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A plumber is a tradesperson who specializes in installing and maintaining systems used for potable (drinking) water, sewage and drainage in plumbing systems. The term dates from ancient times, and is related to the Latin word for lead, "plumbum".
The word "plumber" dates from the Roman Empire. The Latin for lead is plumbum. Roman roofs used lead in conduits and drain pipes4 and some were also covered with lead, lead was also used for piping and for making baths. In medieval times anyone who worked with lead was referred to as a plumber as can be seen from an extract of workmen fixing a roof in Westminster Palace and were referred to as plumbers "To Gilbert de Westminster, plumber, working about the roof of the pantry of the little hall, covering it with lead, and about various defects in the roof of the little hall". Thus a person with expertise in working with lead was first known as a Plumbarius which was later shortened to plumber.
About plastic pipes
There are three basic types of plastic pipes:
Solid wall pipeedit
Extruded pipes consisting of one layer of a homogeneous matrix of thermoplastic material which is ready for use in a pipeline
Structured wall pipeedit
Structured-wall pipes and fittings are products which have an optimized design with regard to material usage to achieve the physical, mechanical and performance requirements. Structured Wall Pipes are tailor made solutions of piping systems, for a variety of applications and in most cases developed in cooperation with users
Pipe incorporating a flexible metallic layer as the middle of three bonded layers. Barrier pipe is used, for example, to provide additional protection for the contents passing through the pipe (particularly drinking water) from aggressive chemicals or other pollution when laid in ground contaminated by previous use.
Most plastic pipe systems are made from thermoplastic materials. The production method involves melting the material, shaping and then cooling. Pipes are normally produced by extrusion.1
Plastic - about material
Plastic pipe is in wide use for domestic water supply and drain-waste-vent (DWV) pipe. Principal types include: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was produced experimentally in the 19th century but did not become practical to manufacture until 1926, when Waldo Semon of BF Goodrich Co. developed a method to plasticize PVC, making it easier to process. PVC pipe began to be manufactured in the 1940s and was in wide use for Drain-Waste-Vent piping during the reconstruction of Germany and Japan following WWII. In the 1950s, plastics manufacturers in Western Europe and Japan began producing acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipe. The method for producing cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) was also developed in the 1950s. Plastic supply pipes have become increasingly common, with a variety of materials and fittings employed.
PVC/CPVC ? rigid plastic pipes similar to PVC drain pipes but with thicker walls to deal with municipal water pressure, introduced around 1970. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, and it?s become a common replacement for metal piping. PVC should be used only for cold water, or for venting. CPVC can be used for hot and cold potable water supply. Connections are made with primers and solvent cements as required by code.12
PP ? The material is used primarily in housewares, food packaging, and clinical equipment,13 but since the early 1970s has seen increasing use worldwide for both domestic hot and cold water. PP pipes are heat fused, being unsuitable for the use of glues, solvents, or mechanical fittings. PP pipe is often used in green building projects.1415
PBT ? flexible (usually gray or black) plastic pipe which is attached to barbed fittings and secured in place with a copper crimp ring. The primary manufacturer of PBT tubing and fittings was driven into bankruptcy by a class-action lawsuit over failures of this system.citation needed However, PB and PBT tubing has since returned to the market and codes, typically first for "exposed locations" such as risers.
PEX ? cross-linked polyethylene system with mechanically joined fittings employing barbs, and crimped steel or copper rings.
Polytanks ? plastic polyethylene cisterns, underground water tanks, above ground water tanks, are usually made of linear polyethylene suitable as a potable water storage tank, provided in white, black or green.
Aqua ? known as PEX-Al-PEX, for its PEX/aluminum sandwich, consisting of aluminum pipe sandwiched between layers of PEX, and connected with modified brass compression fittings. In 2005, a large number of these fittings were recalled.further explanation needed
Present-day water-supply systems use a network of high-pressure pumps, and pipes in buildings are now made of copper,16 brass, plastic (particularly cross-linked polyethylene called PEX, which is estimated to be used in 60% of single-family homes17), or other nontoxic material. Due to its toxicity, lead has not been used in modern water-supply piping since the 1930s in the United States,18 although lead was used in plumbing solder for drinking water until it was banned in 1986.18 Drain and vent lines are made of plastic, steel, cast-iron, or lead.1920