Could You Be a Plumber?

By: Pierre Roustan

Could You Be a Plumber?
Image: Jacobs Stock Photography / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

If you've never panicked much about that leaky faucet but still had to call a professional to manage the issue, you might be missing out on the potential you have. After all, you know how pipes work! It's pretty easy. Simple physics. The question is can you apply those physics to real-life situations that would involve something like a "snake" or sewage systems? If so, you might have the makings of a plumber. Who knows. Maybe you played a lot of "Super Mario Brothers" back in the day, and it instilled in you a way around pipes (and Goombas).

We jest. The fact is a lot of the skills plumbers possess involve mathematics and common sense. If you have that, you're golden. It won't mean anything, though, if you haven't to some degree applied the math and common sense that would relate to some of the issues a plumber would have to resolve. Ask yourself the simplest questions and think real hard on whether or not you could actually handle the job. It's all about problem-solving, and then utilizing the right tools to accomplish the tasks. That's it. You can take this quiz and definitely be sure of the fact that you're the next one to be called when water breaks out in the basement!

What is a copper pipe not used for?
Locating hollow walls.
Copper pipes are definitely not for locating hollow walls. There's a variety of uses for them, not limited to water carriage, tubings for fridges, and multiple underground installations.
Carrying water.
Refrigerator tubing.
Underground installations.

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What does "PVC" stand for?
Polystemic Volichloride
Polystic Volatile Chlorination
Polyvinyl Chloride
PVC is the common term for a type of piping with the particular chemical makeup made to handle all sorts of hazardous waste. You'd often find the term "PVC pipe" thrown around in the industry.
Polarization Voltage Carrier

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What's one benefit a galvanized pipe has over other pipes?
It can be used in the game of "Clue"
It can be used for carrying steam.
It can't rust.
Galvanized pipes have what's called a "zinc coating." That zinc coating actually makes it very easy for the pipe to resist rust.
It has threads designed for tightening.

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What's the difference between a PVC and CPVC pipe?
The letter "C."
CPVC pipes are chlorinated.
CPVC pipes are the same as PVC pipes. However, there is one difference: CPVC pipes are treated with chlorine, hence the term "chlorinated polyvinyl chloride."
No difference at all except for higher quality material.
CPVC pipes can only be fitted with a foam core.

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How do you join copper pipes without threads?
Duct tape.
Drill bits.
Soldered fittings.
Since copper pipes don't have any threads, it presents a problem in trying to connect them to each other. Soldered fittings solve that issue as connectors between two pipes. Simply fit two pipes on both ends, and you have a connection.
Super glue.

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How do you join galvanized pipe with a copper pipe?
With a dielectric union.
It might as well be a marriage made in Heaven as a dielectric union prevents electrolysis from occurring between the two different pipes. Electrolysis is what will strip away the copper tubing, hence why the union is there to protect it.
Carefully.
With a soldered fitting.
Through holy matrimony.

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Is there a way to actually fit a 1/2-inch copper pipe into a 3/4-inch copper pipe tightly?
Use cardboard around the insides for a tight fit.
Cement the insides.
Use a reducer coupling or elbow.
Couplings are a great way to transition to different sizes. Get the right kind of coupling, and you can fit just about any size copper pipe to another one regardless of size matching.
Duct tape. It solves everything.

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What's the common nickname for the insert fitting?
"Butterfly"
"Hose barb"
Because of an adjustable clamp used with the fitting designed to hold the pipes or hoses in place, the fitting has earned the nickname. It's a "barb" designed to hold the "hose" in place.
"Claw clamp"
"Shimmy"

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What do you need to successfully cut pipe for modifications?
Pair of plumber scissors.
A torch.
A crimp tool.
Hacksaw.
Piping's durable, so you need something just as durable. Hacksaws do the trick. You can also get a pair of pipe cutters, which are obviously stronger than any pair of "scissors."

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What do you need to successfully solder copper piping to fittings?
Courage.
A small steel brush, cement, and lighter.
Elbow grease.
A flux, torch, extra gas and emery cloth.
It's actually pretty easy fitting copper pipes without the threading as all you need is that torch and a solder to merge both together. You then use the cloth to smooth the connection up.

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How do you join PVC piping to fittings?
Krazy glue.
Duct tape.
Solvent welding glue.
The beautiful thing about solvent welding glue is that it's a substance designed to melt the fitting to the pipe. Once they're joined, nothing can break them apart.
Nails.

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What's a compression fitting used for?
Central air.
Water supply.
Compression fittings are designed to be completely airtight, which is why they're generally used for water supply.
Gas supply.
The toilet.

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What is a "plug" for?
To unclog a toilet.
To light a water heater.
To close one end in a male thread.
A "plug" is typically a type of cap. This cap is what's used to block off one end of a male thread for a solvent weld connection.
For your nose.

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Is it possible to join a threaded pipe and a solvent weld?
No.
With a torch, yes.
An adapter coupling does the trick.
Adapter couplings are handy to have around. The reason why is due to their customization—hence why they're perfect for solvent welds fitted to threaded pipes.
All you need is duct tape.

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What do you call a fitting that has a female end and a male end?
A hermaphrodite.
Steel knee.
Street elbow.
Common lingo shows that the name for that particular type of fitting is none other than the "street elbow," a fitting that has one side fitting the male end, and the other side fitting the female end.
Confused.

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What kind of tee is used for waste lines?
A crewneck.
A sanitary tee.
A "tee" is named as such because of the shape of the fitting, which looks like the capital letter "T." A sanitary tee has a curve designed for a cleanout plug to keep things sanitary when dealing with waste lines.
A screen-printed tee.
A wye bend.

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Do plumbers use "nipples"?
Not unless they're very cold.
Sure, they're nicknames for flanges, and they're used all the time.
Yep, they're really short versions of pipes, typically less than 12 inches.
"Nipples" are common. They're small versions of pipes used to increase length, getting to connections easier.
They're movable plugs for sinks and toilets.

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Why do the pipes bang around when you turn on the water?
Ghosts.
Hot water.
High water pressure.
High water pressure tends to cause a lot banging. If you hear it, you need to do something about it. A water hammer arrestor does the trick.
Inaccurate fittings.

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You have two sizes of supply lines for water. Which one would you use for the toilet?
The blue one.
The larger one.
For under-floor supply lines, you're going to want to connect the larger one to the toilet. The piping connected to the toilet, outside of washers, represents the largest due to waste management.
The smaller one.
The plastic one.

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What do you use a "trap" for?
It's a mesh designed to collect food debris in a sink.
Plumbers use these "traps" to eliminate rodents and other pests.
Plumbers install "traps" under sinks and tubs to route wastewater to the drain.
Traps are a type of piping with a curve designed to trap wastewater. As the pipe continues to fill, it pushes wastewater down into the drain.
Plumbers trap roots in sewage pipes with this contraption.

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What are the two types of drains used for tubs and sinks in the bathroom?
Plug drain and cap drain.
Push drain and pop drain.
Tub drain and pop-up drain.
Tub drains are only used for tubs given the depth of water. Pop-up drains are pretty standard in bathroom sinks.
Automatic drain and manual drain.

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I need a certain size trap for my kitchen sink. What should I go for?
1 and 1/4 inches.
2 inches.
1 inch.
1 and 1/2 inches.
1 and 1/4-inch traps are commonly for bathroom sinks. If you're looking for the ideal trap for your kitchen sink, you'll want to go with a 1 and 1/2 inch.

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What might you need when installing a pop-up drain?
Super glue.
Plumber's putty.
Who knew there was such a thing? That hardening material that's very much like silly putty only so much more durable is often used to minimize all sorts of leaking.
Bubble gum.
Duct tape.

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What isn't a valid reason why you should use plastic supply lines for all your water needs?
A set of plastic supply lines are much longer than the standard copper ones.
There's no standard lengths for plastic lines. Generally speaking, the rest of the answers are all common benefits for going plastic for your water supply.
They don't kink, and they're very flexible.
They're so much more cost-effective.
They don't corrode.

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Which one of these wouldn't be a way of using a "floor flange"?
You put one underneath each foot of your toilet.
Floor flanges typically stabilize piping and tubes on any flat surface. This includes pipes in walls, floors or just about anywhere.
You connect it to a pipe from a wall.
You can use it to bridge a pipe to the floor.
You can use a floor flange on any flat surface.

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What do you absolutely need when crawling underneath a house to install or repair plumbing?
A mask.
A Taser.
A flashlight.
We don't doubt that a lot of these would be worthwhile to have at some point. But ultimately you won't go far without a good hands-free flashlight to light the way.
A pair of clippers.

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When do you use flared fittings?
Kitchen sinks.
Refrigerators.
Because fridges require certain freezing measures, flared fittings tend to provide the best possible compression. The flares manage to maintain compression through those extreme temperatures.
Water heaters.
Bathroom tubs.

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Is it possible to repair a leaky valve?
Sure, with a blowtorch and a hammer.
All you need is plumber's putty.
Either tighten the hex nut or remove it completely and add some stem packing.
The hex nut is the crux of the entire configuration. Tighten it or remove it and then add packaging to seal it more, and that should do the trick.
Apply pressure with a wrench on the hex nut and valve. Slowly pull.

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How do you prevent hard water in your pipes?
Install an alkaline-based solution into your water supply.
Use an ACETAL valve.
ACETAL valves resist mineral buildup. They are, therefore, quite exceptional when optimizing the quality of your water supply.
Tighten your gaskets.
Flush the sewage system.

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When is it a good idea to install ball valves?
When you have a disability.
For purposes of upgrading the entire water supply system.
When installing natural gas or LP into your house.
Typically ball valves are used for your natural gas or LP. They tend to be a lot safer in terms of operation.
To prevent children from causing accidents.

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What is a gasket?
A gun that shoots oil.
A stapler that shoots iron fittings into pipes.
A component placed in fittings for additional seal.
Gaskets are used to improve the tightening of fittings to pipes, pressed against threadings. They're usually made of rubber, plastic or paper.
A golden basket.

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What is a "bushing"?
When plumbers do landscaping around the pipes outside for proper access.
When a plumber places the putty all around the pipes for proper insulation.
A plumber fits this inside a coupling to make the fitting smaller.
Bushings are smaller fittings designed to match the size of pipes that are too small for established fittings currently placed. Placing a bushing inside a pipe will then make the hole of the pipe smaller.
A plumber uses this to change the direction of the pipe's connection.

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What is a drop ear elbow also known as?
Wing Elbow
Drop ear elbows, also known as "wing elbows," typically are used as rigid installation pieces. You use them for holding elbows to a wall, often when installing shower arms and washer hose valves.
Foot Elbow
Claw Elbow
Finger Elbow

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What might you need when installing a PVC valve?
Duct tape.
Super glue.
Pipe cement.
The only thing you might need would be pipe cement. Everything else would pretty much not do the job at all given the environment. Pipe cement is designed to bind with the piping and ensure proper hold.
Plumber's tape.

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What is a sillcock?
Something plumbers joke about.
A plug on the water heater.
The outside faucet you hook garden hoses to.
Most houses have these outdoor faucets with the valve. They give a homeowner direct access to the water supply for garden hoses.
A switch underneath the house that turns on the sewer.

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