The straight sections of plumbing systems are called "pipes" or "tubes". A pipe is typically formed via casting or welding, whereas a tube is made through extrusion. Pipe normally has thicker walls and may be threaded or welded, while tubing is thinner-walled and requires special joining techniques such as brazing, compression fitting, crimping, or for plastics, solvent welding. These joining techniques are discussed in more detail in the piping and plumbing fittings article.
Severe plumbing emergencies can cause a lot of collateral damage and result in high costs if not addressed immediately. For example, if your basement floods at 2:00 A.M., it’s vital that an emergency plumber visits right away to resolve the problem and prevent further water damage. Our technicians can arrive at your residence as soon as possible, bringing state-of-the-art equipment to address the plumbing emergency, complete the job in a timely and efficient manner, and get your household plumbing systems back to normal quickly.
Wall thickness does not affect pipe or tubing size. 1/2" L copper has the same outer diameter as 1/2" K or M copper. The same applies to pipe schedules. As a result, a slight increase in pressure losses is realized due to a decrease in flowpath as wall thickness is increased. In other words, 1 foot of 1/2" L copper has slightly less volume than 1 foot of 1/2 M copper.
Whether you're unclogging drains with your handy drain snake, installing a sprinkler system or solving drainage problems, Lowe's has everything you need to make your plumbing project a success. From toilets, toilet repair, water heaters and filtration systems to faucets, metal pipes and fittings or plastic pipes and fittings, we're here to help. We’ll help make sure that pipe dreams aren’t as impossible as they seem with the right PVC pipe, PVC pipe fittings, PEX pipe and fittings and pipe connectors. We’ve got everything you need to get your water where you need it with our selection of septic tanks, water pumps, submersible pumps and irrigation pumps. And we also carry sump pump check valves to make sure that discharge water doesn’t flow back into your sump system. Check out our how-to articles and videos for step-by-step guides on do-it-yourself tasks. Get started on transforming your home into a safe, energy-efficient spot for the whole family.
Most states and localities require plumbers to be licensed. Although licensing requirements vary, most states and localities require workers to have 2 to 5 years of experience and to pass an exam that shows their knowledge of the trade and of local plumbing codes before they are permitted to work independently. In addition, most employers require plumbers to have a driver’s license.
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.
General employment within the construction sector is sensitive to changes in the economy. But job growth for plumbers is projected to be faster than the average for all jobs. New buildings and residences are being built to comply with stricter water efficiency standards and companies housed in older structures are hoping to retrofit to use more energy-efficient systems, so opportunities are in abundance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be a hiring spurt of 16 percent for plumbers by the year 2026, which translates to about 75,800 new jobs.