Despite occupying two very different positions, most people don't know the difference between a plumbing contractor and a licensed plumber. Both of them have their own respective roles and areas of expertise which can sometimes overlap, so it's easy to mix them up.
The main difference between the two of them is in terms of scope: Plumbers typically work on localized jobs the day of, while plumbing contractors sometimes work for weeks or months on a project before picking up a pipe. Contractors are more big picture; as such, they offer a host of services that typical plumbers usually do not.
What Is a Plumbing Contractor?
While most plumbing contractors start off as plumbers, you typically have to receive a few more certifications and licenses to become a certified contractor. That's because the main job of plumbing contractors involves large-scale planning, consultation, inspection, and organizing teams. They're responsible for staying up to date on local codes and regulations and perform more specialized jobs like installing gas pipes. While they don't mind getting their hands dirty — and to be honest, probably really enjoy it — they usually lead the team that does the work, sometimes even as a freelancer.
What Kind of Services Do They Offer?
As mentioned above, plumbing contractor services are usually more specialized and require a higher level of training and certification than the average plumber. These can include, but are certainly not limited to the following.
Multi-Level Planning - The plumbing layout of an apartment building is much more elaborate than that of a single-family residence since it involves tracing pipes vertically in addition to horizontally. Plumbing contractors are able to lay out the plans for residential and commercial multi-level units, making them integral to the planning of office buildings and apartments.
Gas Line Installation - In most cities, laying a gas line is illegal without a certification. It's also dangerous, if you don't know what you're doing. Plumbing contractors are experts at not only supervising this process, but also connecting gas fittings to appliances and areas in your home.
Water Heater Install - While water heaters can be installed by plumbers. some of them require special knowledge to be installed properly or worked on. In that case, a plumbing contractor is usually hired.
Consultation and Inspection - Since plumbing contractors are knowledgeable about city codes and regulations, they usually work hand in hand with general contractors to not only consult initially on builds, but provide a final stamp of inspection once it's completed.
Reach out to a plumbing contractor to learn more.