Are You Smart Enough To Be A Plumber?

It's been called many things -- the loo, WC, the lavatory or simply, the toilet. Whatever you may call it, one thing is certain -- life would be pretty unbearable without it. When something goes awry with your porcelain throne, plumbers can be called in to fix the problem. But a plumber's job goes way beyond unclogging toilets. Plumbers do everything from installing piping systems and fixtures to ensuring compliance with building safety standards.

Take the following quiz to see if you have the skills, knowledge and know-how to become a professional plumber.

1. Confined spaces are hazardous environments because they usually have:

a. explosive atmospheres

b. restricted access and egress

c. flood hazards

d. limited room for maneuverability

2. Using these reference drawings, determine how many 90º fittings would be required to construct the piping arrangement.

a. 4

b. 5

c. 6

d. 7

3. How many 2" pipes does it take to equal the volume capacity of a 6" pipe?

a. 2

b. 5

c. 7

d. 9

4. Where should you locate a fin tube radiator within a room?

a. where space permits

b. homeowner's preference

c. under a window

d. doesn't matter

5. Find the depth of the pipe invert at dimension X shown on Figure 1.

a. 1.85m

b. 1.90m

c. 1.95m

d. 2.00m

6. Class "A" fire extinguishers are used on and contain:

a. Flammable liquids, CO2

b. Metal, CO2

c. Electrical components, foam

d. Combustible materials, water

7. A 4" cast iron pipe with 1" insulation is to pass through a wall. How large a diameter hole is required to be cut?

a. 5"

b. 5.5"

c. 6"

d. 6.5"

8. A toilet seat used in a public washroom must be:

a. cover-less type

b. elongated open front type

c. round type

d. plastic non-permeable type

9. A drainage pipe suspended from a ceiling inside a building at it most upstream end is 7.5" from the ceiling to the center of the pipe. What will the measurement be from the ceiling to the center of the pipe if it travels 26 feet horizontally, has an 8-foot horizontal offset then continues another 37 feet.

a. 17.75

b. 20.5

c. 23.25

d. 25.25

10. A horizontal cylindrical tank measuring 60cm in diameter and 150cm in length is partially filled with water to a height of 48cm. Find the volume of water.

a. 361L

b. 364L

c. 368L

d. 371L


1. b | 2. c | 3. d | 4. c | 5. c | 6. d | 7. d | 8. b | 9. d | 10. b


How many answers did you get correct?

1-4: Your mind's a bit clogged right now.

5-7: You know what you're doing, but there's a slight leak in your knowledge!

8-10: Nothing's getting past you! Your smarts are sealed up tight.

Source: Red Seal Plumbing Exam Practice Test

Next: Are You Smart Enough To Be A Construction Worker?

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Curtis Andrew Hedric

Nice to know I'm not smart enough to be a plumber..

September 15 2013 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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October 11 2011 at 4:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

and payday is friday

October 03 2011 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I find it funny that so many people talk poo about plumbers. Being one I can tell you that the job is more difficult than any of you realize. If we don't do the job right we can flood your house. And basically ruin everything you own in short order. I do industrial plumbing and try lifting 8" cast iron pipe over your head all day and putting on couplers. Or even 2" or 3" cast iron pipe. Try going out on the job site and doing the ground work before there is any foundation in and hitting every pipe in a wall. Or toilet where it is supposed to be. If it is in the wrong place you have to jack hammer it out and reposition it right.

There are some plumbers that put the oxygen lines and nitrous lines and suction lines in hospitals. I bet you are glad that they know what they are doing when you need surgery. I invite any of you nay sayers to come on the job with us for a week and do what we do. Walk a mile in our shoes. And you will see that it's not easy being a plumber. And that there are many levels and facets to plumbing. That it is not an easy job to do. And that there is a lot to know. And how fast you can mess a lot of stuff up. Try running a snake in a toilet to unclog it. It's not easy. Especially when a cell phone is lodged in it. Women do it a lot. They drop their phones in them all the time. You would be surprised at how disgusting you people are in bathrooms. If plumbing was easy why are you not doing it then? We make great money. Show us what you got.

October 03 2011 at 6:03 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to E's comment
Michael Patrick Shee

I am a regular Joe that has never been trained as a plumber. I kind of just picked it up with having to repair plumbing in my own home and once remove and install the whole toilet just to get my wife's prescription eye glasses out of the trap. Haven't done a cell phone yet... I've sweated pipe and worked PVC. I've done hard digs to run ABS for a new sewer. Hate the hard dig part though. I was considering proper training and googled it. Well, after taking that test, I realized I don't know poo. I got 2 correct regarding the toilet seat and the radiator and was not sure about the class A fire extinguisher. Actually 3 correct if all of you are correct, because I saw 7- 90s not 6. Questions 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10 threw me for a loop. I'm not so sure now. I love the work and my wife tells me all the time I should pursue it. I'm a paper pusher/manager at $19 an hour and want more... I guess I can go the online route to learn the written portion. Any suggestions?
If I pursue this field of Expertise (because it is more than just a trade) I promise I will keep my shirt tucked in and my butt crack hidden and my mouth shut... However, if I do that I might insult so many pipers' butt cracks. :-) Keep up the good work pipers, because y'all keep the **** flowing down hill.


August 12 2012 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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October 03 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What idiot came up with that as a test for the appitude for becoming a plumber? First question has two answers. Second one has a wrong answer, and most of the others requires some amount of either training or a data book/sheet to achieve an answer.

October 03 2011 at 5:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

thankyou little savage

October 03 2011 at 5:56 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Little Savage

I would not start putting these tradesmen down. Not a one of you are intelligent enough to replace a flapper valve, which my 11 year old neice can do.

October 03 2011 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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