Plumbing Industry

Plumbing Industry Solutions

Due to steady industry growth and a skilled labor shortage, the plumbing industry is very busy, and there is added pressure for contractors to complete their projects efficiently to meet their deadlines.

Outsourcing your equipment rentals to BigRentz could help reduce your busywork. For example, if your next project involves removing and replacing old pipes outside a building, you can rent a mini excavator. Or if you need to move up and down floors with piping material inside a building, you may need a manlift. If you have multiple projects, you can place all your equipment rental orders with us. Instead of calling multiple suppliers to procure your rentals, you can place one order with us, and we’ll handle everything else, including communications with the supplier and equipment delivery and pickup.

Plumbing Industry
Plumbing Industry

Current State of the Plumbing Industry

Plumbers, whether self-employed or those who work for large plumbing companies, provide essential services to U.S. homeowners and businesses. In addition to unclogging indoor and outdoor drainage systems, they install pipes that deliver water to homes, commercial buildings, and factories. Installing and repairing large-scale heating and cooling systems also falls under the bailiwick of the plumbing industry. These tasks require the skills of pipe and steamfitters who install and maintain pipes that transport highly pressurized gases and liquids. Plumbers also need to be able to read blueprints, as well as estimate the cost of the plumbing work they perform.

The plumbing industry generated $106 billion in 2017 and grew 2 to 3 percent between 2013 and 2018. Because buildings must have interior and exterior plumbing, individuals in the plumbing profession — plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters — are well paid for their efforts. The median annual salary for plumbing professionals was $52,590 in 2017, and prospects for the industry’s future look good. Employment opportunities are expected to rise 16 percent by 2026. One explanation for this growth is the gradual expansion of the housing and building construction markets in recent years.

Another factor contributing to the plumbing trade’s steady growth is the need to replace the nation’s aging infrastructure. Water main breaks, for example, have increased 27 percent in the past six years. Especially vulnerable are wood, cast iron, and asbestos cement pipes, none of which are made any longer. Replacing these pipes will be a major undertaking high on the lists of homeowners, building managers, and city planners in the foreseeable future.

Commonly Used Equipment in the Plumbing Industry

Whether plumbers are installing new pipes or replacing old ones, they will, at some point, need to take advantage of the construction and other heavy equipment to get the job done. The following list describes some of the more commonly used pieces of equipment plumbers and construction contractors use to install and maintain water and waste disposal systems:

  • Excavators dig and backfill trenches needed for pipe installation on large, commercial projects and for the excavation of old pipes that need to be replaced. They can be hydraulic or cable-operated and come in a variety of sizes and types. The most suitable choice will depend on the uses to which it is put and the environments in which it will operate. Mini excavators are ideal when digging in small or confined spaces. Spider excavators, on the other hand, are suited for work over rough terrain and in narrow trenches.
  • Backhoe Loaders perform many of the functions that excavators handle but are better suited to smaller building and residential projects. The backhoe is at the back of a tractor-like cab and digs trenches using a backward motion. Once pipes have been installed, a shovel in front of the cab scoops up the dirt and back-fills the trench.
  • Compactors come into play to tamp down the soil once the trench has been filled. This gets rid of any air pockets that can destabilize the soil. The compacted soil is now ready for the application of pavement or foundation. Light soil compactors work well on residential properties; the heavier compactors are better suited for large-scale projects such as water main pipe installation and replacement.
  • Manlifts, also known as personnel lifts, are ideal for indoor jobs that allow an individual plumber to work on a stable platform to install pipes and other plumbing fixtures at difficult-to-reach heights. The lift’s telescoping and articulating arm can reach up and around, giving the plumber access to areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. The lightweight manlift is an ideal choice for jobs inside homes and offices.
  • Air Compressors use pressurized air to power plumbing tools such as propane torches, hacksaws, and screw guns. Plumbers also use them to unclog drains. A type of air compressor known as a kinetic water ram is specifically designed for this purpose. The compressor releases pressurized air into the drain and forces the clog down and out, allowing water flow to resume.
  • Light Towers are indispensable for night-time installation and repair projects. Water main breaks don’t always occur during the day. Also, a contractor may require night-time work when a construction project is behind schedule. These light sources ensure that personnel have a safe environment in which to work.
  • Storage Containers are an absolute necessity for outdoor plumbing projects. They ensure supplies and equipment remain dry in case of inclement weather. With the addition of a padlock or lock box, storage containers provide a place for securing equipment at the end of the workday. And because these units come in a variety of sizes, plumbing contractors can choose the size container that best fits the needs of the project.

Benefits of Renting Plumbing Equipment

Plumbers and contractors may consider purchasing some of this equipment if they use it on a regular basis and across multiple projects. However, even under those circumstances, heavy equipment can be expensive and difficult to maintain. A more cost-effective solution would be to rent the equipment.

Renting offers a number of advantages in addition to cost savings. It gives plumbers and construction contractors access to state-of-the-art equipment at a fraction of the cost involved in purchasing it. Moreover, a project may require the one-time use of a specialized piece of equipment. In that case, purchasing the equipment really doesn’t make sense.

Repair and maintenance of expensive equipment is another responsibility that is eliminated when equipment is rented. Of course, workers need to take care of all of the equipment they use, whether rented or purchased. But long-term maintenance not only drives up costs but also takes time away from actual plumbing tasks. Renting equipment avoids this. And companies can also often deduct the rental fees as a business expense.

Plumbing business owners and managers are increasingly turning to renting costly construction equipment instead of purchasing it. BigRentz, the nation’s largest business equipment rental network, has all of the construction equipment you’ll need for your plumbing projects, regardless of size.