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. 

Enjoy Black Friday This Year! Not Black, Corroded Pipes

Why You Should be Concerned With Corroded Pipes

Black Friday is a day full of shopping excitement, no matter if that means staying up late after Thanksgiving dinner or getting up in the predawn hours to line up for the best deals. However, this shopping season, homeowners should make sure that they don’t forget their plumbing systems too. While it’s out of sight, it can easily cause some major issues for your home that can easily chew through your shopping budget as well!

Copper Pipes Deteriorate With Age

cooper corrosionHomeowners who notice that their copper pipes are starting to change color should make sure to contact a local San Antonio plumbing company as soon as possible. Black copper pipes are actually an indication of high levels of sulfur or other dangerous chemicals in the air around the corroded pipes, including potential sewer gas.

Black copper pipes could also be caused by the pipe system being exposed to non-compatible metals like galvanized steel. In the worst-case scenario, copper pipes that have turned black is a sign that the original homeowners installed pipes that contained a large number of impurities.

These impurities ultimately show themselves in the form of black, corroded pipes. Water from corroded pipes can also be a potential health hazard, so homeowners should take black pipes very seriously and contact a plumbing company as soon as black pipes are first spotted.

Corroded Pipes Or Corroded Water Heater?

In addition to black, corroded pipes, noticing black specks in the water is an indication that the water heater may be starting to corrode as well. This is especially likely if the black specks are prevalent when the hot water is turned on in the bathroom, which is noticeable even after all the water has drained out of the bathtub or sink. Homeowners that notice black specks should check their home for corroded pipes, and call a local plumbing professional to come evaluate and service their water heater.

corroded water heater

In some cases, the problem can be fixed with servicing. However, in many cases, a corroded water heater will need to be completely replaced to be safe for the home. Often, corroded water heaters are just simply at the end of their life span. Plumbing professionals can help homeowners make the best decision for each individual case, as well as helping to keep future water heaters running at their best.

Stop Pipe Corrosion With Pipe Cleaning

pipe cleaningWhen the pipes in the home are corroded or the water from the pipes is coming out black, everyone living in the home is subject to some potentially dangerous complications. Blackwater can indicate more than just corroded pipes.

It is also host to various bacteria that can wreak havoc on the digestive system, like campylobacteriosis and e-coli. Some of these bacteria can even have deadly consequences, especially on household members with weakened immune systems like the very young, elderly, and people suffering from chronic illness.

In worst-case scenarios, black water may contain biological toxins like human feces. Homeowners shouldn’t ignore black water and should contact a local plumbing company immediately for help identifying and fixing a potentially deadly issue that goes far beyond simple, corroded pipes.

A&A Plumbing Are Your Local Pros

A family-owned and operated business since 2007, A&A Plumbing in San Antonio, Texas, treats every customer as a VIP. Their trained experts are happy to tackle any plumbing job, no matter how big or small, without a hassle or upselling.