Most people are familiar with plumbers who come to their home to unclog a drain or install an appliance. In addition to these activities, plumbers maintain, and repair many different types of pipe systems. For example, some systems move water to a municipal water treatment plant and then to residential, commercial, and public buildings. Others dispose of waste and the use of grey water for water conservationand irrigation.
Plumbers also install plumbing fixtures, bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets as well as appliances, such as dishwashers, standard water heaters and solar hot water heating. Plumbers and irrigators use many different materials and construction techniques depending on the type of project. Residential water systems, for example, incorporate copper, steel and plastic pipe that can be handled and installed by one or two workers. Plumbers and irrigators must be able to follow building plans or blueprints and instructions from supervisors, lay out the job and work efficiently with the materials and tools of the trade. Computers often are used to create blueprints and plan layouts.
Although plumbing and irrigation sometimes are considered a single trade, workers generally specialize in different areas. Plumbers install clay, concrete, plastic or cast-iron pipe for drains, sewers and water mains. Irrigators install piping for lawn sprinklers and the irrigations of golf courses and farms. Before laying the pipe, prepare and grade the trenches either manually or with machines. Plumbers install and repair the water, waste disposal, and drainage in homes and commercial and industrial buildings. Irrigators provide piping for watering of crops gardens and lawns
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