What Does a Pipefitter Do?


Quick Answer

Pipefitters maintain high- and low-pressure pipe systems in addition to assembling and installing pipes. They are also responsible for the installation and maintenance of pipe supports and any related hydraulic and pneumatic equipment that is used for steam, hot water, heating, cooling and lubricating.

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Full Answer

Pipefitters are in charge of the piping systems that are involved in industrial production and processing systems. They are also in charge of refrigeration and air conditioning systems, as well as the installation maintenance and troubleshooting of hydraulics and pneumatics systems. In some cases, pipefitters must also perform rigging operations and transfer and handle hazardous materials in the course of completing their assignments. When pipefitters lay out, fabricate or install the components needed for piping, they are often required to fabricate all or most of the components that are needed to complete the job. This includes the fabrication of pipes and tubing, as well as any necessary fittings.

Pipefitters are typically employed by pipefitting contractors in the maintenance departments of power stations, refineries, offshore installations and factories. To perform their jobs effectively, they must have the ability to apply safety and shop fundamentals when using power and hand tools. They must also obtain training in OSHA safety standards and obtain proper licensing, although licensing requirements differ by state.

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