Quiz: Test Your Plumber’s IQ

You bashed your thumb, broke a pipe and now there’s water sloshing around your ankles. Do you say, “I can fix this.” Or do you call your favorite plumber again?


Take this test and you will see which category you belong. Potential journeyman plumber? Or “Please come fix up my mess” homeowner.


  1. Which of these does NOT belong with a plumber’s tools?

  1. Shovel

  2. Vice grip pliers

  3. Hack saw

  4. Claw hammer

  5. Box cutter


  1. How much does the average plumber make per year?

  1. Minimum wage

  2. $53,000

  3. $50,000 + profit sharing

  4. $1.5 million

  5. $20,000


  1. How much should the homeowner budget to fix a leaky wastewater pipe, including digging up the yard to get at the leak?

  1. Costs for renting a backhoe + sod replacement + plumber’s hourly wage.

  2. Costs for renting a backhoe + sod replacement + driveway fix + plumber’s hourly wage.

  3. No yard fixes: use the trenchless technique with plumber and epoxy resin.


  1. There’s water on the bathroom floor. What should you look for?

A. Plunge the toilet. There might be a rubber duck or a cigar plugging it up from the last flush.

B. Examine the area where the toilet sits on the floor. The wax ring might be bad, allowing some leakage.

C. Look closely where the shower door closes. Determine if it is a snug fit.

D. Inspect the toilet water tank for condensation or leaks.

E. All of the above.


  1. What can be flushed down the toilet?

  1. Dirty water from the kitchen.

  2. Paper towels.

  3. Solvents and grease from the garage.

  4. Newspapers and notebook paper.


  1. What do you need for green plumbing?

  1. Enough green paint to paint the pipes.

  2. A plan to incorporate solar power into your plumbing.

  3. A plan to use wind power for your plumbing.

  4. A plan to save water by fixing leaky faucets, leaky shower heads and taking shorter showers.

  1. The kitchen sink is draining slowly. What can be done about it?

  1. Run the garbage disposal longer.

  2. It could be the vent. Disconnect it since it is unnecessary anyway.

  3. Pour a cup of Drain-O down the sink and hope for the best.

  4. Examine the pipes below the sink and the fittings for a possible chokepoint that is clogging the water.


  1. What is a cartridge?

  1. What the West was won with.

  2. A special socket that fits with a socket wrench and is useful for making sure the toilet operates correctly.

  3. An assembly that fits inside the hot and cold water faucets that helps turn the flow of water on and off.

  4. A device for storing music on the 1970s


  1. A plumbing permit is needed for which of the following actions?

  1. Replacing a toilet.

  2. Replacing a water faucet.

  3. Replacing a bathtub.

  4. Replacing a water heater.


  1. All pipe used for plumbing will have all of the following EXCEPT

  1. Length of pipe.

  2. PSI rating for the pipe.

  3. Manufacturer’s name.

  4. Nominal pipe size.





  1. E. When doing a plumbing job, you will not be cutting carboard. So leave the box cutters at home.

  2. B. Plumbers earn a median salary of $53,120 per year. Salaries typically start from $32,690 and go up to $80,260. C is a good answer too. Sounds like a great place to work.

  3. C. Trenchless plumbing is the way to go. Using an epoxy resin to create a pipe within a pipe is a great money saver.

  4. E. Water condensation can be a problem, especially during the summer when the air is warm and the water in the tank is cold.

  5. A. Kitchen water and toilet water go into the same wastewater pipe. Although that may be changing as kitchen water, “greywater”, does not need the same amount of processing as does water with fecal matter. This gray water can often be used for other purposes like watering the lawn.


  1. D. Examining water usage is an important part of green plumbing. Approximately 20 percent of a household’s water use is for flushing toilets.

  2. D.

  3. C.  D is right too, but what the heck does it have to do with plumbing?

  4. D

  5. A


How did you do?  

9 right. You are already are a journeyman plumber.

7-8 right. A potential plumber in training.

6-7 right. A good handyman.

5 right or less. Get the phone number of a good plumbing company. Otherwise, your future includes water covering the basement floor.