Thanksgiving is here! Along with it being a fun time of year to spend quality time
with family and friends, did you know that the busiest days for plumbers each
year is the day after Thanksgiving?! It’s a little surprising, but it makes sense
when you think about it.
For those of you hosting, there are more people in your home than usual. What
that means is that your plumbing system is working significantly harder than the
other 364 days of the year. Faucets and toilets are working overtime, more food
is getting put down the drains when maybe it shouldn’t be, and everything else
in between. All in all, your plumbing will be put under more strain this weekend,
so we thought we would give you a few tips to protect your plumbing this holiday
Have a Good Plumber Lined Up
We hope this won’t happen, but in case something happens that you can’t fix yourself, have a trusty plumber in mind that you know will do the job well and efficiently (we have one in mind). Being that all plumbers will likely be busy, be sure to contact them as soon as you can!
Have a Plunger on Hand
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many households don’t have one! A plunger is a cheap and easy tool to have around a house when a drain is clogged, but it is not easily replaced. So, if you don’t have one, be sure to go out and buy one before you have a clogged toilet, a bunch of people in your house, and no hardware store to go!
If You Have a Garbage Disposal:
DON’T pour grease down the drain (don’t pour it down the sink drain either). Grease solidifies in the drain, causing blockages.
DON’T put certain foods that are tough for the blades to grind up (pasta, potatoes, celery) as this causes clogs in the drain.
DON’T put bones down the disposal – it is very noisy and can ruin the blades!
DON’T treat your garbage disposals and drains like garbage cans
Wait at least 15 minutes between showers when you have multiple guests. This allows your hot water to replenish and it allows enough time for your drains to clear!
As always, feel free to contact us for any plumbing issues or questions you may have. It’s easier to have a problem fixed before Thanksgiving so it is not an issue when you’re trying to host!
Phil Roppovalente, President and Inter-provincial Red Seal Plumber
Becoming a Plumber
Like all trades, the most important thing you gain on your road to becoming a plumber is experience. Not everyone starts off the same way, but most often, your journey starts as a general labourer where you will work alongside licensed plumbers and apprentices, performing basic tasks, helping in the shop or on jobsites, and learning how a professional plumbing company operates. This is generally your first look at what it takes to be a plumber. Usually, a labourer will spend about a year doing this kind of work – cleaning up, getting tools and material etc., before getting registered as an apprentice. In order to be registered, the company you are working for must sponsor you. There are very strict rules that the company has to follow in order to register an apprentice, including meeting proper ratio requirements to ensure there are enough plumbers employed by the company to accommodate the number of apprentices learning the trade.
As you gain experience in the trade as an apprentice, your workload increases and the type of work you are doing may vary. You are tasked with various plumbing procedures based on your skill level and time in the trade – there are no limitations to the type of plumbing work you can do as an apprentice, and the more experience you have as an apprentice, the better! But you are always under the supervision of someone who is licensed.
The journey as an apprentice is not a fast one! An apprentice will normally complete at least 1800 hours of work before going into the first of three phases/semesters of trade school. Each of these last about two months, during which time you increase your knowledge on the nuances of the trade in a classroom setting. Once you are completed phase 1, or “beginner”, you return to work until you are called to attend your phase 2, or “intermediate” stage of school, and the same for the final phase, “advanced”. The time between school can range, and often depends on the trade school you are attending and the class sizes. Another factor is your experience level and hours already done in the trade to ensure that you’re well-prepared for the next course.
In addition to attending school, an apprentice must complete 9000 hours in the plumbing trade before writing their final red-seal exam. From start to finish, the entire journey from labourer to licensed plumber often takes between 5-6 years – quite a commitment! And although the exam can be challenged by anyone without attending school, it is not recommended. The knowledge gained from attending school is vital not only to passing your final exam, but to ensure you are prepared for life as a licensed plumber. You need at least a 70% to pass the Red Seal exam.
Once you pass your Red Seal exam and all the necessary fees and paperwork are submitted, you are officially a licensed, inter-provincial Red Seal plumber!
All this to say that plumbing is not as easy as it looks. There are years and years of schooling and experience behind each plumber. And the learning never stops! Manufacturers are constantly introducing new products, codes are changing, and as design styles change, thinking outside the box is a must! We pride ourselves on keeping our team educated in all aspects of plumbing, from routine repairs to high-end, luxury projects and everything in between. So, when you hire us for a job, you can rest assured that we know what we’re doing and you will get the very best in service, quality, and knowledge!