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The Life Of A Freelance Plumber – Factors And Dangers You Should Know About

The Life Of A Freelance Plumber – Factors And Dangers You Should Know About

This article explains a few of the challenges that a plumber faces on a daily basis. The challenges range from unfairly high customer expectations, to protecting your reputation during situations of which you have no control. This article also describes a few of the most prominent risks that plumbers face every day. It explains how freelance plumbers are at risk from heavy and dangerous objects. How they are at risk from using power tools, from working in building yards, from working at height or in confined spaces. It covers a few of the hazards that plumbers face every day, and explains how asbestos still kills plumbers, and how plumbers are at risk from hard-wired electrical components. The article assumes that people are not fully aware of all the dangers of being a freelance plumber.

Dangers of being a plumber

Customer Expectations And Associated Misunderstandings

Being a freelance plumber can be a very difficult job. A plumber is expected to do a number of varied tasks within the industrial, commercial, private and public sector. In many cases the people with whom the plumber deals have no idea what plumbing involves. This often leads plumbers’ clients to expect shorter deadlines. The common misunderstandings surrounding what a freelance plumber actually does will lead people to believe that when a plumber quotes a longer time-span for a plumbing job that they are simply being lazy. This is not the case, especially since sometimes a plumbing system requires a few days to settle in.
What people fail to realize is that plumbing pipes have to withstand an awful lot of pressure over a very long period of time. If plumbing systems are rushed and are not allowed to set correctly, then a pipe may bend or a leak may spring up. Dealing with the unreasonable expectations of clients is not the only difficulty that a freelance plumber is going to face, though it should be noted that most people do not know their demands for quick fixes are unreasonable.

man on stairs with a dangerous ladder

You Need To Order Parts Because Your Van Is Not A Mobile Storage Warehouse

Sometimes a project’s end date is slightly longer because of a certain plumbing component that is needed that is simply not available at the time. This may extend their project deadline far beyond what the customer would have preferred and sadly since they have no control over the situation they often have to offer some sort of compensation for the people they are working for. Extenuating circumstances that are beyond the plumber’s control may become a problem and effect the plumber’s reputation. A plumber’s job is also very tiring, so if you are planning to become a freelance plumber, you should try to get into good physical condition because the work is often very tiring, especially for the upper part of your body. Plumbing involves a lot of lifting, bending, sawing and pushing, all of which becomes very tiring when done on a daily basis.

The Risks Involved With Being A Freelance plumber


Being a freelance plumber is a risky job. It is probably not as risky as being an electrician because an electrician is constantly exposed to live wiring and high voltages.  However, a plumber’s life is not as risk free as some people may think it is.

Heavy Pipes And Dangerous Objects

For a start there are many heavy pipes and tools involved when plumbing, which can pose a risk to a person’s health. Many plumbers suffer broken bones and crushed limbs because of heavy pipes and dangerous plumbing tools. A freelance plumber is expected to cut and bend very large and sturdy pieces of pipe, which at the end of the day are just large pieces of metal with hollow parts in the middle. Any item with a substantial weight is a risk when it has to be handled frequently.

Plumbers Use Power Tools

There is also a risk from power tools and cutting equipment that plumbers are expected to use. Sometimes even well trained plumbers have accidents which are due to nothing more than bad luck. Sometimes training and experience cannot prepare a freelance plumber for the cold hand of lady luck. Plus, there is still the risk of plumbers drilling and knocking into walls that contain asbestos dust or other toxic materials.

Working In Building Yards

There is also a risk of injury from the other building works that surround the plumber.  The plumber is often expected to work on construction sites, and construction sites can be dangerous places to work on. There is often heavy and dangerous equipment being used in the vicinity of the plumber, and there is a chance of something falling on a plumber on an active work area. Human negligence is a common reason for injury and death, and sometimes it is something as harmless as not securing a piece of scaffolding squarely.

Sometimes Plumbers Work At Great Heights

A freelance plumber may also be expected to work at varying heights and on scaffolding. A head for heights is needed, as is a freedom from claustrophobia. This is because a freelance plumber will also be expected to squeeze into small spaces. In some cases this can be very hazardous for a number of reasons, from the toxic chemicals given off by dried and powdery rat feces, to some silly fool turning the electricity back on while you are trying to break down a piece of drywall.

Simple Household Dangers Are Lethal To Plumbers

Most people think that the only risks plumbers run is from lonely housewives, or at least that is what the adult industry has led us to believe. But, plumbers face more risks than that of a husband coming home unexpectedly. Here are a few hazards that plumbers face that many people do not fully recognize.

Plumber going diving

Asbestos Still Kills Plumbers

There is the problem of asbestos, which still exists in some buildings. Even these days, asbestos still kills quite a few plumbers and electricians each year. They are usually exposed to it when they are drilling through walls. There are rules and laws against the use of asbestos, but no plumber can be sure of its existence until they have uncovered it. In many cases a plumber is trained to recognize things such as asbestos.

Danger Asbestos

Hardwired Electrical Components Are Dangerous

We must also not forget the risks that plumbers face when working near or around hardwired electric installation. A plumber is often expected to drill and carve into a wall, and these walls sometimes have electrical components within them. The chances of a plumber cutting through an unexpected wire is very slight if the plumber is well aware of building regulations and the layout and building. However, one cannot always guarantee the work of the electrician who may have installed wiring without noting it down on any blueprints therefore putting the plumber at risk.

Wanted sign

Plumbers Work With Conducting Fluids And Materials

Don’t forget that when a plumber works with water that he or she is using a movable conductive element. He or she may not be aware of the leak that has bled into an electrical component. The subsequent puddle may become an electrical risk, or the entire pipe may now be conducting electricity. This may not be a problem when dealing with household voltages, but if this happened on a commercial or industrial project then the electricity supply may be three-phase power. The potential for lethal shocks is increased significantly. This is especially true when dealing with three-phase (industrial) electricity because it doesn’t have the safeguards that household electricity does.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

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