Plumbing Contractor & Plumbers – What Are The Differences?

Plumbing Contractor & Plumbers – What Are The Differences?

The terms plumbing contractor and plumber are not interchangeable under any circumstances. They serve different purposes and one cannot be substituted for the other. As seasoned commercial contractors in Houston, we find a lot of clients being confused between plumbing contractors and plumbers. We are going to explain the difference and give you a basic understanding of how these two designations are different from one another. Let’s get started.


What Is the Basic Difference Between Plumbers and Plumbing Contractor?

A plumber generally looks after everyday plumbing issues and problems. These might range from a leaky faucet to a clogged toilet and repairs related to plumbing. A plumber might be hired by a plumbing contractor or may own a company of his own. The primary difference lies in the fact that a plumber might be licensed or not.

A plumbing contractor might be an individual or a company that exclusively deals with the remodeling and renovations of your kitchen or any part of your house, and new plumbing constructions. They handle plumbing jobs that include water supply, septic systems, etc. A plumbing contractor is licensed and better trained and might or might not be working with a larger plumbing company.

It’s not the expertise that marks the difference between plumbing contractors and plumbers but the relevant licenses involved. Let us look at the differences between plumbers, plumbing contractors, and specialty plumbers.


What Can A Plumber Do?

Plumber - Rise Construction


Plumbers are hired by homeowners to take care of minor repairs. A plumber need not be a trained professional and might have received informal training from another plumber or a company. Not all plumbers are informally trained. There are licensed plumbers as well. Normal everyday plumbing installation and repairs include.

  • faucets
  • toilets
  • sinks
  • bathtubs
  • showers
  • shower drains
  • food disposals
  • hot water dispensers
  • water filtration

Plumbers are generally proficient at fixing and installing these fixtures.


What is a Plumbing Contractor Capable of doing?

In addition to the repairs and installations listed above, plumbing contractors are capable of doing much more, like,

  • Construct, repair, or renovate a home’s waste disposal system.
  • Installing gas connections, flues, and water heating systems.
  • Installation of appliances like gas control valves, water conditioning and softener systems, backflow prevention systems, and other equipment that may be connected to a domestic or commercial water system.
  • They play an instrumental role in determining whether new plumbing constructions are up to local and federal codes.
  • Conduct yard line and water leak repairs.
  • Conduct final inspections of plumbing systems. (both new and renovations)
  • Repair slab leaks and gas leaks

Plumbing contractors are trained in construction and service in addition to plumbing repairs and installations.


Hiring a Plumbing Contractor

Plumbing contractors are not as easily available as plumbers. In most cases, a plumbing contractor is generally recommended by a commercial contractor or a general contractor.

When it comes to remuneration, plumbers are generally by the day or the hour. In certain cases, they accept payment in fixed intervals. With a plumbing contractor, you are liable to pay a portion of the price in advance. This amount should not exceed more than half of the total price for the job.

It is important to specify the kind of job you’re looking to get done. Based on the job at hand, one can determine whether your requirement is for a plumber or a plumbing contractor. Hiring plumbing contractor - Rise Contractor


Hiring the Right Plumbers

All plumbers are not the same. Based on their skill sets and proficiency, plumbers can be capable of conducting light plumbing repairs to heavy-duty installations and maintenance of fire suppression systems. The proficiency of a plumber is determined by their specializations. Different plumbers specialize in a variety of systems like the installation of gas lines for natural gas, fireplaces, and outside grills.

The areas of expertise of a plumber are determined by the licenses they possess. A plumber can have different kinds of licenses which include,

  • Beginning as apprentices, plumbers test and earn a journey plumbing license and are later awarded a master plumbing license.
  • Apprentice plumbers are plumbers who have just begun their training.
  • Journey plumbing license holders have trained under a master plumber and have to clear a state-sanctioned examination.
  • Master Plumber licenses are given after appearing and clearing a state-sanctioned test. To be eligible for the test, they have to work as journey plumbers for a specified period of time.
  •  Apprentice, journey, and master licenses are also required to work with natural gas lines.
  • The final step to becoming a plumbing contractor is to obtain a contractor’s license. Licensed plumbing contractors generally own their businesses and subcontract work to other licensed plumbing contractors.

Specialty Plumbers

Fire Sprinklers

Plumbers often are called in to install fire sprinkler systems in domestic or commercial buildings. Fire sprinklers are programmed to automatically turn on when smoke is detected or when a specific temperature is detected. According to a 2009 study by the US fire administration, the installation of fire sprinkler systems reduced the risk of dying in a house fire by more than 80%.


Remodeling Plumbing Contractor

Remodeling Plumbing Contractor


Certain plumbers specialize in home remodeling and renovation. These plumbers should be able to read and understand blueprints and have a thorough understanding of the overall goals, requirements, and issues of the project at hand. They also ensure that all plumbing work done on the project is in strict compliance with local and federal codes. Simply having a contractor’s license is not enough when evaluating a remodeling contractor’s skill set, it is important to assess their experience and expertise as well.


Water Line and Pipes Installation

Installation and repair of water pipes require specific expertise. In order to lay a pipe, a plumber must have comprehensive knowledge about water pressure, water force, math, etc.


Natural Gas Pipe Installation

When most people think of plumbers they generally think of water-related pipe installation. Installing natural gas pipes requires a specific kind of expertise and licenses, which one should keep in mind.



Now that you understand the difference between plumbers and plumbing contractors, be sure to hire the right person with the appropriate skillsets for the right job. If you’re looking for a plumbing contractor in Houston, we have got you covered. Rise construction stands as one of Houston’s finest commercial contractors and we’re here to deliver nothing but the best. Visit our website today and learn more about our workings and projects we have successfully developed.

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