Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Saira Farman

When you hear the word “plumbing,” you probably think about the most common type of plumbing, which centers on residential and commercial toilets, sinks, and drains. But, there are eight different types of plumbing services, each requiring a different set of skills. So, the next time you hear the word “plumbing,” you might conjure up a new image of this versatile profession.

Water Supply

Plumbers who specialize in the water supply are the professionals most of us are familiar with because they are the ones who work on broken toilets, leaky faucets, and leaking pipes. Water supply plumbers work on inside and outside plumbing components and supply water to toilets, faucets, and other appliances. In addition, they are involved in the installation of new pipes and appliances and the maintenance, replacement, repair, and testing of existing pipes and appliances.


These plumbers are focused on installing, repairing, maintaining, replacing, and testing pipes and appliances that operate on gas. Gasfitting is a very specialized plumbing profession because working with gas can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, if you need work on any gas-operated appliance, make sure your plumber is qualified to complete these tasks.


Drainage plumbers work on pipes that specifically deal with the sewer system or sanitary drainage system. Drainage could include underground pipes that carry gray water from the structure to the public sewer system or aboveground components like leach fields and septic tanks. They usually do not work on the appliances that connect to these systems, which is a role for water supply plumbers. 


If you need your toilets connected to your sewer system or your garbage disposal connected to your waste disposal system, you’ll call a sanitary plumber. Often, water supply plumbers also conduct the work of sanitary plumbers, so there’s no need to call two different professionals in this case.


This type of plumber is involved with installing a roof drainage system that collects and/or disposes of stormwater. They can install, repair, replace, and inspect roof components like roof flashing, roof coverings, gutters, and more.

Mechanical Services

Although mechanical services plumbers technically fall under the plumbing industry, they are often categorized as HVAC professionals because they mostly deal with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Instead, they specialize in installing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, and inspecting pipes, boilers, flues, air conditioners, heaters, vents, and roofing components related to heating and cooling systems.

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Irrigation specialists install, maintain, repair, replace, and inspect irrigation systems that provide water to fields, crops, and other parcels of land. They are responsible for the water supply to every component of the irrigation system itself.

Fire Protection

Fire protection plumbers specialize in water services designed for fire fighting, including hydrants, hoses, and residential and commercial fire sprinkler systems. These professionals are responsible for both the water supply and the equipment.

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As you can see, there is a lot more to the plumbing industry than meets the eye. While some plumbers perform more than one of these services, you can also find those that specialize in a particular area, depending on your needs.

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