Plumbers vs. Pipefitters

PA plumbing experts

People have been debating the difference between plumbers versus pipefitters for years. Many people believe that the two trades are the same, however, there are some major differences. Our PA plumbing experts are here to explain:

Piping Materials

Plumbers are trained to handle common piping materials like copper, galvanized steel, and PVC piping. Pipefitters, on the other hand, are trained to handle more specialized piping that is built to withstand high pressures, such as high-carbon steel or stainless steel.


While the occupations can sometimes overlap, you’ll usually find plumbers in industries that deal with HVAC, waste disposal, and potable water while pipefitters are usually found in industries that deal with chemicals, gasses, and acids. While plumbers can be found performing both residential and commercial applications, pipefitters are mainly commercial workers.

Work Environments

When it comes to employment, plumbers usually work privately for larger companies, or for smaller companies. Since pipefitters are usually in the industrial or manufacturing field, they usually stick to working for larger companies.


Our PA plumbing experts know that both plumbers and pipefitters should be familiar with their state and local building codes. They should also be able to interpret blueprints, determine the materials and equipment needed for a job, perform inspections, and install and repair piping systems and fixtures.

When it comes to the types of piping systems, there are a few differences: plumbers often work with gas and water lines that connect to appliances like dishwashers, water heaters, bathtubs, etc. while pipefitters often work with complex piping systems like steam systems, refrigeration, hazardous gasses, and more.

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