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Reading Plumbing Drawings
To be a successful plumber, you must be able to read plumbing drawings. The ability to read a drawing enables you to direct others, which in turn can help you progress in your career and earn more money.

In order to read a drawing you need to understand the relationship between the dimensions on the drawing and the dimension of the structure itself, and know how to read the dimensions.

You also need to understand the written requirements that may be included with the drawings. Remember to follow all applicable plumbing codes in your area.

Title Block
Each drawing contains a title block, which includes information such as the title of the project, the date of the drawing, the logo of the company that created the drawing, the name or initials of the person who drafted the drawing, and the owner's address as well as the address of the property.

Scale
Construction drawings are usually drawn to the scale. Scale indicates the size relationship between an object in the drawing and the object’s actual size. Scale drawings show objects such as a building, rooms, doors and windows, or piping as assemblies reduced to a smaller size.

The term scale is also used to describe the three measuring tools that are used to draw or measure the lines of construction drawings: architect’s scale, engineer’s scale, and metric scale.

Dimensioning
Dimensions that appear on a drawing show actual distance. To indicate the dimension of distance on a drawing, dimension lines are used.

Symbols
Plumbers often use symbols when they are drawing plans for pipes, fittings, and fixtures. A symbol is mark or drawing that represents a specific object or material. Using symbols allows an engineer to produce a drawing quickly. Moreover, they make the plans easy for others to understand.

Specifications [CHK button]
Specification, also called spec, provides detailed information about the quality of workmanship required on a project as well as information on specific materials and methods of installation.

Specs may also indicate what practices need to be followed to test the plumbing system.

Note:

Not all drawings contain a separate set of specs. In such cases, follow the applicable plumbing codes for the type and quality of materials to be used and the installation practices that must be followed.

Role of Plumbing Codes
The basic purpose of codes is to protect the health and safety of the people who use the system. This is achieved by building codes that prevent the improper installation of plumbing and sanitary systems.

Codes are the law in community and are enforceable through the court. Codes also define the quality required for all plumbing installation.