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Plumber and Gasfitter: What’s the difference?

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Like the majority of people, you might also think that a plumber and a gasfitter is one and the same. To some extent, this is true. After all, both of them are highly skilled and experts in jobs related to the enclosed pipe systems. Moreover, most plumbing agencies offer gasfitting services too. This further adds up to the confusion.

However, you need to know that there are key differences that identify one from the other. In this article, we will help you find out whether you need a plumber, a gasfitter, or both. We will shed light on the thin line that separates these two trades.

What Does a Plumber Do?

A plumber installs pipes that supply liquid or gas to both commercial and residential structures. The plumber installs pipes that carry waste materials away from businesses and homes too. He also puts up plumbing fixtures such as sinks, bathtubs, and toilets. You can also ask a plumber’s assistance in setting up appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. More importantly, the plumber ensures that these pipes and fixtures are functioning properly, and he performs repair whenever necessary.

Plumber Duties and Responsibilities

A plumber’s duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Installation, maintenance, and repair of pipes, fittings, drainage systems, valves, and fixtures in both commercial and residential structures.
  • Reading and interpretation of blueprints and building plans.
  • Attending to plumbing emergencies.
  • Conducting regular inspections of structures’ pipelines and drainage systems.

What is a Gasfitter?

A gasfitter has an extensive scope of work. Basically, however, he is a person in charge of the gas-related pipe system. The kitchen is where a gasfitter is most associated with. Kitchen gasfitting is perhaps the most common job a gas plumber does. He installs appliances that necessitate gas piping. These include cooktops, wall ovens, upright cookers, gas heaters, and gas BBQs to name a few.

The gasfitter sets up the appliances and connects them to a pipe system. He also performs tests after installation to check that everything is running smoothly. He ensures that the pipes are free from leaks. Safety is a gasfitter’s number 1 priority. He performs maintenance of this pipe system.

Moreover, if there is a need to disconnect an appliance’s pipe to the system, the gasfitter can safely do this. In case of replacement, it is a gasfitter’s job to replace the unit and clean up the place. This is to ensure that no potentially hazardous debris is left behind.

It is worthy to note that a gasfitter is in-demand for converting BBQs to natural gas. This makes the BBQ more eco-friendly and cheaper. Although one can do this on his own, it is still safer to let the professionals do the job.

In addition, the heating system is included in the line of work that a gasfitter does too.

Gasfitter Duties and Responsibilities

The gasfitter’s duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reading and interpretation of blueprints and drawings.
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair of gas regulators, meters, appliances, and piping.
  • Educating clients of safety features as well as maintenance of gas appliances and units.
  • Testing and replacement of malfunctioning equipment.
  • Answering to gas-leakage calls.
  • Giving assistance to the investigation in the event of gas-related fires or explosions.

How Does A Gasfitter Differ From A Plumber?

With the information above, you might have concluded that a plumber works with water and the gasfitter with gas. You are only half right though. A qualified plumber can be both a plumber and a gasfitter. On the other hand, a gasfitter’s job is solely centered on gasfitting.

Confused? Let’s dig deeper into it.

While a normal plumber can perform both plumbing and gasfitting, a gas plumber (gasfitter) specializes in gas pipes alone. The latter also has a special certificate to work in the field of gasfitting.

A plumber undergoes training through an apprenticeship. Afterward, he needs to have a license and pass an exam to be able to work. The basics of gasfitting are included in a plumber’s course. This is why a plumber is able to perform gas fitting jobs under the supervision of a fully licensed gasfitter.

On the other hand, a gasfitter’s training is more extensive. Thereafter, he must gain experience under an interim gas license before being given a full gas license. A construction commission normally issues the license for a gasfitter.

Plumbing and gasfitting are two different occupations. They require different training and have different requirements for qualification.

Why You Specifically Need A Gasfitter?

Because a plumber is also a gasfitter, then what’s the point of hiring a gasfitter? You can just go and hire a plumber to do both plumbing and gasfitting jobs, right?

Wrong.

You must take into consideration the fact that gas is highly flammable. It can be toxic in worst-case scenarios. For this reason, you need to entrust your gas pipe system to an especially trained professional. This is where a gasfitter comes in.

Not hiring a licensed gasfitter can do more harm than good. You will be exposing a structure’s inhabitants to an immediate and long-term substantial risk. Moreover, if an explosion happens because of a faulty gas pipe system, you’re in for a lot more trouble. That is in addition to the loss of life and property.

The Bottom Line

There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to how a normal plumber differs from a gas plumber (gasfitter). This is where the confusion happens. It is true that a plumber has a permit to do gasfitting. However, you need to be extra cautious in your choice.

Make sure you choose someone who is highly qualified in a specific job. If you need help with the installation of water-related pipes, then, by all means, call a plumber.  However, get a gasfitter to work on a gas-related type of pipe system. This is because a gasfitter has more extensive training when it comes to gas pipes.

A dysfunctional gas pipe system does not only equate to property damage. It is a threat to life. Don’t take any chances. For safety’s sake, leave the gas fitting to the gasfitter.

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