Pipefitter vs Plumber: What Are the Differences?

Pipefitter vs Plumber: What Are the Differences?

The plumbing industry in the US is worth around $134 billion. The average American will need to call a plumber to help them out at some point.

A lack of knowledge of the differences between plumbers and pipefitters means that sometimes the wrong person is called to a job. A lot of the time people think that anything relating to pipes is plumbing. This means plumbers are called when a pipefitter would have been better.

Keep reading to learn more about when to call a pipefitter vs. a plumber.

Pipefitter vs Plumber

There is a lot of overlap in the type of work these two do. And while both professions deal with pipe systems, the contents going through those pipes are very different. This means the types of pipes they work with are different.

The types of projects that they’re working on most often are different too.

What Is a Pipefitter?

Pipefitters work with pipe systems that transport chemicals and gases. They also work with pipe systems that generate electricity and heat.

Most of the time these systems need pipes that can handle high pressures. The pipes are made of stronger materials like metal to be able to handle the high pressures. Because of this, the best pipefitter would have a knowledge of welding and metallurgy on top of their required skill set.

It’s unlikely that you’ll need to hire a pipefitter for your home. Workplaces that need pipefitters most often are factories or other high-industrial sites.

What Is a Plumber?

Plumbers have a wide range of possible workplaces and projects. They work on both commercial and residential sites. Their projects can be broadly categorized into “bringing fresh water into the site” and “getting waste water out of the site”.

Since the substance plumbers work with is water or gas, the pipes they’re working with are usually copper or PVC (which is a strong type of plastic).

Plumbers work with water supply and drainage systems as well as gas systems. A lot of the time this means doing unglamorous work like repairing leaks and unclogging pipes and drains.

But plumbers are also responsible for designing efficient pipe systems. They also connect heating and cooling systems to each other without compromising one or the other. Plumbers work with blueprints and need knowledge of building codes.

Since they have knowledge of these piping systems, they are also tasked with connecting appliances to these systems. Plumbers can be called to connect washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and other appliances to your water system.

If you are in need of a plumber, check out for more information.

Hiring a Pipefitter or Plumber

You don’t want to waste your time and money by calling the wrong person for the job. Now you know the differences between a pipefitter vs. a plumber and can make an informed decision about who you need to call to help you out.

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