(WACO, Texas) – February’s winter weather experienced in Texas is giving Texas State Technical College’s Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology students plenty to think about.
“There’s a lot of money in plumbing right now,” said Austin native Jack Guerrero, who is scheduled to graduate in December with a Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology certificate. “A lot of things broke that I know how to fix now.”
Guerrero not only had a health issue to deal with during the winter weather, but he and his family had to heat water in a fireplace as they endured a loss of electricity and heat in their home for several days.
Guerrero, who wants to work in Austin after graduation, recommends that people keep their faucets dripping to reduce the chances of freezing water pipes.
Jimmy Maldonado, of Gatesville, is also scheduled to graduate with a Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology certificate in December. He said people should think about covering their windows and doors to cut down on cold air seeping in. He also recommends using outside faucet covers to provide wind and freeze protection.
Chris Porter, an instructor in TSTC’s Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology program, said the winter weather should show students how to come up with their own solutions for problems. He said students in the program are learning the proper way to do work, which can benefit them as they advance in their careers.
Porter said he wants the students to pay attention to weather reports and know when to stock their work vans with supplies once they are working after graduation. He said the students need to be prepared for pipe breaks and not always having access to the right equipment.
Porter said the winter weather did have a positive aspect: It brought attention to the plumbing profession once people realized how valuable the workers are. He said consumers and business owners should be aware of who they hire to do repair work and that social media is not the place to seek plumbing recommendations. Porter said people can go to the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners’ website to search for plumbers’ professional information.
Porter said insurance companies will need invoices from plumbers for completed work.
“If you want good quality work, you will pay a plumber for good quality work,” he said.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a need for more than 511,000 plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters by 2029. The agency attributes this to maintaining existing plumbing systems, along with the construction of new residences and buildings.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.