Meet These Historic Women Plumbers!

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These Women Transformed the Plumbing Industry as People Know It Today 

It’s no surprise to many that plumbing is a male-dominated field. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 97 percent of plumbers and pipefitters are men. Less than three percent of plumbers are women, but that number’s slowly rising. 

Many historical figures paved the way for today’s women to enter the workforce––women like Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in the US. This Women’s History Month, one may be interested in learning about some of the women who changed the plumbing industry. Continue reading to learn more. 

Fast Facts About Women in the Plumbing Industry 

plumbing Emerging Infectious Diseases notes that while women have not always held official plumbing jobs, women have played a massive role in homes’ water consumption for centuries. Throughout history, women have been tasked with bathing small children, cooking, and laundry––all of which involve water consumption. Along the way, many homemakers learned a thing or two about plumbing systems yet never earned a single paycheck for their efforts. 

Here are some other things to know about women and the plumbing industry: 

  • Contrary to the information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America notes that even more women are entering the home improvement industry than previously thought. About nine percent of newcomers to the field are women in the HVAC industry alone. This could mean more women are becoming plumbers than initially expected. 
  • Wolfram Alpha notes that over 417,000 people are employed as plumbers in the United States. In 2019, the number was much higher. 
  • Studies show that despite the number of vacancies in the plumbing industry, women are hesitant to enter the field because of harassment and discrimination. 

Yet, that has not stopped the women on this list from making their marks in the plumbing industry. 

Meet the Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers 

At the turn of the 20th century, more and more men were finding work as plumbers. However, while they performed their duties, they were concerned about what their wives would do in the meantime. This led to the birth of the Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers, which eventually grew to include tens of members. 

Surprisingly, men were first in charge of the Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers. They organized social events, such as luncheons to keep their wives occupied. Eventually, women took charge of the organization and changed the focus from socializing to advocating for various causes, including: 

  • Women’s right to vote: Many members of the Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers believed that women should have the right to vote, just as men did. 
  • Sanitation: When the Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers was in full swing, many public restrooms (especially those at Texaco gas stations) were not regularly cleaned. The organization launched a campaign urging businesses to clean their bathrooms, which would limit the spread of disease. 

Today, the Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers still exists but under a new name. True to the organization’s original purpose, it continues to combine social activism with socializing as part of its activities. 

Meet Lillian Ann Baumbach (also known as the “Pretty Plumber”)

lillian

Lillian Ann Baumbach knew she wanted to be a plumber from a very young age. Her passion started when she was just 12 years old and went out on service calls with her father, a plumber by trade. When she graduated from high school in 1947, she knew she wanted to be a master plumber. 

Yet managing her father’s plumbing business and going out on calls was only one part of Baumbach’s life. In the 1950s, she became a pin-up girl, a favorite of those serving in the Korean War. At one point, she was penpals with over 250 men, some of which proposed marriage. 

She continued leaving her mark on the plumbing industry and retired peacefully in 1987. At the time of her passing, she was survived by her two daughters. 

About Falcon Plumbing 

Falcon Plumbing provides homeowners peace of mind with 24/7 emergency services, no overtime charges, and comprehensive plumbing services in Miami, FL. Call them today to hire a trusted and experienced plumber.


Watch Out for These Common Plumbing Issues This Spring!

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Plumbing Challenges Brought About by April Showers

The saying always goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, it seems whoever said this left out the part about how April showers also bring some very pesky plumbing issues! With spring on the horizon, homeowners must prepare their homes for some major rain.

Spring showers can put people’s homes at risk for significant plumbing issues. It is crucial for homeowners to know what issues to look out for, as these can cause severe damage if not addressed early. Here are three common plumbing issues homeowners should watch out for this spring. 

Soaked Soil

It might seem quite obvious to say that excess rain can lead to soaked soil. But what is less apparent is how this impacts home plumbing. The biggest concern homeowners should be worried about is septic system backups.

Septic systems are a critical part of home plumbing since they facilitate the processing of household wastewater. When soil becomes saturated, wastewater cannot properly drain from the septic tank. This can lead to major backups that may find their way into the home’s indoor plumbing fixtures. Not great!

Given that septic systems are mostly underground, these backups can be hard to spot before some nasty symptoms arise. Here are some common signs:

  • Foul odors
  • Slow draining (toilets, sinks, etc.)
  • Water backups (basement)

Septic system backups can also contaminate groundwater and therefore affect the quality of drinking water. Even without a septic system backup, groundwater can be contaminated by flooded soil on its own, as flooding limits the soil’s ability to filter out harmful pathogens in the water.

Leaks in the Foundation

foundationFoundation leaks are another primary concern related to excess rain. Homes are typically built overtop concrete “foundations,” which provide stability to the overall structure. The foundations sit on top of the soil, so naturally, excessive rain can affect the stability of the foundation itself. Clearly a cause for concern!

With each new rain, the soil gradually moves and reforms as it constantly fluctuates between saturated and dry states. When the soil reforms, the foundation shifts by microscopic amounts, which places increasing amounts of stress on the structure and can result in foundational leaks over time.

There are several potential signs of foundational leaks, including:

  • Dampness or puddles
  • Mold
  • Obvious foundational cracks or fractures
  • Overactive water meter
  • Sudden difficulty with opening windows/doors
  • Uneven floors

Repairing leaks in the foundation can be a complicated endeavor, so homeowners should seek professional help for identification and repairs.

Damaged Underground Pipes

pipes In addition to causing leaks, shifts in the home foundation due to excess rain can lead to broken underground pipes. This typically happens when the stress buildup is so high that it overwhelms pipes built within the foundation. This can also occur if the pressure of heavy soil overwhelms the pipes running underground.

Homeowners will be able to tell fairly quickly if there is a burst pipe, as the pipes might make strange sounds, water might flow improperly, or water might become discolored. In this case, homeowners should seek immediate professional help.

About Falcon Plumbing

Falcon Plumbing of Miami, FL, is a women-owned and operated company that has been in business since 1986. They provide honest upfront pricing, and their experienced team provides quality solutions with top-notch customer service. Call them for immediate help today!