In performing their duties, pipefitters use saws, cutting torches, and pipe threaders to cut, thread, and hammer pipes to desired specifications. They weld, solder or cement joints on pipes and pipe fittings to assemble and secure pipes. They also attach pipes to fixtures, such as tanks by means of clamps, brackets or welding equipment. The role of pipefitters usually involves collaborating with project managers to design the layout for a pipe system. They go over a project plan and construction blueprint to fully understand pipefitting requirements. They also ensure operations are in accordance with building codes, policies, and safety standards.
As part of their work description, pipefitters oversee the selection and procurement of hangers, supports, hydraulic cylinders, and other necessary construction materials. They are responsible for resolving pipe issues such as clogs or leaks. They also utilize pump machines to remove water from flooded basements and manholes. Usually, pipefitters modify, clean, and maintain pipe systems, fittings, and related equipment. They utilize specialized hand/power tools in removing and replacing worn out components.
They also conduct inspections to ensure pipelines are correctly installed and are efficient. Pipefitters use rules and scribers to measure and mark pipes for cutting and threading. They also usually conduct research to determine the type of pipe most suitable for the transportation of hot, acidic or alkaline substances. They also oversee the installation of gasfitters, steamfitters, and sprinkler fitters for hospitals, factories and residential buildings.
To work as a pipefitter requires a high school diploma which is also a prerequisite for entering into a technical school, or into an apprenticeship program. The qualities mainly needed for success as a pipefitter include mechanical skills, physical strength, and troubleshooting skills. Pipefitters have very important roles in the mechanical contracting field. Pipefitting is an excellent trade to learn and it is a well-paid position.