Wooden pipes were used in London and elsewhere during the 16th and 17th centuries. The pipes were hollowed-out logs, which were tapered at the end with a small hole in which the water would pass through. The multiple pipes were then sealed together with hot animal fat. They were often used in Philadelphia, Boston, and Montreal in the 1800s, and built-up wooden tubes were widely used in the USA during the 20th century. These pipes, used in place of corrugated iron or reinforced concrete pipes, were made of sections cut from short lengths of wood. Locking of adjacent rings with hardwood dowel pins produced a flexible structure. About 100,000 feet of these wooden pipes were installed during WW2 in drainage culverts, storm sewers and conduits, under highways and at army camps, naval stations, airfields and ordnance plants.
The Federal Government does not regulate licensing for plumbers; they are on a state-by-state government level. Most states have some sort of licensing requirement for plumbers and any general contractors. However, if plumbers aren’t licensed, they could be subjected to expensive fines and it could result in the loss of their being allowed to practice their trade.
Apprenticeship: A plumber apprentice studies under a journeyman or master plumber to learn the trade on the job as well as through coursework. Most apprenticeship programs are an average of 2,000 on-the-job hours and 246 classroom hours which takes 2-6 years to complete. The most common way to enter an apprenticeship is through a plumbers union. A great resource to find out about local apprenticeships is through the United Association. Another way is studying under a licensed plumber.
Of all the various systems that a home or commercial building uses, the plumbing system is arguably one of the most important. Think about all the different uses you have for fresh, running water in your home or place of work. Would you want to go for an extended period of time without those conveniences? Fortunately, with us on your side, you don’t have to.
I wanted to commend Sergio Reynoso (Minneapolis) on his outstanding service. I needed a consult on my water heater, and he was prompt and courteous. Even though I was told my heater needed to be replaced, he gave me options and explained the process for me in a way that made sense. He went out of his way to ensure I felt comfortable in the decision-making process, without any daunting sales pressure. I will definitely be sure to call again in the future!
Get a minimum of three bids. Estimates for an average-sized job should be within a few hundred dollars. Be suspicious of anything that is substantially lower or double the price of the rest, and watch out for hidden fees, like charges for travel expenses. They could be signs of a home improvement scam. A good plumber will not nickel and dime you like this, and many of us will offer free estimates.
The median annual salary for plumbers is $51,450. The highest 10% can earn six figures, while those just starting out as plumbers will probably make more along the lines of $30,430. Apprentices bring home between 30%-50% of what fully trained plumbers earn. The more they learn, the more they’ll earn. It is not uncommon for master plumbers to make over $90K.
Going to school can be expensive. But, don’t let the cost keep you from pursuing your plumbing education. There are plenty of available monies to be found for most trades, plumbing being no exception. The first thing you MUST do when applying for financial aid is to fill out the FAFSA. The FAFSA is the most important step to take when you’re looking for scholarship and grant money. Once that is filled out, you will be eligible for other financial aid opportunities, alongside whatever the Pell Grant allows you.
Be prepared for a more urgent situation by establishing a relationship with a plumber before you actually need him. If possible, hire him to do nonemergency repairs or fixture installations during normal hours. It's easier to get a plumber's attention if you're a regular customer and not a panicked stranger calling at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night asking him to fix a gushing waste pipe in your basement.