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Meet the Trades: Plumbers

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As a general contractor, Forest Glen Construction Company manages your remodeling project from design idea, to architectural drawing, to permit application, to construction and completion. Forest Glen hires sub-vendors to complete the construction. Our project manager schedules and coordinates the work of the various trades-people including plumbers, electricians, drywall installers, carpenters, among others. Our project manager is available to you, the homeowner, throughout construction and offers confidence that your project is well managed and completed efficiently.

Today we would like to introduce you to one of those trades, the plumber. Per Wikipedia, a plumber is a tradesperson who specializes in installing and maintaining systems used for potable (drinking) water, sewage, and drainage in plumbing systems. The term dates from Roman times when, the element, lead, was known as plumbum in Latin (hence the abbreviation of 'Pb' for lead on the Periodic Table of Elements). Romans used lead in conduits and drainpipes for roofs and piping. In medieval times, anyone who worked with lead was referred to as a Plumbarius, which translates in everyday English to plumber.  Forest Glen has employed our plumbers for over a decade and you should have every confidence in their ability.

Some needed skills, interests, and values for the plumbing trade include:

  • Reading architectural drawings and specifications to determine layout of water supply, waste, and venting systems
  • Detecting faults in plumbing appliances and systems, and correctly diagnosing their causes
  • Installing, repairing and maintaining plumbing fixtures and systems
  • Locating and marking positions for pipe connections, passage holes, and fixtures in walls and flooring
  • Measuring, cutting, bending, and threading pipes using hand and power tools or machines
  • Joining pipes and fittings together using soldering techniques, compression fittings, threaded fittings, and push-on fittings
  • Testing pipes for leaks using air and water pressure gauges
  • Awareness of legal regulations and safety issues
  • Ensuring safety standards and building code regulations are met

Years of training and/or experience are needed to become a skilled plumber. Additionally, Illinois requires that plumbers acquire a plumbing license.

Per the Illinois code (225 ILCS 320/10)(from Ch. 111, par. 1109), the requirements to sit for the plumbing exam are summarized as follows:

 (a) Application fee has been paid, and

 (b) The applicant is a citizen of the US, and

 (c) The applicant has completed at least a 2 year course of study in a high school, and

 (d) The applicant has been employed as an Illinois licensed apprentice plumber under supervision for at least 4 years preceding the date of application and has submitted evidence that he or she has worked at the plumbing trade in accordance with this Act for the 4 year Illinois licensed apprentice plumber apprenticeship period,or

 (e) The applicant has submitted evidence that he or she has successfully completed an approved course of instruction in plumbing in college, university, or trade school.

Those who believe that plumbers only fix backed up toilets should appreciate the breadth of what they are licensed to do, and regularly do, on remodeling projects. They are masters of creative solutions in tight spaces and sometimes nasty working conditions.



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