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Plumbers vs. Plumbing Contractors: Know the Difference

Dealing with plumbing issues can be a real pain, right? 

But did you know there’s a difference between plumbers and plumbing contractors? 

Understanding their roles can save you time, money, and a whole lot of stress from plumbing repair.

In this blog, we’ll break down the distinctions between plumbers and plumbing contractors. We’ll dig into what plumbers do, from fixing leaks to installing new pipes. In addition, we’ll discuss the bigger jobs plumbing contractors handle, as well as compliance with building codes.

Knowing the difference will help you choose the right professional for your plumbing needs. So, let’s get started and unravel the mysteries of these plumbing superheroes!

Plumbers vs Plumbing Contractors

So, you’re faced with a pesky plumbing problem like a clogged toilet or leaky faucet. Who do you call?

Well, that’s where plumbers come in. But here’s the catch: not all plumbers are the same. They may or may not have the necessary training and licenses to be a full-fledged plumbing contractor.

Speaking of plumbing contractors, they specialize in new construction, remodels, and renovations. They handle complex tasks like water supply systems and septic systems. These pros have additional training and licenses and often work for larger plumbing companies.

The services they provideThe services they provide

Here are the different services that plumbers and plumber contractors provide.


Most homeowners turn to plumbers in an emergency. Their services range from overflowing toilets to clogged drains and burst pipes. Essentially, these are minor repairs.

A plumber can receive formal training or informal training under another plumber.

Plumbing fixtures that are commonly installed or repaired include:

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

This is a common task that most plumbers are familiar with.

Plumbing contractors

Plumbing contractors specialize in plumbing, construction, and service, so they are capable of handling many more jobs than plumbers.

Some of the tasks of plumbing contractors are:

  • Performing more complex tasks than a plumber, as well as repairing the items listed above
  • Constructing or renovating waste disposal systems in homes
  • Installation of gas connections and flues, as well as gas, electric, and tankless water heaters.
  • During the planning stages of a home, they can serve as consultants. They make sure new construction and renovations comply with local and federal building codes. Moreover, commercial plumbing meets all ADA requirements).
  • Assist with the final inspection of plumbing work, whether it is new construction or renovation.
  • Resolving water leaks in the yard.
  • Provides services for the installation of control valves for gas and water, backflow prevention devices, water conditioning and softening equipment, and other water-related appliances in a home.
  • Gas leaks and slab leaks.

Specific areas of specialty


Becoming a licensed plumber involves progressing through different levels of expertise. 

  • Starting as apprentices, they gain hands-on experience before earning a journey plumbing license. This demonstrates increased knowledge and experience, validated by a state-sanctioned test. 
  • The pinnacle is achieving a master plumber’s license. It requires a specific duration as a journey plumber, accumulating hours of licensed work, and passing a comprehensive state test.  
  • From apprenticeship to mastery, these licensed plumbers showcase their dedication and expertise in the field.

Specialty Plumbers

Fire SprinklersFire Sprinklers

Among the many tasks plumbers perform, the installation and maintenance of fire sprinklers often go unnoticed. This is because they’re more common in businesses than in homes.

However, residential homes are also incorporating fire sprinklers to increase safety. Construction of new homes now requires sprinkler systems in states like California and Pennsylvania.

Fixtures and Installations

This type of plumber specializes in the installation, repair, and maintenance of plumbing fixtures such as sinks, faucets, toilets, showers, and bathtubs. 

If you’re looking for a plumber to fix your pipes, call Drain Magic to get in touch with our licensed team today.

6 Different Types of Plumbers

When it comes to plumbing, there is a diverse range of specialists who handle various aspects of the trade. Here are six different types of plumbers:

1 . Residential Plumber

These plumbers focus on plumbing systems in residential properties, including houses, apartments, and condominiums. 

2. Commercial Plumber

They specialize in large-scale projects for commercial buildings such as offices, retail stores, restaurants, and industrial facilities. 

3. Service and Repair Plumber

Service and repair plumbers are the go-to experts for fixing plumbing issues in both residential and commercial settings. They troubleshoot problems, perform repairs, and ensure the proper functioning of plumbing systems.

4. Sanitary Plumber

Sanitary plumbers focus on the installation and maintenance of sanitary systems, including sewage and drainage systems. 

5. Water Supply Plumber

Water supply plumbers specialize in installing and maintaining water supply systems. They ensure the proper flow of clean water into buildings, connecting pipes, fixtures, and appliances.

6. Specialty Plumber

Specialty plumbers have expertise in specific areas of plumbing. This includes gas plumbing, medical gas plumbing, fire sprinkler systems, or sustainable plumbing practices.

Water Supply Plumber

So there you have it! 

Now you know the real deal when it comes to plumbers and plumbing contractors. 

Remember, plumbers are your go-to for smaller fixes and maintenance. On the other hand,  plumbing contractors are the experts for both small and larger projects.

Knowing the difference and choosing the right professional for your specific needs is important. 

You should consult with your water line experts as soon as you notice signs of corrosion or leaks. For homeowners in South Central Pennsylvania, Drain Magic can solve your plumbing problems. Don’t hesitate to reach out today.

Book an appointment here.