A lot of home centers and department stores are now in the "plumbing" business.|
The problem as I see it is quality control and the personal touch is going to be lost.
Some employees may not take the same pride in their work as the owner of the company.
If this trend continues, plumbing as we know it will end up just like the big uncaring HMO's.
This all started with franchises. One chef cooked a hamburger and the rest is history.
Drain cleaning in America requires minimum skills and this is quite obvious by looking in the yellow pages. Drain cleaning in most parts of the country require no license and the same is going to happen in plumbing. A Master Plumber is a highly skilled person in some States and in others it is just 2 years of minimum training with little or no codes.
For example "tract houses" (cottage homes) can and are, for the most part plumbed by process workers with a minimum of skill level. The new way of "training" is to set the tract houses up like factory work. One person puts in plastic drainage and another installs water lines. No concern on the part of the installer as to codes or sizing requirements. In trying to justify this semi-skilled labor, some States actually allow a 2 year apprenticeship. In 2 years a person is lucky to learn the various types of fittings used in this time honored profession.
Now that us plumbers have allowed this trend to happen, home centers are starting to get into this action and here is where the consumer is not protected like they once were. California has even given its blessing to handy-persons & home builders to allow "plumbing work" to be performed by non-licensed plumbers up to $500 per job cost. So they do five or six jobs to the value of $500 each job and suddenly you've got $3000 of plumbing being done by unlicensed people.
Ask to be assured that they are licensed plumbing contractors or Masterplumbers. Be very wary of plumbers dabbling in electrical work or anyone who crosses trades. Contact your local building department, in Australia the Department of Fairtrading, and ask what qualifications are actually required in order to be a Journeyman or Master plumber.
In areas where drainers are not licensed CALL A LICENSED PLUMBER. The reason being, no one knows more about drains than the people who install them. Try to keep away from SOME CORPORATIONS as the training can be as little as 6 weeks in drain cleaning. It takes years to hone plumbing and drain cleaning skills.
If someone says they do all three think about this - To be a really qualified plumber in some of the better areas you need a 5 year apprenticeship and to work in the field under the direct employ of a Master Plumber for another 2 years before you can even take the masters test. Same with an electrician. Unless the gentleman/gentlelady is 60 years old it is highly unlikely they actually know each skill to its full potential.
So protect yourself and your family use ONLY a licensed Masterplumber in your home.
May God bless and remember - the licensed professional plumber does "protect the health of the world."
Prevention rather than cure.
Sylvan LMP (Licensed Master Plumber)
"Plumbers Protect The Health Of The World."
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