Past, Present, And Future Plumbers

By Adrianna Notton

The people of the Middle East were the first to develop methods for transporting water. The ancient Egyptians and Babylonians developed irrigation systems that carried water to their gardens, fields, and orchards. They dredged canals and built aqueducts, large and hollow pipe like structures for carrying water. They used drains and valves to control the flow of water. This is where the term plumbers came from.

Archaeologists engaged in scientific excavations on Crete, an islands in the Mediterranean Sea, uncovered a four thousand year old palace that had a water and drainage system. The water system was formed by conduits, stone channels through which water flows. The cisterns of the conduits collected water that fell as rain or flowed down from the hills. The water was carried by the conduits into vertical shafts and from the shafts to the bathrooms and toilets.

Waste water was carried away by pipes made of Terra cotta, a form of baked clay. The archaeologists were amazed to see that these Terra cotta pipes were designed so that they might be installed easily. They were about thirty inches long and six inches in diameter, and one end of each pipe was made so that it would fit into the next. The pipes were fastened together with cementing clay. The pipe makers had also designed a trap in each pipe to catch sediment.

The Romans were the first to use pipes made of lead. They called the craftsman who installed pipes a plumbarius, meaning worker in lead. This is the origin of the English words plumber and plumbing. Through the centuries lead has continued to be used for pipes. It is still used in some kinds of pipes today. Other materials used today are steel, copper, brass, concrete, cast iron, and plastic.


Plumbing is the name generally given to the piping system in a building and is also the usual name for the job of installing the pipes and all the parts connected to them. Plumbers are mechanics specially trained to repair, change, relocate, and replace any or all of the parts used in water supply and sanitary systems.

A plumber is often given a blueprint, which is a drawing that shows where pipes and fixtures are to be installed. Therefore, he must learn to make a blueprint that another plumber can read.

Since buildings are constructed of wood, brick, cement, and steel, the plumber must learn about these materials, so that he is able to cut holes, attach pipes, fittings, and fixtures, and patch up holes after ward.

He must learn how to identify metals and materials. For instance, he must know the difference between brass pipe and fittings and cast iron pipe and fittings. The plumber must also know how to join a pipe and its fittings by welding or soldering. He must learn how to use all of the many plumber’s tools. Since he must be so highly skilled, a good plumber is paid well for his work.

In the future, plumbers will be needed to install pipes and equipment for atomic projects, missiles, and nuclear power plants and laboratories. As industrial technology and know how advances the need for skilled plumbers will increase.

About the Author: Plumbers North Vancouver offering comercial plumbing and drain cleaning services as well as plumbing products offered by an experienced professional Plumber Surrey.


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