Some Fast Facts About the First Black Female Plumber in the US

Adrienne Bennett: Master Plumber

Anytime someone achieves a "first," it is something to be celebrated. Too often, jobs and roles become stratified by gender, age, and race. This causes negative feedback of stereotypes that often prevent people who fall outside the expectations from attempting to break into a role. If it weren't for "firsts," there would be no progress in integrating fields and stimulating their growth by introducing new viewpoints. 

Since its inception, the plumbing industry has been overwhelmingly male-dominated. Even with decades of attempts to get women involved, female involvement in the trade tops at just below 3%. While the glass ceiling was shattered for women in the 1950s, black women didn't make inroads into the plumbing industry until 1987 when Adrienne Bennett became the first black woman to earn the title of a master plumber. Here is her story in celebration of Black History Month

How She Got Her Start 

Adrienne Bennett was the fourth of eight siblings. A lifelong resident of Detroit, she knew early on that she was interested in working with her hands and her mind. She remembers putting together models of the Apollo spacecraft in her spare time and excelled in math and science. 

During high school, she realized her dream of becoming an engineer, so she set her sights on college and found programs to help her achieve her goals. However, after a racially-charged incident, she quit the program and sought other avenues. 

Apprenticeship Through Master Certifications 

contractorAfter the biggest setback she had ever experienced, Bennett crossed paths with a recruiter looking for women interested in the plumbing field. Enticed by the starting salary and on-the-job training, she obtained federal grants that funded her apprenticeship. Before turning 30, she had completed her apprenticeship and started working as a journeyman. Despite harsh conditions and sexism, she always maintained a positive outlook and worked hard to push forward. 

By 1987, Bennett had worked long enough to make her eligible for the master plumber test, which she passed, becoming the first black woman in the nation to hold that title. As a master plumber, she worked in different capacities, including project management, plumbing inspection, and code enforcement for the City of Detroit

Independent Contractor 

contractorAfter all of her achievements, what was left to do? Why not start her own business? After some health setbacks that took her out of the game, she returned and started her own plumbing company with her son. The family business quickly landed large contracts working on projects like the Little Caesars Arena and local housing projects. 

Bennett continues to bring a hard-working spirit to her beleaguered city. Now in her 60s, Bennett looks back at a lifetime of achievement and works to give back and help people along the way. 

About A&A Plumbing

A&A Plumbing is ready to help customers get the most from their plumbing system. Offering comprehensive plumbing repair and installation services, they also care for existing plumbing with an outstanding service plan. Call today for plumbing service in San Antonio, TX. 

All About Trenchless Pipe Repairs

What Are Trenchless Pipe Repairs, and Why Are They Important?

Trenchless repairs are common sewer line repairs that are minimally invasive. For areas that are hard to reach, a trenchless pipe repair is fast, convenient, and quick. There are different ways to use a trenchless pipe repair efficiently, though. 

For example, some plumbing experts create solutions and pipe repairs while creating a trench around the pipes. Some products work by tightening around the pipe as a quick and temporary repair. Homeowners should leave large pipe repairs to experts as they have more experience. 

pipeHow to Repair a Trenchless Pipe

Using a trenchless pipe repair has never been easier. Although this method has been around since the early 1970s, it has changed a lot. No longer are plumbing experts and contractors digging up yards and creating messes. Instead, of using a construction permit and a small camera, professionals can easily use trenchless pipe repairs.

For pipe bursting, experts work hard to add a high-density polyethylene pipe over the sewer line. The great thing about a high-density pipe is that these pipes last about 50 years, sometimes even longer! Slip lining is another common repair method that works by slipping in a smaller pipe with a larger material. This repair method is only for pipes added before the 1940s. The water flow is strictly restricted once this pipe is added.

The most popular trenchless pipe repair method is the Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) method. This method uses epoxy resin and an absorbent tube to create a new pipe on the spot around the older broken pipe. It does take time to cure but is a strong material once complete.

Common Problems Caused by Broken Pipes

There are a lot of problems that cause a broken pipe that a trenchless pipe repair can fix. For example, the most common problem is rust or corrosion. Over time, and because of acid and mineral buildup, pipes rust and break apart. When this occurs, plumbing experts can use their knowledge and tools to repair it with a trenchless pipe repair.

Usually, as trees grow, the roots and the bark can snap through the pipes, causing large holes and tears. For quick repair and to minimize damage and the foul odor produced by sewer lines, call a trenchless sewer line repair specialist as soon as possible. 

This type of repair is also flexible. Sewer line pipes can be any material, including clay, lead, plastic, and cast iron. This minimally invasive repair method makes cracks in these materials easily repairable.

What Are the Positives of Trenchless Pipe Repairs?save

When repairing or replacing a pipe with a trenchless method, homeowners should know the benefits. For starters, trenchless repairs remove the need for expensive and damaging excavations. That means there won’t be a need to replace landscaping in addition to plumbing, helping homeowners save money. 

Similarly, by addressing the specific cause of the problem, homeowners will enjoy peace of mind knowing they’re getting a long-lasting and effective fix. Of course, it’s always best to work with a professional plumbing company to determine whether or not the method is right for the home. 

About A&A Plumbing

Since 2007, A&A Plumbing has given its customers red carpet treatment with personal attention and comprehensive services. Homeowners can also save on plumbing services with online coupons and deals. Contact A&A Plumbing for pipe repairs in San Antonio, TX.

Learning About Gas Leak Safety This Summer

Gas Line Leaks Can Be Deadly: Be Prepared!

A suspected gas leak is nothing to mess around with. Homeowners should never try to solve a gas leak without the help of a trained professional. Not only that, but when homeowners suspect they have a gas leak in their home, they should call a professional as soon as possible. Gas leaks are dangerous and can make those in the household very sick within a matter of an hour or two. If the gas leak goes unnoticed for too long, it can even become deadly. Many homes have switched to all-electric because of the dangers surrounding gas leaks. 

However, many homes still run at least partly on gas, which is why this information is vital for homeowners to know. Below is more information about the dangers and signs of gas leaks and what homeowners should do if they suspect a gas leak in their home. 

The Dangers of Gas Leaks

First, gas leaks are a fire hazard, so one should handle them with care and efficiency. Aside from dangers to the home, gas leaks are also a major hazard to humans. Too much exposure causes gas poisoning that can make people incredibly sick and even die. 

Here are some things that gas poisoning can do to the human body: 

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nosebleed
  • Ringing in ears
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Malaise
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Unusually pale skin 

If not handled efficiently, gas poisoning can cause some long-term effects, including personality changes, impaired judgment, and mood swings. 

Common Signs of a Gas Leak

If homeowners feel the above-mentioned physical symptoms, they should call a professional and get out of their house as soon as possible. One extremely common symptom that people experience is that they feel sick when they are home and immediately get better upon leaving. 

Here are a few other signs that there might be a gas leak in the home: 

  • Dying plants
  • The smell of sulfur
  • Hissing noises
  • A white cloud near the gas line
  • Bubbles in water
  • Damaged gas pipe 

Also, since gas will be escaping from areas it isn’t supposed to, the gas bill will be a lot higher that month than any other month. Of course, homeowners will hopefully have spotted and fixed the problem before it is reported on their monthly bill. 

What To Do When a Gas Leak Is Suspected

If homeowners suspect a gas leak in their home, they should evacuate the home immediately and leave the door to their home open. Once outside, they should call their utility company’s emergency number, the fire department, or 911. One should make this phone call outside of the home because the call could ignite the gas in the home. 

A & A Plumbing Is There To Help

San Antonio homeowners can feel safer with the professionals at A & A Plumbing around. Whether it’s a gas leak, burst pipe, drain cleaning, or another plumbing service, they are the professionals that homeowners can trust. They even have coupons on their website for added savings! Call now for plumbing services!

Everything Homeowners Need To Know About Backflow Testing

The Importance of Backflow Prevention

Every home has the potential to experience backflow issues. This occurs when pressure changes in the pipes, there’s a break in the main water line, or if a fire hydrant is opened for use. Because water is no longer pushed forward into the home, it will flow backward into the main water line. 

Though homeowners have little control of when this might occur, it’s important to know that this occurrence can and should be prevented.

Backflow Explained

confused woman

Backflow is a dangerous condition when normal water flow is reversed. Rather than flowing in the intended direction, water flows the opposite way through the pipeline or plumbing. While this may not sound too bad, it’s actually extremely dangerous. Backflow can cause cross-contamination between drinking water and sewage and other hazardous compounds like cleaning fluids. A backflow prevention system is necessary to keep this from happening.

Backflow Prevention Tips

woman holding a house

A backflow prevention system does what it says - it prevents backflow. This system is installed on the home’s water pipes and forces water to flow in one direction without returning. It prevents drinking water from contamination due to backflow. 

Preventers are units that function similarly to a gate. They allow city water to flow into the home for use but stop it from flowing backward into the city’s water supply if the pressure drops. When pressure drops and water begins flowing backward, the gate remains shut and the water stays in the pipes instead of flowing back into the city’s water supply. 

Is Backflow Testing Needed?

leaning on why

There are several reasons why a homeowner might need backflow testing. First, if they have an irrigation system for the garden, front yard, or trees, they could be at risk for backflow. Second, if they have a well, they’re also at risk and should be tested. However, even if they don’t have one of these two situations, getting tested is always smart. Why? Because they can be absolutely certain where they stand.

In some places, having a backflow preventer is mandated by law. When purchasing a house that doesn’t have one, it’s a good idea to get tested. If homeowners have had their house for a number of years, testing is beneficial to check and see how the plumbing system is holding up. They’ll only know for certain if they need a backflow preventer installed if it gets tested and a determination is made whether the plumbing requires one.

If one purchases a newer home, it may already have a built-in backflow preventer. In order to be certain that it is working properly, it’s essential to have a certified plumber come to inspect the setup. They’ll install backflow preventers where they are needed and ensure their current preventers are working as they should and are up to date. A preventer that isn’t working is the same as having no preventer at all.

Trusted, Experienced Plumbers

A&A Plumbing has proudly served San Antonio, TX, homeowners, and residents alike for their plumbing needs since 2007. Each call receives personalized service, a no-mess left behind guarantee, and comprehensive service. They provide a full range of services including clogged toilet repair, gas line repair, repiping, and more in San Antonio and the surrounding areas.