Commercial plumbers work in a variety of settings from stores to apartment complexes to offices. But do you realize that plumbers are needed in places such as Disneyland, Six Flags, and other amusement/water parks? Commercial plumbers aren't always fixing backed up sewage, sometimes they're working in a clean, fun environment. If you're interested in large-scale plumbing jobs, take a look at what might be expected of you in order to be hired on at an amusement park.
Plumbing Procedures Performed
Plumbers perform a variety of procedures in any setting, and that is definitely true at amusement and water parks. Every time a new ride is installed, a plumbing crew is put to work. Regular maintenance on existing rides is also necessary. Overall, there is a lot to keep a plumber busy. Basic duties of an amusement park plumber include:
- Estimating Water Demand: Before installing a new system, plumbers must estimate the water demand for that system. The considerations for estimating water demand at amusement parks is very different from working on building plumbing. For amusement parks, this includes determining the amount of water needed to flow through the ride, the amount that might be lost due to evaporation, how much water is necessary during the peak times of the year and how much should be stagnant when the park is closed during the off-season.
- Laying Pipes: The pipework for water rides must be installed underground before anything else can be constructed. You will plan, lay and fit pipes for each ride. This also means planning the course of water flow in conjunction with timing the ride. Your pipes can't follow too long or short of a course or the ride won't run smoothly. There are also legal construction requirements to be familiar with and adhere to in laying pipes.
- Maintaining Rides: Basic maintenance for water rides includes cleaning pipes and repairing damage. You will also be required to fix pumps, inspect filtration systems, and possibly even do chemicals testing. Because some of these maintenance requirements involve hydraulics and chemicals, additional education and experience may be necessary.
Essential Education and Experience
Most of your duties as an industrial plumber working at an amusement or water park fall right into the pipes and plumbing category. However, some requirements, such as chemicals testing, are unique to this setting. If you are interested in becoming a plumber at an amusement park, you might need additional education and experience in addition to your plumbing license. This additional experience may be needed in order to qualify:
- Hydraulics Engineering: You should finish engineering courses in hydraulics so that you are more familiar with the way water works to power each amusement park ride. Hydraulic is about water control – which is helpful in determining how much water is necessary on different rides such as water slides, rapids, etc. You will also learn more about pumps and how to maintain, repair, and replace them. Lastly, you will study hydropower, which is crucial in running amusement park rides.
- Commercial Experience: The sad truth is that a big-name place like Disneyland isn't going to give out contract work to a young upstart in the plumbing industry. You'll need experience working with various commercial plumbing industries in a variety of capacities. You'll probably have to work your way up from the "grunt labor" to a master plumber over your own team. When you think you're ready, find out which company has contracts with the amusement park of your choice and work your way into their ranks.
With enough experience and education in commercial plumbing, you can get a position as a contractor for a local amusement/water park. Your abilities will be challenged as you work to create new rides and maintain existing ones. Eventually, you might be working in a relatively clean plumbing environment!