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15 Plumbing

Plumbers install water, drainage and heating pipes for houses and industrial sites. The competition tasks usually include gas and compressed air pipe installations. Due to the international nature of the competition, several joining techniques are used. Pipes are welded, soft-soldered, hard-soldered, threaded and joined with different fixings. Machine crimping is also used.

Pipe bending also requires several techniques. Hand tools, hydraulic tools and sand bending are used. The bending radius and angle are measured. 

Fixing pipes to the wall is an essential part of pipe installation. Another important skill is installing visible fittings such as showers, basins and other plumbing installations. However, fittings are becoming less important in competitions as they are fairly expensive and difficult to transport.

Plumbing consists of four modules, which means one new task each day. For example, these may be divided into drainage installations, gas pipes, water pipes, and compressed air and heating pipes.

A 2mm variance will be allowed in the assessment. If the bending radius or other given measurement varies from the target by no more than 2mm, full points will be given for the component. If the variance is 2–4mm, the points will be halved. No points will be given if the variance is greater than 4mm.

There are several categories of assessment, so one or two unsuccessful categories need not have a significant effect on the end result. However, at WorldSkills level, the competition tends to be very tough.

In addition, pipe placement, tidiness of joints and durability are assessed. Speed is one of the assessment criteria. If all modules are not completed, several points may be deducted from the total result.

Plastic, steel and copper are used. Steel pipes may be galvanised or ungalvanised. The materials used at the competition differ somewhat, depending on the host country or the part of the world involved.

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Updated 8.3.2005  © 2004 Skills Finland ry

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