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October 23, 2018
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Action Center
Brief Description of the Trade
Updated On: Jun 01, 2018

  A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE WORK OF THE PLUMBING & PIPEFITTING TRADE

PLUMBERS, STEAMFITTERS/PIPEFITTERS AND REFRIGERATION FITTERS ARE ALL CRAFTSMEN WHO INSTALL PIPING SYSTEMS THAT CARRY WATER, STEAM, AIR, AND OTHER LIQUIDS OR GASES NECESSARY FOR SANITATION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, COMFORT HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING AND MANY OTHER USES.  THEY ALSO ALTER, REMODEL, AND REPAIR EXISTING PIPING SYSTEMS AND INSTALL PLUMBING FIXTURES, RADIATORS, AND OTHER HEATING UNITS, SOME APPLIANCES, AS WELL AS REFRIGERATION AND AIR CONDITIONING EQUIPMENT.

ALTHOUGH PLUMBING AND STEAMFITTING/PIPEFITTING ARE SOMETIMES CONSIDERED TO BE A SINGLE TRADE, APPRENTICES AND JOURNEYMEN CAN SPECIALIZE IN EITHER CRAFT, PARTICULARLY IN LARGER CITIES.  WATER, GAS, AND WASTE DISPOSAL SYSTEMS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHICH ARE CONNECTED DIRECTLY TO PUBLIC UTILITY SYSTEMS, ARE GENERALLY INSTALLED BY THE PLUMBERS, THESE TYPES OF INSTALLATIONS ARE MADE IN RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS, SCHOOLS, INDUSTRIAL PLANTS, AND MANY OTHER STRUCTURES.  IN ALL CASES, FOR EXAMPLE, PLUMBERS “ROUGH IN” THE BASIC NECESSARY PIPES AND FITTINGS AS THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BUILDINGS PROGRESSES.  DURING THE FINAL CONSTRUCTION PHASES, THE PLUMBERS CONNECT WATER HEATERS AND OTHER PLUMBING FIXTURES SUCH AS BATHTUBS AND SINKS.

STEAMFITTERS/PIPEFITTERS GENERALLY INSTALL BOTH HIGH AND LOW PRESSURE PIPING SYSTEMS THAT CARRY STEAM AND HOT WATER FOR HEATING AND ALSO OTHER LIQUIDS AND GASES NEEDED IN COMMERCIAL HEAVY INDUSTRIAL-TYPE COMPLEXES AS WELL AS HOUSING AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTS.  STEAMFITTERS/PIPEFITTERS, FOR EXAMPLE, INSTALL INTRICATE PIPING SYSTEMS IN OIL REFINERIES, PULP MILLS, CHEMICAL PLANTS AND FOOD PROCESSING FACILITIES.  TRANSMISSION PIPELINES FOR OIL AND NATURAL GAS ARE ALSO INSTALLED BY STEAMFITTERS/PIPEFITTERS AND STEAMFITTER/PIPEFITTER WELDERS.  STEAMFITTERS/PIPEFITTERS ALSO INSTALL ALL NECESSARY HEATING-RELATED EQUIPMENT IN COMMERCIAL BUILDING AND RESIDENCES.

REFRIGERATION FITTERS INSTALL AND SERVICE ALL TYPES OF REFRIGERATION AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS.  THIS INCLUDES COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL, AND RESIDENTIAL APPLICATIONS AND, IN ADDITION TO THE RELATED PIPING, THEY ALSO SET AND CONNECT UP ALL OF THE SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR THE JOB.

PLUMBERS, STEAMFITTERS/PIPEFITTERS AND REFRIGERATION FITTERS USE A WIDE VARIETY OF SKILLS WHEN INSTALLING ALL TYPES OF PIPING SYSTEMS.  FOR EXAMPLE, THEY CUT AND BEND PIPE AND WELD, BRAZE, CAULK, SOLDER, GLUE OR THREAD THE JOINTS.  AFTER THE PIPING SYSTEM IS INSTALLED THE PLUMBER, STEAMFITTER/PIPEFITTER OR REFRIGERATION FITTER TESTS FOR LEAKS BY FILLING TH E PIPES WITH LIQUID OR GAS UNDER PRESSURE.

PLUMBERS, STEAMFITTERS/PIPEFITTERS AND REFRIGERATION FITTERS USE ALL TYPES OF WRENCHES, REAMERS, DRILLS, BRACES AND BITS, HAMMERS, CHISELS, SAWS AND MANY OTHER HAND TOOLS.  POWER DRIVEN MACHINES ARE OFTEN USED TO CUT AND THREAD PIPES.  IN ADDITION, PLUMBERS, STEAMFITTERS/PIPEFITTERS AND REFRIGERATION FITTERS USE OXY-ACETYLENE TORCHES, ARC WELDERS, AND SOLDERING OR BRAZING EQUIPMENT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR WORK.

PLUMBERS, STEAMFITTERS/PIPEFITTERS AND REFRIGERATION FITTERS ARE SOMETIMES REQUIRED TO WORK IN HIGH PLACES OR IN CONFINED AREAS, ALSO BECAUSE MUCH OF THE WORK IS PERFORMED OUTDOORS, THEY ARE EXPOSED TO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS AT TIMES.

DURING THEIR TERM OF APPRENTICESHIP, ALL APPRENTICES ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND RELATED TRAINING CLASSES, WHICH ARE CONDUCTED UNDER THE DIRECTION AND SUPERVISION OF THE JOINT APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING COMMITTEE.  SOME CLASSES ARE HELD IN THE EVENING AND SOME DURING THE DAY AND RUN AT LEAST 222 HOURS EACH YEAR.

THE ABOVE-LISTED WORK DESCRIPTIONS OBVIOUSLY DO NOT COVER THE FULL RANGE OF CONDITIONS OR RESPONSIBILITIES THAT MAY BE ENCOUNTERED IN THE TRADE BUT ARE INTENDED AS A GUIDELINE AND INFORMATION ONLY.


 
 
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