For many centuries, lead was the favoured material for water pipes, because its malleability made it practical to work into the desired shape. (Such use was so common that the word "plumbing" derives from plumbum, the Latin word for lead.) This was a source of lead-related health problems in the years before the health hazards of ingesting lead were fully understood; among these were stillbirths and high rates of infant mortality. Lead water pipes were still widely used in the early 20th century, and remain in many households. In addition, lead-tin alloy solder was commonly used to join copper pipes, but modern practice uses tin-antimony alloy solder instead, in order to eliminate lead hazards.
Licensing: There is no standard when it comes to licensing for plumbers. Each state has their own rules and regulations. Most states do require 2-5 years of plumbing experience before the plumbing licensing exam can be taken. Practice tests are available online and can increase the chances of passing the somewhat difficult licensing exam. The plumbers licensing exam will test the knowledge of local codes and best practices.
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. Some of the locations where these opportunistic pathogens can grow include 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.
Plumbing is considered one of the most underrated professions. The reality is, they are heroes when it comes to installing and repairing our appliances and fixtures that keep water flowing smoothly. Depending on the job at hand determines what the plumber's responsibility is, from being brought into to design piping for new construction, to unclogging horribly stopped up drains in existing buildings. Here's what you'll need to be able to do:
Garbage disposers usually come with an Allen key. Find a good place to store it, and when the disposer jams, you can follow the directions in the owner’s manual to fix it yourself. It’s as simple as inserting and twisting, and doing this yourself will save you the hassle and cash of a service call to the plumber. Speaking of tool storage, check out these clever tool storage ideas.