Always Thought a Plumber and a Pipefitter Were the Same?
The real difference between a plumber and a pipefitter is scale and skill. Even though both work with valves and pipes which are made from different materials, plumbers work with residential or light industrial systems, for example, waste disposal and heating and cooling. Pipefitters, who are also known as steamfitters, work mostly with industrial, commercial, or military systems.
Skills needed to work as a pipefitter is broader and more demanding than plumbers. A journeyman is a skilled professional that is trained to read blueprints, in addition to working with materials like copper, PVC, or galvanized pipe, they will also form and connect these pipes using the likes of solder, glue, and threads. In addition to creating a network of pipes, a plumber will install fixtures like taps, faucets, sinks, and toilets.
A journeyman pipefitter will use some of the same skills and materials in their work, however, they will work also with special metals and alloys that can withstand extremely high pressure. Pipefitting materials like high carbon steel, stainless steel, and other such alloys are regularly used with hazardous materials like live steam. Connecting pipes of various metal alloys needs more skill in welding than most plumbers are capable of doing.
There are various different pipefitter careers available today, ranging from oil drilling and refining to manufacturing. In the oil industry, pipefitters will create systems that will transport crude oil across vast distances. Manufacturing needs plumbers and pipefitters. Plumbers will install and maintain the water systems used for washing, drinking, and waste disposal, in addition to sprinklers used for fire control. Pipefitters will install and repair high-pressure pipe systems, which could handle various materials, such as paint, live steam, solvents, and even food processing ingredients.
Next time you have a problem with your pipes, you now know which professional you need to call. Call Tim Winnett Plumbing & Sons at (817) 953-0906 now, we are in Fort Worth, TX.