Much of the plumbing work in populated areas is regulated by government or quasi-government agencies due to the direct impact on the public's health, safety, and welfare. Plumbing installation and repair work on residences and other buildings generally must be done according to plumbing and building codes to protect the inhabitants of the buildings and to ensure safe, quality construction to future buyers. If permits are required for work, plumbing contractors typically secure them from the authorities on behalf of home or building owners.
Bacteria have been shown to live in "premises plumbing systems". The latter refers to the "pipes and fixtures within a building that transport water to taps after it is delivered by the utility". Community water systems have been known for centuries to spread waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera, however "opportunistic premises plumbing pathogens" have been recognized only more recently; Legionella pneumophila discovered in 1976, Mycobacterium avium, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are the most commonly tracked bacteria, which people with depressed immunity can inhale or ingest and may become infected with. These opportunistic pathogens can grow for example in faucets, shower heads, water heaters and along pipe walls. Reasons that favor their growth are "high surface-to-volume ratio, intermittent stagnation, low disinfectant residual, and warming cycles". A high surface-to-volume ratio, i.e. a relatively large surface area allows the bacteria to form a biofilm, which protects them from disinfection.
One easy repair is fixing a constantly running motor. If you have a submersible motors (ones that are designed to sit inside the pit or well), this is usually caused by dirt or debris getting lodged under the float switch, which is the large floater bulb that looks very similar to the one in the back of your toilet. Make sure you know how to drain and clean out your sump pit, or have your plumber show you the next time you hire one.
After completing an apprenticeship program, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are considered to be journey workers, qualifying them to perform duties on their own. Plumbers with several years of plumbing experience may earn master status by passing an exam. Some states require a business to employ a master plumber in order to obtain a plumbing contractor’s license.
Most typical single family home systems won't require supply piping larger than 3⁄4 inch (19 mm) due to expense as well as steel piping's tendency to become obstructed from internal rusting and mineral deposits forming on the inside of the pipe over time once the internal galvanizing zinc coating has degraded. In potable water distribution service, galvanized steel pipe has a service life of about 30 to 50 years, although it is not uncommon for it to be less in geographic areas with corrosive water contaminants.
No plumber is going to come right out and explain that they don’t have the required license to work for you. So if you know someone who is a great plumber, but they don’t have a license, hire them at your own risk. Licensed plumbers know the local building codes and regulations, have completed a certain amount of hours on the job and are insured. Want to become a master plumber yourself? Here are 28 tips.
Depending on how comfortable you are with DIY repairs, you can complete many minor plumbing jobs with the right tools. Many of these include ways to upgrade and save water, which can save you a ton of money in the long run. Some plumbers will even walk you through the steps, especially if you have used their services before. (See also: 5 Household Fixes You Should Stop Paying Others For)
For details about apprenticeship or other opportunities in this occupation, contact the offices of the state employment service; the state apprenticeship agency; local plumbing, heating, and cooling contractors or firms that employ fitters; or local union–management apprenticeship committees. Apprenticeship information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor's Apprenticeship program online, or by phone at 877-872-5627.