Plumbers - What they do and their qualifications
If you need help with installing and maintaining a water supply line, distributing water throughout your property, disposal of water or waste or you have a water supply issue, then you’ll need a plumber. A certified plumber can also maintain and repair central heating systems including gas fired and oil fired heating systems, under-floor heating, solar heating and other renewable energy options.
A skilled and qualified plumber can:
- Diagnose system and equipment faults
- Install hot and cold water systems
- Install appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and showers
- Lay pipe and piping systems and install radiators
- Install guttering and rainwater systems
- Inspect and test for leaks and other faults like water pressure issues
- Fix blocked drains
- Install a new bathroom and other sanitary systems
- Install and repair heating systems like service boilers*
- Offer advice and service such as updating your home heating system
* For any work involving gas installation or gas appliances such as boiler servicing, a Registered Gas Installer (RGI) must be contracted.
In Ireland, plumbers typically complete a four-year apprenticeship and are awarded a QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft - Plumbing. The forerunner to this qualification was a National Craft Certificate or a City & Guilds plumbing certificate.
Upon being awarded their core qualification, a plumber has the option to complete additional specialist’s courses and registrations. They may choose to specialise in particular areas such as boiler servicing or solar panel installations. As with most professions, continuous professional development (CPD) training is advised on a regular basis with, Health & Safety and manual handling certifications kept up-to-date. If you are applying for a grant to upgrade your home heating to a heat pump system, then you will be required to consult with a SEAI registered technical advisor.
A plumber can also be known as a maintenance and repair plumber, an emergency plumber and a plumbing mechanic
A plumber may also be known as a pipefitter, however to be recognised as such, they must be qualified via an apprenticeship programme such as QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft – Pipefitting or similar certification. Similarly for a plumber to work as a gas-heating specialist they must also have necessary gas installation and safety training and registered with the Register of Gas Installers of Ireland