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Plumbers Versus Plumbing Contractors

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Plumbers and plumbing contractors work with residential and commercial pipes, wastewater materials, and other plumbing components. Although both of these professionals have expertise in the plumbing field, there are some differences that will dictate which professional is contacted when plumbing issues need to be addressed. 


Plumbers typically handle repair work and small upgrades. A plumber may offer services to both homeowners and business owners. A plumber may work for themselves or may have an apprentice who handles plumbing tasks alongside them. A plumber will provide an estimate for the work they conduct and may offer a limited warranty. Many plumbers furnish supplies needed for repairs or upgrades. If not, they will likely have connections to plumbing materials that consumers can purchase for a job that the plumber will be conducting for them.


Plumbing contractors often have to complete more schooling, in order to become licensed as a contractor. A contractor may oversee an entire plumbing operation and have licensed plumbers who handle some of the job duties that they are hired for. A contractor is a more specialized type of plumber who is capable of overseeing complex projects. When a new construction project is going to be conducted or when renovations are going to be made to an existing structure, it may be necessary to seek the expertise of a contractor.

A contractor can handle a large project, from start to finish. They will design plans that address the plumbing installations or upgrades that will be performed, they will consult with other tradesmen who will be conducting services in the vicinity of where plumbing materials will be installed, and they will inspect new or upgraded plumbing. Contractors, just like plumbers, are licensed, bonded, and insured. They are able to back up the work that they perform and will ensure that plumbing tasks are conducted safely and efficiently.

If a new drain field and septic system is going to be installed, a contractor is the person to consult with. If old plumbing is being ripped out or rerouted, a contractor will be the best person to hire, to make the changes to the existing plumbing components and layout. Contractors will bid on a job. A property owner may meet with several contractors, before deciding which one to hire. A contractor may furnish a customer with a legal contract. This contract will outline how much a job will cost and the steps that the contractor will conduct.