Plumbers install, repair, and maintain fresh water, gas, and waste disposal systems in homes, schools, factories, and other buildings. Steamfitters (also called pipefitters) install pipes for hot water, steam, air, gas, and chemicals, sometimes in systems under much greater pressure than those installed by plumbers.
Both plumbers and pipefitters install pipes, but differ from each other primarily in the kinds of pipes that they install. They both:
- Study blueprints to select tools and equipment for the job and the sequence of installation
- Inspect structures to ascertain structures to be avoided
- Locate the mark positions on walls and floors for pipes, pipe connections, and passage holes for pipes, using rules, spirit levels, and plumb bobs
- Cut openings in floors and walls with hand and power tools to accommodate pipes and pipe fittings
- Cut and thread pipe using pipe cutters, cutting torches, and pipe-threading machines and they assemble and install valves, pipefittings, and pipes