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The word "plumber" dates from the Roman Empire. In Roman times lead was known as plumbum in Latin which is why the periodic table of the elements uses the symbol of 'Pb' for lead. Roman roofs used lead in conduits and drain pipes and some were also covered with lead, lead was also used for piping and for making baths. In medieval times anyone who worked with lead was referred to as a plumber as can be seen from an extract of workmen fixing a roof in Westminister Palace and were referred to as plumbers "To Gilbert de Westminster, plumber, working about the roof of the pantry of the little hall, covering it with lead, and about various defects in the roof of the little hall". Thus a person with expertise in working with lead was first known as a Plumbarius which was later shortened to plumber.

 

Years of training and/or experience are needed to become a skilled plumber; some jurisdictions also require that plumbers be licensed. A Master Plumber has demonstrated mastery of the trade of plumbing. The Master Plumber may have worked in a single area of the trade or may have experience in multiple areas of the plumbing trade.

 

Plumbing codes are strict, and need for quality plumbing work is high because of the health and safety problems associated with poor water supply and sewage removal.

 

Plumbers in the United Kingdom and Coventry undertake the installation of domestic internal hot and cold water pipe work, sanitary fittings and related waste pipe work systems. Domestic, commercial and industrial gas-fired (central) heating installation, servicing and repair works, and works related to all other gas fired appliances, although done by plumbers, may also involve other trades such as pipe fitters, gas fitters etc.

 

Oil fired heating appliance installation, servicing and maintenance works must be undertaken by OFTEC registered individuals and companies in order to operate in the UK.

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