What is a Gas Plumber?
A gas plumber is a tradesperson who specializes in the installation and repair of gas plumbing and fittings, ranging from regulator valves to gas appliances like water heaters and stoves. Due to concerns about the safety of gas, the practice of gas plumbing is regulated by law in many regions of the world, and gas plumbers must complete an apprenticeship and demonstrate competency skills on an exam before they will be allowed to practice independently.
Many people associate plumbing specifically with water, but in fact plumbing is used to move a wide variety of fluids in addition to gases. Gas plumbers work with gases used for fuel and heat, such as propane and natural gas. They can install gas tanks or connections to gas mains, along with plumbing in a home which is designed to carry gas, and safety regulators and associated devices. Gas plumbers are also involved in the repair and maintenance of gas lines from those in a home to a large business which relies on gas for its operations.
A gas plumber may work for a municipality, conducting or supervising installations and safety inspections. He or she can also work for a gas company, or as an independent contractor. This job requires a very exacting and precise personality, because leaks in gas lines and gas appliances can be deadly in addition to destructive. Gas plumbers need to be familiar with a variety of fittings and safety procedures and they must be able to identify problems before they happen.
Because gas leaks are such a safety risk, many regions has gas plumbers who work for emergency services, responding along with firemen and emergency services personnel to the site of a suspected gas leak, or to a fire or explosion caused by gas. Gas companies may also provide 24 hour service for customers who develop problems with their gas lines, although customers may need to pay for these services.
Work for gas plumbers tends to be fairly steady. New homes being plumbed for gas require the services of a gas plumber, as do structures being retrofitted to accommodate gas, and once gas lines are installed, they need to be routinely maintained and repaired to reduce the risk of damage, injury, or death. Gas appliances also require maintenance and periodic replacement which can generate income for a gas plumber. If a gas plumber acquires a good reputation in the community, he or she should not lack for work.
I think I would be afraid to be a gas plumber. Just one mistake and you could cause a huge explosion.
Also, like the article said, if you worked for a city or utility company, you would be responsible for going to gas leaks and making sure they were safe.
Does anyone know how much a gas plumber would make compared to the other similar jobs like plumbers and electricians?
@titans62 - Good point. I guess oil prices are still pretty high, but I think they were higher a few years ago, and I know everyone was talking about natural gas. I actually lived in an apartment a few years ago that had a gas stove and heating. The gas itself is really cheap, but they put so many additional charges with it that it makes it cost more than electricity.
I would also be interested to see gas usage in different areas. I know where I live, there are a lot of natural gas wells and pipelines all over the place, so jobs are always in high demand for people to check them and provide maintenance. Cities that provide gas would also need special gas plumbers to work on their lines.
@JimmyT - That is a good question about the training. I have a buddy who just finished electrical school a few months ago, and he just told me that they didn't have any type of gas program there.
I wonder if maybe they just take normal plumbing classes with an emphasis on gas. That doesn't really seem right, though, since they would both need a lot different skill sets and specific knowledge. I would be curious to know.
I would be curious to see how this job market is growing. I know a lot of people are choosing to use natural gas for environmental reasons, even though it is usually more expensive than electrical alternatives.
I never really thought about it, but I guess gas plumbers would be in pretty big demand almost everywhere. Unlike fixing your water plumbing or something, I don't know anyone who tries to install their own gas appliances. I know it is possible to do, but the risk if you make a mistake with a gas appliance is a lot greater than if you mess up the plumbing to a dishwasher, for example.
I don't know if I have ever heard of gas plumber courses before. Do they usually offer those types of classes at community and technical colleges like they do with plumbing and electrical jobs, or is there another system? Does it take about the same level of experience as a regular plumber or electrician before a gas plumber can be independent?
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