26 challenges plumbers have to face (day-to-day)

As a plumber, I can say there are various levels and types of plumbing complications. They can be as simple and inexpensive as a running toilet or leaky faucet up to a sewer line backup. A simple pipe leak may seriously harm a building’s structure and destroy its contents.

Also, there are hazardous emergencies that we, the plumbers, need to handle. So, we must be attentive 24/7 and tackle every worst situation.

Knowing the types of problems most likely to arise, you can reduce their likelihood of happening or worsening. Some of the 26 frequent problems and their frequent reasons are listed below, depicting the plumber’s tough task.

Leaky faucets

It’s uncommon to meet a plumber who hasn’t dealt with a dripping faucet due to the widespread problem. Sometimes people try to fix the faulty faucets, making it worse and more annoying. In addition, a showerhead can lose dozens of gallons of fresh water.

While leaky plumbing faucets, we get soaked when water sprays out and sometimes unintentionally causes floods. So, before starting, I prefer to turn off the water source to the leaky faucet. Click here to read the full article on what and how to fix a leaking faucet.

Chemical hazard

There are numerous plumbing problems in both the home and industrial places. However, basic activities like cleaning or fixing a leak are simple to complete. But sometimes, a few problems are highly dangerous to chemical spoilage or bodily harm. As a plumber, I have been exposed to several dangerous chemicals, including lead, arsenic, silica, molds, glue, solvents, lead, and grit.

Issuing a plumber’s license

If the home needs a significant repair, people always look for a qualified plumber to handle the job. So, I cannot take up the project without a plumbing license. Also, the certifications help to set the pricing and ensure the plumber’s reputation. That’s why I always keep my plumbing license updated and tidy. Thus, clients can also confirm with the local state registrar about the plumber’s current licensing.

Obstructed shower or bathtub drain

The bath and shower drain become clogged because of the slow-draining bathroom sinks, hair, and soap clogs. I use a shovel or a plumber’s snake to unclog the blockage. But sometimes, it gets worse with waste and filth. 

Must deal with a running toilet

We, plumbers, are responsible for fixing your toilets. A toilet flapper that doesn’t seal is a common reason for a running toilet. The damaged flapper causes water coming from the tank leaks into the bowl and around the flapper. This is a very dire situation where we must deal with human bodily fluids and solids. 

Vision problems, skin cuts, and injuries

A plumber’s life is always at risk while doing the job. I have encountered numerous skin cuts and burns. Working in dark places strains our eyes, and chemicals or germs irritate us. Sharp objects present in the workplace can lead to eye loss. So, I always wear safety eyewear to reduce my exposure to dust and avoid harm.

Leaky pipes are a jerk

Plumbing problems

Defective pipes can be much more than an annoyance for plumbers. Leaks can ruin floors and furniture, and other things. At the pipe joints, leaks are very common. Mostly a temporary remedy using tape, compounds, and fillers resolves the issue. But some clients want to replace the pipe or the fittings that go with it for a long-lasting solution. That takes much time and effort in return for low wages. 

Dealing with electrical equipment or combustible materials

In most houses, electrical lines and water systems lie side by side. You may know how hazardous this combination is. Working on a water heater system is risky. Also, a single scratch on gas lines can lead to life risk.

To keep gas lines intact and prevent mixing of electricity and water, I must take all reasonable precautions. When working in potentially explosive or electric environments, it is important to wear protective clothes, turn off electricity and water as needed, and exercise extreme caution.

Working at High Altitudes

Working at greater heights is the most frequent cause of job accidents. Attachment, harnesses, ideal weather, and routine inspections are all necessary for plumbing above ground safely. I used to set at higher spots via scaffold, a cherry picker, or movable scaffolding in plumbing. These all are too risky.

A ladder should only opt for quick tasks. For plumbers, slip-and-fall incidents are a common type of workplace injury.

Rapid drains

Plumber daily challenges

Pipes in good condition shouldn’t be slow. You most certainly have a clog if they do. A grease clog is among the most typical obstructions. These kinds of obstacles are usually the result of incorrect drain usage. As a result of years of dumping grease, oil, and other debris down the drain, many grease clogs develop. These greasy deposits are challenging to clean. 

Liability to mistakes

One silly mistake of plumbers can have harsh effects. If any household properties get damaged from plumbing, we must compensate for that. So, it’s a huge pressure while working. That’s why we must give proper attention and action to specific tasks.

Moulds allergies

I have irritation from moulds. It causes allergies, including watery eyes, runny noses, sneezing, itching, coughing, trouble breathing, headaches, etc. While working in old pipelines or wet surfaces, we are mostly exposed to mould spores. Repeated contact with mould increases plumbers’ sensitivity and chances of asthma. 

Quick solution demand

Few clients don’t understand that every plumbing work can’t be done quickly, like installing horizontal drain pipes needs time. It must slope properly to avoid waste and debris build up. Lines with an improper slope will clog more frequently, and clients blame plumbers.  

Besides, emergencies demand quick solutions that put a lot of mental pressure while plumbing. 

Issues with water heaters

Installing and maintaining water heaters is a common plumbing service. Therefore, most people may have a plumbing emergency when water heaters are not working. I have gone through such risky and tough problems with water heaters like:

  • Failing heating elements.
  • Systems with rust or dirt build up.
  • Electrical links that are loose or faulty.
  • Wrong setup of a water heater.

Overwork during celebrations

Most people do home renovation before any occasion like Christmas. So, we must take up as many projects as possible and work day and night. Working overtime exhausts us mentally and physically.  

Old piping require old skills

Suppose your house is older than 30 years. In that case, there’s a probability that it has plumbing materials that are now regarded as subpar. I have dealt with many old fittings, which are now very uncommon. So, learning and getting proper knowledge first before working on old sets is essential. 

Setting up gas appliances precisely

To set up gas appliances properly, we must remember that installing gas equipment without measures puts lives in grave danger. We also must install risky gas piping. Incorrect settings can lead to dangerous cases, for which I will be blamed.

If your boiler isn’t functioning properly

Your boiler may experience a variety of issues. But never try to remove the boiler case. It increases the risk while we would do the plumbing. So instead of risking your safety by attempting to make the situation worse, let us get things up and running safely.

Piping belly

Plumber fixing drain

Constructions over time impact pipes installed underneath it, whether buried in the earth or enclosed in a concrete slab. The water flow can block, and pools may form that collect trash or silt. If the tubes shift downhill, it may create a negative slope or “belly.” Pipe bellies can result in leakage if neglected.

Trenchless pipe bursting repair could be the best option for pipe bellies. To assess the severity, I must visit the location first.

Pipeline rust

PVC drains and pipes are used to construct modern dwellings. However, earlier homes had metal plumbing, with galvanized steel and copper being the most popular materials. These metal pipes are prone to corrosion.

There is a good likelihood that the metal piping in the old house has already been harmed and rusted. Such lines may also result in leakage issues. We must replace the water supply that passes via these pipes, which is dangerous.

Stop pipes from exploding in the winter

When water freezes, expands, and bursts pipes, leaks are more frequent in the winter. We are required to deal with these tasks too:

  • Allow the faucet serving exposed pipes to drip cold water when the temperature is extremely low. 
  • Even a dribble of circulating water is important to keep the ice damming.
  • Maintain the same setting for the thermostat throughout the day and night.

Salary is not justifiable

We get our salary after finishing the job, not by the hour when it comes to severance. This salary tip is one of the most crucial plumbing aspects one needs to know. Even though the job is risky, nasty, dirty, and awful, I do it to serve people. But the service charge is not enough for such tasks.

Service lines with leads

You can encounter issues if your city employs lead service offerings and galvanized plumbing. Your home’s water comes from the water tank through a service line, but if that line is being repaired, lead may start to contaminate your water.

Plumbers need to check the pipelines and water to see if there is too much lead to prevent water poisoning. In older homes, we might need to construct a water filtering system.

Exposure to asbestos

Most plumbers come across asbestos exposure issues, the leading cause of respiratory death. According to statistics from Cancer Research UK, mesothelioma, cancer brought on by asbestos exposure, claims about 2,500 lives in the UK every year.

For many years, asbestos has come in for pipe, pump, valve, and gasket insulation due to its fire resistance. Due to our occupation, we frequently encounter asbestos in workplaces. As a result, we plumbers now run the danger of having exposure to asbestos up to 100 times every year. We must seriously consider the risk we go through.

Cleaning a blocked bathroom drainage

Quite an uncomfortable and tough task to use a spade tool to clean blocked bathroom drainage. Abiding some points to clean the parts:

  • Petroleum jelly will improve the seal to the suction pad’s edge.
  • Ensure the shower has enough water, so the plunger’s end is immersed.
  • Plunge forcefully.

Click here to read the full article on how to cleaning a blocked bathroom drainage without spending a single penny.

Working in confined areas while plumbing

Plumbers must work in confined areas that may sustain fatal accidents. Boilers, water tanks, drains, and vents are some enclosed places with inadequate oxygen levels. It can pose as breathing issues. Encountering these issues can develop serious medical ailments.

Few experiences in our life are unreliably thrilling and challenging. Plumbers are responsible for handling emergencies. Besides these common challenges, some exceptional risks happen sometimes. So, we must be ready 24/7! 

Saurav Chhabra
Saurav Chhabrahttps://warrnamboolplumber.com.au
Saurav is a Warrnambool-based writer for Warrnambool plumber, and hot shower enthusiast. As a foodie, he would rather eat than cook. When not writing, you’ll find him eating hot dogs and watching the Bears.
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