17 Commercial Plumber Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a commercial plumber, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Plumbers are responsible for the installation and repair of pipes and fixtures used for water, sewage, and drainage in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. A plumbing job interview may be your ticket to joining this in-demand profession.

You can expect questions about your experience with various types of plumbing fixtures and systems, your ability to use various tools, and your knowledge of building codes. The interviewer may also ask you to describe a time when you had to solve a difficult problem.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve compiled a list of sample plumbing interview questions and answers.

Common Commercial Plumber Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the various types of piping systems used in commercial buildings?

The interviewer may ask you questions like this to gauge your experience with the types of plumbing systems used in commercial buildings. Use examples from past projects where you had to work with different piping systems and how you completed them successfully.

Example: “I have worked on several types of piping systems, including copper, PVC, CPVC, PEX and stainless steel. I am comfortable working with all these systems because I understand that each one has its own unique properties and requirements for installation. In my last role, I was tasked with replacing a section of a water line made of CPVC due to corrosion. I first removed the old pipe and installed a new one using the same method as the original.”

What are the most important skills for a commercial plumber to have?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills needed for the job. They want someone who is organized, has attention to detail and can work well with others. When answering this question, think about what skills you have that are relevant to commercial plumbing. Make a list of these skills before your interview so you can reference them if necessary.

Example: “The most important skill for a commercial plumber is organization. You need to be able to keep track of all the tools and parts you use on each job. It’s also important to have good communication skills because you will often be working with other people. I am an excellent communicator, which makes it easy for me to explain things to clients or coworkers.”

How would you handle a situation where the piping system you’re working on is more complicated than you expected?

This question can help the interviewer assess your problem-solving skills and ability to adapt. Your answer should show that you’re willing to take on challenges, think critically and use your creativity to find solutions.

Example: “If I encounter a more complicated piping system than expected, I would first try to understand why it is so complex. Then, I would develop a plan of action based on my assessment. If there are no issues with the pipes themselves, I would delegate tasks to other team members as needed. For example, if I need to install a new water heater but don’t have the necessary tools or experience, I would ask another plumber for assistance. In this situation, I would also make sure to document everything clearly so that the next person who takes over knows what needs to be done.

What is your process for identifying and addressing a leak?

This question can help the interviewer understand your process for completing a task that is common in commercial plumbing. Use examples from past experiences to highlight your skills and abilities, such as how you approach problem-solving and communication with clients or coworkers.

Example: “I first start by inspecting the area where I’m told there’s a leak. If it’s a small leak, I’ll use my tools to fix it right away. For larger leaks, I’ll assess the situation and determine if I need to shut off water to the entire building or just one part of it. Then, I’ll make sure all employees are aware of the situation so they can prepare for any delays. Once I’ve determined the best course of action, I’ll repair the leak.”

Provide an example of a time when you went above and beyond for a client or employer.

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you are willing to go the extra mile for them and their company. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of an example from your previous job or one that you would do if you got hired for this position.

Example: “When I was working as a plumber in my hometown, I had a client who owned a small business. One day, he called me because his water heater broke. He needed someone to come out right away because he had customers coming in later that day. I told him I could get there within the hour, but he said that wasn’t soon enough. So, I drove over to his place immediately after getting off work and fixed the problem so he wouldn’t have any issues with customers.”

If you encountered a problem you weren’t able to solve on your own, how would you go about seeking outside help?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you approach challenges and solve problems. Your answer should show that you are willing to ask for assistance when needed, but also highlight your problem-solving skills.

Example: “If I encountered a problem I wasn’t able to solve on my own, I would first try to research the issue online or in our company database. If I was still unable to find an answer, I would contact my supervisor so they could assist me with finding outside resources. In some cases, I have even contacted other plumbers who specialize in certain issues to get advice on solving a problem.”

What would you do if a client requested a repair, but the cost was outside the budget they provided?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle challenging situations. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to communicate with the client and find a solution that works for everyone involved.

Example: “If I encountered this situation, I would first try to determine if there was another way to complete the repair without spending more money. If not, I would contact the client immediately to discuss my findings. I would then ask them if they were willing to spend more on the repair or if they wanted me to look into other options. From there, I would research different ways to complete the repair while staying within their budget.”

How well do you understand the local plumbing codes and regulations in your area?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are familiar with the regulations in your area. It is important that you understand these codes and regulations because they can help you complete a job safely and efficiently. In your answer, explain how you became familiar with local plumbing codes and regulations.

Example: “I am very familiar with the local plumbing codes and regulations in my area. When I first started working as a plumber, I was unsure of what the regulations were. However, I asked one of my colleagues who had been working for many years about them. He explained all of the rules and regulations to me so I could learn more about them. Since then, I have always made sure to check the regulations before starting any new projects.”

Do you have experience working with specialty piping materials or equipment?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience level and determine if you have the skills necessary for the job. Use your answer to highlight any specialized knowledge or skills that can help you succeed in this role.

Example: “I’ve worked with specialty piping materials before, including copper, stainless steel and PEX tubing. I also have experience working with specialty equipment like trenchless pipe replacement machines and sewer jetting machines. These tools are helpful when performing certain tasks, but it’s important to understand how they work so you can use them safely. In my last position, I took a class on these specialties to ensure I understood their proper usage.”

When performing an inspection, what are the things you look for to determine if a system is in good condition?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your knowledge of plumbing inspection procedures. Use examples from previous experience in your answer, and if you don’t have any professional experience with inspections, explain what you would do during an inspection.

Example: “In my last position as a plumber, I performed many inspections on commercial systems. When inspecting a system, I first look for leaks or signs of damage. If there are no visible issues, I then check the pressure gauge to see if it’s within normal range. Next, I test the water temperature at various points throughout the system to make sure it’s consistent. Finally, I check the drain lines to ensure they’re clear.”

We want to be able to call on you for urgent repairs. How would you handle being called in on your day off?

Employers ask this question to make sure you are willing to work overtime and on your days off. They want someone who is dedicated to the job, so they can count on them when there’s an emergency. In your answer, show that you understand how important it is to be available at all times. Explain that you would always try to arrange for a coworker to cover for you if you couldn’t come in.

Example: “I know emergencies happen, but I also believe in being reliable. If I’m scheduled to have the day off, I will do everything I can to ensure someone else covers for me. However, if no one is able to take my place, I will go into work even if I am not scheduled to work that day.”

Describe your process for documenting your work and keeping records.

This question is an opportunity to show your attention to detail and organizational skills. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific time you used these skills in the past.

Example: “I keep detailed records of all my work orders and projects I’m working on. This helps me stay organized and ensures that I don’t miss any important details or deadlines. In the past, I’ve had clients who needed proof of when I was scheduled to arrive for repairs. Having this information readily available has helped me avoid any misunderstandings.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for a commercial plumber position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel you would fit in with their company. When answering, it can be helpful to highlight a few of your strongest skills or experiences that relate to the job description.

Example: “I have several years of experience working as a commercial plumber, so I am confident that I could handle any plumbing issues at your facility. In my previous role, I was responsible for installing new pipes and repairing leaks throughout the building. I also worked on many large-scale projects, which taught me how to work efficiently while still meeting deadlines.”

Which plumbing tools and equipment are you most comfortable using?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience and comfort with different plumbing tools. When answering this question, list the tools you are most comfortable using and explain why they’re your favorite.

Example: “I am most comfortable working with a snake because it’s an effective tool for clearing drains. I also enjoy using a plunger because it’s easy to use and often solves minor clogs. Finally, I like using a water pressure machine when there is a major blockage that needs to be cleared.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of customer service for a plumber?

Customer service is an important part of any job, but it’s especially vital for a plumber. The interviewer will want to know that you understand the importance of customer service and how it can affect your overall success as a commercial plumber. Use examples from previous jobs where you’ve had to interact with customers or clients.

Example: “Customer service is one of the most important aspects of my work because I’m interacting with people who are often in need of help. In my last position, I was responsible for answering all incoming calls and emails from customers. I always made sure to answer questions thoroughly and politely so that our customers felt comfortable reaching out to us when they needed assistance.”

How often should commercial plumbing systems be inspected?

This question can help an interviewer determine how often you inspect your work and ensure it’s up to code. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of regular inspections and are willing to do them yourself or encourage your clients to have their systems inspected regularly.

Example: “I recommend commercial plumbing systems be inspected every six months, but I also offer a maintenance plan where I come out quarterly to check on things like water pressure and temperature levels. This helps me keep track of any issues before they become major problems.”

There is a clog in a pipe that you installed last year. What is your process for determining whether the clog is due to user error or a manufacturing defect?

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to analyze a situation. Your answer should include steps you would take to determine the cause of the clog, as well as how you would handle each scenario if it was due to user error or a defect in the pipe.

Example: “If I determined that the clog was due to user error, I would first ask what they were doing when the clog occurred. This helps me understand whether there are any common actions that may have caused the issue. If the clog was due to a manufacturing defect, I would inspect the entire length of the pipe for defects.”


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