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The roman empire blazed path for today's plumbers

The Roman Empire Blazed Path For Today's Plumbers

Plumbers are a familiar sight to all of us. We often see them fixing the sink, unplugging a toilet or repairing a leak. This looks like fairly mundane work, however, your plumber is a highly skilled and trained individual with a vast knowledge of pipes, fixtures and building foundations. The origins of plumbing are ancient and astonishing in complexity and functionality.

One of the earliest known examples of plumbing can be found in the ancient ruins of drains, bathhouses and palaces that flourished over 4,000 years ago. The ancient Minoan Palace of Knossos in the isle of Crete had four separate drainage systems. These systems all emptied into stone sewers. It also contained the first flushing toilet with a wooden seat and a small reservoir of water.

As wonderful as this is, one must look to the Roman Empire for plumbing roots in the development and creation of pipes carrying water provided through aqueducts. It was the refinement of material from stone and earthenware to lead that provides the root name of the modern day plumber. The word plumber comes from the Latin plumbus or plumbum which means lead. The newly coined name for these workers was plumbumer. The name was later shortened to plumber.

Modern plumbers have expanded on the early duties of Roman plumbumers although the core responsibilities remain the same. Today they are responsible for installing and maintaining pipe systems carrying air, gases, steam and water. They also are versed in installing plumbing fixtures for kitchens and baths. The main contrast between ancient and modern day plumbers is the attention to the environment.

Sustainable energy projects have become the hallmark of far-sighted plumbing contractors all over the world. This means that special attention is paid to installing low-flow showers and toilets. Fixtures and piping are made from sustainable materials that do not impact on the environment or on an individual’s health. Lead is no longer in use for obvious health reasons.

A person interested in plumbing should look for a vocational school or apprentice training from a reputable plumber. Apprenticeships can last from four to five years, sponsored by boards made up of unions, representatives and experts in the field. While not all plumbers are unionized, the unions are still a prominent player in today’s construction and definition of plumbing. Applicants must be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma, or informal training in the field.

A plumber must be able to read blueprints, retaining knowledge about foundations, fixtures and frameworks. They are expected to follow instructions from plumbing contractors or builders, plan the work and then perform the duties with capability and excellence. They must have computer skills as software programs are used to design, implement and detail a plumbing installation. They must understand building codes, materials and techniques to be a successful plumber.

Prospects for employment in the field of plumbing is very good and plumbers make an average hourly wage of twenty dollars in most areas of the US. Job growth is expected to be above the national average and long-term prospects are excellent. A career in plumbing is a noble profession with a rich and extensive background. The nobility of the profession is echoed in the words of an ancient king when he said if he couldn’t be king, he would want to be a plumber.

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