- Training on tools and practices goes to the essence of what is plumbing and what is competency in plumbing
- If a plumber understands the fundamentals then with the assistance of additional training and support online, or their own networks they can accomplish almost any job
- These are issues that are not being taught at trade schools and which ought to be
Training on tools and practices goes to the essence of what plumbing and competency are in plumbing. Plumbing is a broad church, so learning needs to take place according to fundamental principles that will provide a foundation for the inevitable changes that come.
If a plumber is unsure about a certain technology, they should be able to go back to first principles and advance from there. It’s no good just understanding a single narrow application because next week that has changed – but the principles don’t change. It’s how one accommodates advances that matters. If a plumber’s approach is grounded in principle, then that plumber – with the assistance of additional training and support online, or their own networks – will seldom find themselves painted into a corner.
“When we talk about tools in plumbing,” explains Brendan Reynolds, executive director of IOPSA, “we’re talking less about hammers and wrenches as tools and calculators to determine pipe sizing, for example. As an illustration, a contractor may be constructing a building with 16 bathrooms with toilets to be permanently occupied by 42 people. It raises questions of what points to use, what size apertures, pipes and sewer pipes?
“These are issues that are not being taught at trade schools and which ought to be. It results in plumbers using guesswork and perhaps upsizing pressures on the waste system. In that event, water starts to perform in strange ways. So, I really believe trainees need to spend more time learning this at college. The tools are available, and plumbers have to understand the fundamentals of those tools in order to apply them correctly. One doesn’t necessarily have to understand the dynamics of fluid behind a job provided one understands the calculations of what you have to do,” Reynolds concluded.
Written by Eamonn Ryan