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. 

Water Leak Facts Every Homeowner Should Know

Water Leak Problems

Struggling With Water Leaks? Here’s What to Do!

The dreaded water leak. It’s something no homeowner wants to hear because it can lead to all sorts of other struggles and challenges with the plumbing system (including an increase in the water bill that’s due for the month). However, water leaks are quite common in homes, and therefore can easily be solved when they are caught early on. In this article, homeowners can learn more about what causes a water leak and how it can cause damage. They’ll also learn various methods for taking care of the plumbing system to prevent leaks from happening again.

What Is a Water Leak and How Can It Be Fixed?

How to Fix a Water Leak?When people think of water leaks, they typically think of a leaky faucet first. And while faucets and other fixtures are a common location for water leaks, they can also occur in water heaters and where homeowners can’t see them: in the pipes behind the walls and under the ground. This, unfortunately, is why water leaks can go undetected for months or even years. 

Once a water leak is found, professional plumbers will step in to determine the best way to fix it. Depending on the size, location, and severity of the leak, a plumber may do simple patchwork, they may need to replace a specific joint of the pipes or a specific part of the faucet, or they may suggest replacing the entire pipe. In severe cases, if multiple pipes are leaking throughout the house, it may be best to repipe the house. No matter what the case may be, professional plumbers will always have the right tools and knowledge to fix the problem at hand.

What Causes Leaking?

What causes water leaks in the first place? Answering this question is like answering the question “what causes a dog to bark?”. It could be a squirrel, it could be a car driving down the street, it could be someone coming through the door, or any number of things. The same is true for water leaks. There are many causes, often seasonal, for leaks. Within the spring and summer months, one of the biggest causes of leaks is rapid temperature changes. When a heatwave hits suddenly, it can expand the pipes too quickly, leading to leaks. 

Root intrusion is also more common during the summer. Roots are attracted to moisture, so they grow towards the pipes underground and can wiggle their way in forming clogs and other damage. Additionally, normal wear and tear, as well as corrosion, can also lead to leaking pipes.

How Can Homeowners Prevent Leakage?

Water Leak Prevention TipsNow comes the biggest question: how can water leaks be prevented? First and foremost, homeowners should learn the common signs of leaking pipes so that they can be resolved quickly before resulting in more damage. Some of those signs can include:
  • High water bills
  • Musty smells
  • Mold spots on pipes

Spotting leaks shortly after they happen can prevent a lot of damage. Also, engaging in routine maintenance services helps homeowners see the “behind the scenes” of their plumbing system. This allows them to monitor any wear and tear and replace pipes, joints, or other plumbing fixtures before a leak occurs.

About A&A Plumbing

Water Leak Detection Company

A&A Plumbing has been serving San Antonio and surrounding areas since 2007. All of their services are carried out with a personalized approach and top-notch service from start to finish. They do not perform rush jobs, shoddy work, or a one-size-fits-all solution, but instead find the source of the problem and present homeowners with the most cost-effective solution.

Top Water Softener Facts You Should Know

What Homeowners Need to Know About Their Water Softener

There’s nothing worse than cleaning your entire bathroom, expecting a shiny, spotless room, only to find that every faucet and handle is covered by a filmy residue that will not come off. What is it? Hard water.

Hard water is the cause of many issues like soap residue stains, soap scum, and even dry skin! If you want to do away with common problems such as these, there’s only one way to do it. Water softener services are an important part of homeownership and knowing when to take advantage of these services is crucial.

In this article, you’ll learn why water softeners are so important and how to know when you need their services. You’ll also learn about how to create soft water and how much a water softener can save you.

Common Water Softener Services

water softener servicesThere are numerous signs that indicate when you need water softener services. These are easily recognizable and you might have already experienced more than one. They are:
  • Cloudy Dishes: If your dishes appear cloudy even after you wash them, but they’re not bright or sparkly like you’re used to, you could be impacted by hard water. Softener services will prevent this.
  • Soap Not Lathering: Hard water prevents soap from lathering so if your soap isn’t lathering up when you wash the dishes, hard water could be at fault.
  • Buildup Around Faucets: Hard water causes residue and mineral buildup around faucets and pipes. If you’re seeing this, hard water is likely to blame.

How Does the Salt Work in Water Softeners?

Water softeners work through something called ion exchange. Calcium and magnesium are the minerals in your water that make it “hard.” When hard water enters into a tank with water softener salt, the magnesium and calcium stay in the tank, and salt is released instead. In this way, all the “hard” water minerals are removed from the water coming into your home and you’ll be left with soft water, instead.

water softener salt

Occasionally the water softener salt will need to be exchanged and replaced. In order to do this, you’ll need to go to a local hardware store such as HomeDepot or Lowes. You’ll be able to purchase large 40-pound bags of salt so you’ll have plenty of salt for your system.

The Cost of Hard Water

hard water costSometimes homeowners simply decide to put up with hard water, assuming it is merely an annoyance and not really a problem. This, however, couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Hard water causes a multitude of problems for homeowners and each one adds up. Pipes become clogged faster thanks to the mineral buildup due to hard water.

Skin can feel dry and itchy since soap isn’t able to fully dissolve. Clothes come out of the washer more stiff and scratchy. Pipes start to show signs of buildup around faucets and pipe outlets.

Your water might taste odd to you. You could even start to have significant plumbing problems due to pipes that have too much mineral buildup. As you can see, hard water is more than an annoyance or nuisance.

Hard water, can be a costly problem that affects nearly every part of your home. However, after the installation of a water softener, every single one of these problems goes away. With soft water, you’ll never have to worry about mineral buildup or stiff, scratchy fresh-washed clothes again.

Trusted, Reliable Plumbing Professionals

A & A Plumbing is proud to serve San Antonio, TX, residents for all their plumbing needs. Having started in 2007, A & A Plumbing already has a wealth of experience to offer their customers. If you want personalized attention, comprehensive service, and a top-rate service provider, call A & A Plumbing today!