Plumming is Misunderstood Through No Fault of Us Plummers
Throughout my years in the plumming/plumbing business I’ve always felt that our trade is misunderstood. Quite a good percentage of journeyman plumbers across the country are associated with some sort of licensing body that ensures they keep up with their trade. Most apprenticeship programs, union and non-union, are 4 year programs and sometimes 5. However, I can’t help but to think, justified or not, that we get no respect I tell ya, no respect.
I get into the office, I take a call from a prospective customer and just like that I’m telling her that upon replacing her kitchen sink faucet that has a side spray, with a new faucet that has a pull-out spout and we’ll just put a cock hole cover over the open hole. I’ve just managed to sound like an adult film director while describing a common plumbing repair.
How can we as plumbing professionals be to blame for our forefathers lack of hygiene or their belief that a belt or suspenders were accessories best left at home? Plumbers crack became synonymous with the plumber based upon some shred of truth, and was probably set in stone when the aforementioned plummer (plumber) had no where to put his pencil, so he found a convenient place for it as he reached around to scratch his ample rump. Make sure you shake your customer’s hand after that repair.
Little did you know that when the plumbing boss reminds his plumber to “wipe his joints” he actually means for his plumber to clean-up his soldered copper couplings and fittings or if you’re looking to go back in time it’s a way to describe making a lead pipe connection. Who could be more misrepresented? The boss is telling his worker to keep it neat and it comes out like…..well you know how it sounds.
So in one sitting with a customer in describing toilet flushing performance you almost invariably have to mention how suspended solids travel down the sewer line (you can only imagine what is held “in suspension”, see we’re trying to sound professional) then we go right into telling them that it will be no problem installing a pedestal lavatory in their powder room we’ll just change out the nipples to make sure the rough is right. Yes we mentioned nipples and rough in the same sentence. Please see the first paragraph.
I was speaking with our producer about an upcoming video I wanted to shoot comparing sump pump performance. After describing my idea I told him that this video “would be the greatest pump off of all time” and after enduring peels of laughter he said “you know no one is going to hit this video expecting to see sump pump performance comparisons?” Finally as it slowly dawned on me I realized that I’m probably part of the problem. Forgive us for we are misunderstood.
Please share with us your funny stories about plumbing lingo.