable soft skills is the ability to listen. Plumbers must be able to hear what their customers are saying, and understand the underlying issues that need to be addressed. This allows them to give appropriate advice and solutions.

Another key soft skill is the ability to communicate effectively. This includes the ability to explain complicated issues in a way that is easy for customers to understand. It also involves the ability to negotiate and make compromises.

Plumbers also need to be competent with a variety of tools. This includes basic hand tools such as wrenches, but also specialized equipment like pipe threaders and drain snakes. Finally, they need to be proficient in reading blueprints and understanding the details of different plumbing systems.

In order to be a successful plumber, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent and then go through an apprenticeship program that typically lasts from four to five years. Most apprentice programs combine classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training. In most states, you will need to be licensed in order to work independently. This license will require you to complete an exam and have two to five years of experience under the supervision of a master plumber.

Inspect the Discharge Line

Plumbing professionals install and repair the pipes, fixtures, and appliances that allow people to use water in their homes or businesses. They read blueprints and building plans to determine the layout of piping and create the necessary connections for new construction or renovation projects. They also use their knowledge of codes and regulations to ensure that all work is done properly and safely.

Plumbers must have excellent customer service skills to interact with clients, explain complex issues in simple terms, and provide accurate estimates for services. They may also need to inspect drains and sewer lines for damage, blockages, or violations of building codes. This requires specialized equipment like video cameras and pressure gauges.

Performing drain and sewer line inspections is important because it helps identify problems such as cracks or leaks before they cause extensive damage. Plumbers use various techniques to inspect these lines, including pushing a snake-like device through the pipe and flushing non-toxic dye tablets. They can also use flexible cameras to see inside the pipe, which allows them to find cracks or obstructions quickly.

A small, hidden leak in a toilet or sink can cost thousands of dollars over time. Regular plumbing inspections can help prevent this, as well as property damage and reduced water efficiency. In addition to identifying sources of leaks, these inspections can also help plumbers recommend energy-efficient upgrades for their clients.

There are several routes to becoming a plumber, including vocational schools, community colleges, and apprenticeships. Some states require licensure for plumbers, so check with your local laws before starting work. A high school diploma is generally required for most positions, but some employers prefer applicants with a post-secondary certificate or associate degree in plumbing technology.

Many plumbers start their careers as a licensed apprentice, working under a journeyman plumber to gain experience and knowledge of the trade. This is a great way to learn the skills and get paid while learning, and it can lead to a career as a master plumber. Licensed apprentices must complete a formal education program and pass an exam to become qualified.