Do I Need A Plumber Or A Plumbing Contractor?

For most people, the terms plumber and plumbing contractor are virtually synonymous. But despite there being significant overlap between the two occupations, the two professions are  different in a number of ways. Depending on your own type of plumbing need, you'll need to know which one to hire to make sure the job is done right.

Below are a few of the differences between a plumber and a plumbing contractor to help you understand the difference.

Professional Training

Plumbers are best seen as a jack-of-all-trades. Not only can they unclog toilets and install new fixtures in your home, they can also lay gas lines and replace sewer pipes as well. Most plumbers go through years of training and pass several certification exams to ensure they have the right amount of education to take care of just about any job a home or business owner might need.

Plumbing contractors, on the other hand, usually start out as plumbers but continue their education to receive more certifications. This may consist of specialization in certain areas of plumbing or may even include management training to learn how to oversee a crew. They're also familiar with building codes and state and local regulations that allow them to take on a more supervisory role, as opposed to simply performing the work.

Scope of Work

Whether they work with another plumbing company or manage their own crew, plumbing contractors are responsible for the bigger picture. They can be involved in both the planning and the inspection stages of a project, making sure that the blueprints are outlined correctly as well as making sure that the project is up to code. They're also utilized more frequently for commercial plumbing applications and larger residential jobs, such as multilevel office buildings and apartment complexes. Both of those projects involve advanced training to understand the specific nuances of those types of plumbing systems.

Outside Work

Plumbers generally work as a part of a team on a specific project. They're the ones physically in the dirt laying pipes and working with their hands to fix appliances in your home. Plumbing contractors can be called in as consultants on a number of projects, sometimes in addition to other plumbing contractors who have specialized skills in certain areas. Alternatively, they may also double as plumbing inspectors on other projects, meaning that they can have a whole career outside of the standard plumbing jobs that most people are familiar with.

For more information, contact a local plumber.