As a plumber, you help many to rid their premises of unwanted biologicals, you give water to their home, and you bring smiles to grateful clients. But as time passes, we often forget the basics of plumbing.


Plumbing 101

Here are a few tips to help you remember to keep yourself safe; we care about you:

  • Don’t assume — read the label
  • Always wear your PPE
  • Use the right tools
  • Don’t forget to isolate
  • Don’t ignore code requirements

Don’t assume — read the label

Always read labels and instructions when using chemicals or machines. Follow the recommendations for use at all times. Check the warning labels on products and equipment and know what to do in case of an emergency.

Always wear your PPE

Protect your eyes. Wear safety glasses when doing any plumbing work, especially something that could potentially damage your eyes. Work such as cleaning a drain, using a drill, hammering, or even working under a sink while looking up can pose a safety hazard for your eyes. Also, be aware of the possibility of contaminants, like sewage splashing into your eyes.

Protect your hands. Wear appropriate work gloves to protect your hands. Hands come into contact with many different materials and chemicals when doing plumbing projects, and using gloves is an easy way to prevent injuries. When cleaning out a drain, it is a good idea to wear latex gloves under leather gloves to protect you from the germs typically found in drain lines.

Protect your lungs. Use a face mask when necessary to protect your lungs. When your project involves sawing or sanding, take the extra precaution of using a disposable face mask to prevent yourself from breathing in dust particles.

Use the right tools

Exercise caution when using power tools and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use. Drilling large holes for pipes with a powerful drill such as a core drill is a common hazard for plumbing work. Make sure the drill bit or cutter will not stick during the operation; if the bit stops, the drill will keep going. Also, be extra cautious when soldering or using any heat on pipes, especially on the wall or near any insulation.

Don’t forget to isolate

Shut off the water. If there is any chance that your work will involve a water supply, shut off the water to be safe. Even with minor repairs, isolate the water just in case.

Don’t ignore code requirements

Plumbing and building codes are put in place for the protection of yourself, everyone in the household, and the general public, so they should never be ignored. For example, leaving out a simple vacuum breaker (a common code requirement) in a water supply line can potentially lead to contamination of public drinking water.