Stagnant Plumbing Systems After COVID-19

Commercial buildings across the United States have sat empty for weeks due to COVID-19 quarantine measures. When it is time to reopen these buildings, plumbing should be one of the first items addressed. Plumber Magazine has provided some advice about preparing dormant plumbing systems for use again which we've compiled for you here.

It is important to note that this guidance is for buildings that have been shut down or barely used due to COVID-19. It does not apply to buildings that have had their water systems turned off for longer periods of time.

Water Stagnation
Water systems that haven't been used for long periods of time go stagnant. Stagnant water often leads to accelerated growth of pathogens like Legionella, which can cause death when consumed. For this reason, all water systems that haven't been used or have only been sparsely used, should be flushed out prior to reopening. For potable water systems, you should open all water outlet valves, and flush all the toilets and urinals. Outlets that are the greatest distance from the service connection should flow for a minimum of 10 minutes. According to Plumber Magazine, you should also "flush all drinking water fountains, water coolers, bottle fillers, and any other operable end point device for at least five minutes.

Make sure you also flush any decorative water features or landscape irrigation systems.

Floor Drains
Pour water down any flood drains to make sure the trap is fully restored. This will keep sewer gases from entering the building. Sanitary systems have been implicated in the spread of COVID-19 so any dry traps could lead to exposure to the virus.,

Water Treatment and Filters
Bacteria will grow on water filters if there is stagnant water so you should replace all water filters and flush the water treatment system.

Protect Your Staff
Individuals flushing out stagnant water systems are at risk. They should wear proper PPE including googles, rubber gloves, and N95 face masks.

3 Ways To Improve Your Business During Your Downtime

Your company may or may not be slowing down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Either way, there are several things you can do to expand your business during this period while most people have no shortage of downtime.

  1. Hire, Hire, Hire
    I know this might seem counter-intuitive. Your work is slow, why would you hire? We all know that hiring has been a major problem across the trades for the past two decades, and people now are particularly eager for work. You should be looking for plumbers and administrators. Think of it this way--right now you can hire without competing with other businesses.
  2. Get Training Out of the Way
    Now is the time to getting your team's training out of the way. If you have a plumber on your team that needs continuing education for this licensing cycle, why not have them take it now? It is also an excellent time for your apprentices to start studying for the journeyman exam. Online continuing education and exam prep programs allow your employees to complete their education from the comfort and safety of home. Plumbers Training Institute offers business accounts that will save you time and money on training. Call to learn more: 800-727-7104
  3. Engage with Customers on Social Media
    You should use this time to build a relationship with potential customers in your area. Guess where you will find them right now? That is right, social media.  Since your customers are spending a lot of time on social media, you should be there too. Engage with people in your community. If you are doing anything to help with the crisis, make sure they know. The relationships you build now will turn into jobs later.

Should Your Business Be Providing Sanitation Services?

With the current COVID-19 crisis, business owners and homeowners alike are thinking beyond the normal scope of cleaning. Rather than just cleaning indoor surfaces, doorknobs, and hands, people are having sidewalks, playground equipment, and building exteriors deep cleaned. Outdoor cleaning is an often overlooked but incredibly important measure in keeping the spread of bacteria and viruses as bay.

Where does COV-19 live outside?

A recent New England Journal of Medicine study found coronavirus can remain

  • in the air for three hours, on copper for four hours,
  • on cardboard for 24 hours,
  • on plastic for 72 hours,
  • on steel for 72 hours

A recent CDC study found that coronavirus can be transferred by shoes, meaning one person can track coronavirus across an entire city, on their feet!

How can plumbers help?

Many plumbers are using hot-water jetting equipment to spray bleach/sanitizing detergent and hot water on outdoor surfaces. The combination of the jet-stream, hot water and sanitizing solution breaks down proteins and cleans away the virus. Hydro-jetting equipment could be a good investment for your company now and in the future. If demand for outdoor cleaning subsides after the COVID-19, you can use the equipment for dissolving clogs.

New Mexico Plumber Renewal FAQ

How do I renew my New Mexico plumber license?

  1. Complete the required continuing education
  2. Renew your license online through the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department
  3. Pay the $75 renewal fee

Do I have to complete continuing education to renew my New Mexico plumbing license?

Yes, New Mexico plumbers must complete 16 hrs of continuing education every 3 years. This includes 8 hrs specific to code changes & 8 hrs may be of other industry-related approved course work.

How often do I have to renew my New Mexico plumber license?

Every three years

What is the fee to renew my New Mexico plumber license?

$75

Who do I contact at the state level with questions about my New Mexico plumber license?

Contact the New Mexico Construction Industries & Manufactured Housing Division
Santa Fe: (505) 476-4700
Albuquerque: (505) 222-9800
Las Cruces: (575) 524-6320


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Should You Become An Idaho Plumber? Part 3: Career

This is part 3 of our series on becoming a plumber Idaho. Read Part 1: Salary or Part 2: Training.

Even if you decide hands-on plumbing is not for you, you will gain valuable, real world experience in a working environment to add to your resume. There are several jobs related to your apprenticeship.

  1. Plumbing Technician/Journeyman/Master/Business Owner - This one is the most direct plumbing career path. Once you complete your apprenticeship you are well on your way to becoming a licensed plumber. You can continue to upgrade your license by completing the necessary work requirements and passing the appropriate exams until you are able to own your plumbing business. Wages vary drastically as a business owner because your income depends on several factors - how many employees you have, what benefits are offered, how busy your area is, ect.
    Average Yearly Wage: $80,000 per year
  2. Pipefitter - If you'd like to take a more specialized approach to your training you can become a pipefitter.  Pipefitters perform maintenance and installation of piping power at industrial plants.
    Average Yearly Wage: $52,623
    High-end Yearly Wage: $76,651. (Salary.com)
  3. Steamfitter - Job requirements for steamfitters are very similar to pipefitters except you will have to complete additional training to become a certified steamfitter. The most common task for steamfitters is installing pipes for transportation of high-pressure gas materials.
    Average Yearly Wage: $52,990
    High-end Yearly Wage: $77,062. (Salary.com)
  4. Gas Service Technician - With specialized equipment, gas service technicians make sure gas is delivering in all the correct locations of a building/job site.
    Average Yearly Wage: $60,381
    High-End Yearly Wage: $131,000 (ZipRecruiter.com)
  5. Project Manager - Project managers are responsible for the planning an implantation of plumbing projects, supervising plumbers on the job, and allocating resouces. You will have to complete special training courses and pick up some management skills.
    Average Yearly Wage: $65,210
    High-End Yearly Wage:$96,000 (ZipRecrutier.com)

DO YOU NEED IDAHO PLUMBER EXAM PREP OR CONTINUING EDUCATION?

Should You Become An Idaho Plumber? Part 2: Training & Exams

This is part 2 of our series on becoming a plumber Idaho. Read Part 1: Salary or Part 3: Career.

Most of the training required to move through the stages of plumbing licensure is done on the job. Each section below details the training and education necessary to move from apprentice to journeyman to plumbing contractor.

Step 1: Apprenticeship
To qualify as an apprentice plumber you must be at least 16 years old, submit a completed and notarized application, and pay a $50 non-refundable license registration fee. As a plumbing apprentice,  you must complete a Plumbing Board approved course of instruction for four years to be eligible to become a journeyman.  You must score at least 70% in each course to pass.

Courses are available at

  • College of Southern Idaho (800) 680-0274
  • College of Western Idaho (208) 562-3000
  • Eastern Idaho Technical College (800) 662-0261
  • Idaho State University (208) 282-3372
  • Lewis Clark State College (208) 792-2442
  • North Idaho College (208) 769-3214
  • Treasure Valley Community College (541) 881-5755
  • Boise Plumbing JATC* (208) 288-1296
  • Pocatello Plumbing JATC* (208) 232-6806

Step 2: Journeyman

Before you can become a journeyman in Idaho, you must work as an apprentice for four years and accumulate 8,000 hours of work time and you must complete the required plumbing courses mentioned above. You will also need to pass two exams. The written exam can be completed before you finish 8,000 hours of work experience although you are not eligible to become a journeyman until the working requirement is met. You will have four hours to pass this exam. The practical exam can be provided on a job-in-progress or in a lab setting - you must be able to complete the work with no violations.

Study for the plumbing exams online in HD video.

Step 3: Plumbing Contractor

To qualify for a plumbing contractor license you must complete two and a half years as a licensed working journeyman plumber. Once your application has been excepted you can apply for the contractor examination. The exams lasts for four hours, covers Chapters 5-12 from the 2015 Uniform Plumbing Code and Business/Law.

Study the Uniform Plumbing Code, sizing, and statues and rules online in HD video.


What careers are available to a licensed plumber? Read Part 3 to find out!


DO YOU NEED IDAHO PLUMBER EXAM PREP OR CONTINUING EDUCATION?

Should You Become An Idaho Plumber? Part 1: Salary

This is part 1 of our series on becoming a plumber Idaho. Read Part 2: Training & Education or Part 3: Career.

Idaho is booming. The housing market is on the upswing, unemployment is down state-wide, and new jobs are coming to the state. It only makes sense that the construction industry is growing to keep up. As people move to the area, attracted by jobs and a low cost of living, new homes and businesses need to built and plumbed. So, should you become a plumber?

Let's Talk Money

Construction currently counts for 6.1% of the state's GDP and $1.9 billion in wages each year. Plumbers in the state make an average of $43,693 per year - more than 4% greater than private sector employees make. Not only do plumbers receive a higher than average median wage, they do not have to rack up student loans while preparing for their job. Instead, plumbers must complete four years of on-the-job experience as a paid apprentice before becoming licensed Journeyman. In other words, rather than spending thousands of dollars to attend college and get a job, you can work as a paid apprentice for four years, rack up zero debt, and be eligible for a job that pays 4% more than your college counterpart.


What training is required to become a licensed plumber? Read Part 2 to find out!


DO YOU NEED IDAHO PLUMBER EXAM PREP OR CONTINUING EDUCATION?

Woman Plumber Starts Nonprofit to Introduce Young Girls to Trades

“Jobs don’t have genders,” says New York City based plumber Judaline Cassidy. Cassidy has been plumbing for more than 20 years, and she’s received sexist comments and judgment for just as long. In a blog, she writes that every day, someone asks her if she is qualified to do the job.

Her answer? Hell yes, I’m qualified.

The question is hardly ever asked to her male counterparts, and Cassidy needs to prove her doubters wrong every day.

“Always having people doubt your capabilities and passion is hard. Knowing the opportunity for advancement isn’t as readily available to you is harder still. Then there’s this: if you push for it, you are talked about, called a ‘troublemaker,’” writes Cassidy in the blog.

According to the 2010 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a measly 1.5% of plumbers, pipelayers, and pipefitters are women. Since 2017, Cassidy has been on a mission to recruit and inspire more women to become plumbers and/or join the trades. She founded her nonprofit, Tools & Tiaras, as a way to introduce young girls to construction work.

Tools & Tiaras offers summer camps, conferences, workshops and mentorships for young girls.

On her website, she says her vision is making these occupations more accessible and approachable for young girls. They do this by exposing and introducing young women to skilled trade jobs and helping them with hands-on projects. They teach lessons in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and more.

They’ve also teamed up with STEM groups to encourage young females to learn about topics and careers in that industry as well.

To learn more about Tools & Tiaras click here.

To donate to Tools & Tiaras click here.


DO YOU NEED OREGON-APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION OR ONLINE EXAM PREP?

Oregon Advocacy Group Pushes for Compost Toilet and Sustainable Plumbing Systems

The average flush uses almost four gallons of water, and the average American uses nearly 20 gallons of water a day just using the bathroom, adding up to thousands of gallons down the drain every year. The commode is the single biggest user of water in an average house. Now, one Oregon-based group is on a mission to make the potty a little more eco-friendly.

Recode, of Portland, wants to encourage and empower their community to switch to composting toilets. Recode says the toilets do not use water. Instead they use four parts, a commode, a collection method, a composting chamber and a management plan to dispose of waste.

Composting toilets use gravity mechanisms to turn waste into usable manure that can be spread in gardens and on plants, safely, and effectively. The group says a Massachusetts study found bathrooms with these kinds of toilets reduced household nitrogen output by up to 96% after replacing their traditional fixtures.

According to the Greywater Action Council, Oregon is one of a few states in the country with plumbing code language that supports compost toilets in homes. The laws require homes to use NSF certified models.

A few years ago, Recode worked with groups and governmental bodies to get this language adopted. In 2015, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials adopted Recode’s model composting toilet code.

The Greywater Action Council says typically, homeowners can install compost toilets to replace their standard ones, so long as at least one flush toilet is connected to an approved septic or sewer system, the manure isn’t transported across property lines, and the toilet doesn’t create an odor or nuisance that bothers the neighbors.


DO YOU NEED OREGON-APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION OR ONLINE EXAM PREP?

Alaska Plumbing License Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the ins and outs of licensing can be difficult. Here are some frequently asked questions about Alaska plumber licensing to get you the answers you need and on the road to a great career!

Do I have to complete continuing education to renew my Alaska plumbing license?

Yes, Alaska plumbers must complete 16-hours of continuing education including 8-hours of code and 8-hours of industry related courses each licensing cycle.

When is my Alaska plumber continuing education due?

Alaska plumbers must renew their license every two-years by the anniversary of initial licensure.

How do I renew my Alaska plumbing license?

  1. Take the required continuing education
  2. Submit certificates, fee, and application to the state

What is the renewal fee for my Alaska plumbing license?

$200 for 2 years

Who submits my Alaska plumbing license plumbing course completion?

The state of Alaska requires the license holder submit their own course completion.

What happens if I renew my Alaska plumbing license late?

If the certificate has expired more than 90 days, but less than two years, you must pay a $50.00 re-application fee (total of $250.00). If your license has expired more than 2 years you are required to re-apply and re-test.

Who do I contact at the state level with questions about my Alaska plumbing license?

Contact Mechanical Inspection:
1251 Muldoon Road, Suite 113
Anchorage, AK 99504

Phone: (907) 269-4925
Fax: (907) 269-4932
Email: Anchorage.LSS-MI@alaska.gov


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