Hello, and welcome back to Gracie Meets…! Have you ever had a plumber over to fix your toilet or sink? Did you know that unclogging toilets isn’t all a plumber does? To help shed some light upon all the other tasks a plumber takes care of, I invited Mr. Michael Rainey on to the show today. Go ahead and take a listen to learn more about the life of a plumber!

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Gracie Meets...

Show Music: 2019 07 25 cello pizz 01 and 250109 rhodes 02 by Morusque used under Creative Commons License CC BY.  No alterations were made to the original composition. 

Cover Art: Kyleigh Kinsey. Instagram: @ato._.noodle 


Gracie Solomon  00:11

Hello, and welcome back to Gracie Meets… Can I ask a weird question? Have you ever clogged your toilet? Well, you may know a plumber would come over and fix it. But did you know that unclogging toilets isn’t all a plumber does? To help shed some light upon all the other tasks a plumber takes care of, I invited Mr. Michael Rainey on to the show today. Tell the listeners a little bit about yourself.

Michael Rainey  00:36

Well, my name is Michael I’m 40 years old. I started plumbing about 14 years ago, and for the most part been going at it ever since.

Gracie Solomon  00:48

Why did you choose to do this as your career?

Michael Rainey  00:51

Well, before I started plumbing, the job that I had before, I just was not happy with it. It was not fun no more. So I wanted to venture out and do something else. So I chose the plumbing line.

Gracie Solomon  01:06

What part of your job is the most challenging?

Michael Rainey  01:10

The most challenging part of my job would be, I would say the rough-in part of it, and that would be on a new construction job, which is what we do mostly is all new construction, the would be the plumbing under slab, meaning before the concrete is poured, you got to make sure all your pipes, your plumbing, make sure your water is in the correct spot because once they pour the slab, then if it is not in the correct spot, well then you have to saw, cut, and bust up your slab and move pipes over. So that’s what would be the most challenging part of my job.

Gracie Solomon  01:48

Why would a teenager want to go into this career?

Michael Rainey  01:51

Okay, I think a teenager would want to go into this career because they would they could go into government jobs, work for the state. Federal part aspect of it is just so much out there to learn. There’s different types of plumbing. Like I said, there’s new construction, there is service calls where you go into a house that people is already living there and do service repair work and there’s just many different forms of plumbing that you could get into.

Gracie Solomon  02:19

So I know with plumbing as like, people normally think of like, Oh, I’m gonna call this dude to come in and unclog my toilet. Well, is there more to that than just doing that?

Michael Rainey  02:33

Well not so much. It just depends on if it’s just a clogged up toilet. I mean, if you call me for instance, and you have a stopped up toilet and I get there, first thing that I’m gonna check to make sure say your septic system is not stopped up or your field line is not giving you a problem, or the sewer. If you’re on city sewer, well then you don’t have a septic tank. Well then you might have a blockage in between the house and the street that’s causing a blockage in your house. So there’s many different things that could go wrong, that could be causing your toilet to be stopped up. So whenever you go to those service calls like that, well then it could be several different things. So you pretty much got to troubleshoot it once you get there.

Gracie Solomon  03:18

Is there any training that you need to do to be able to do this job?

Michael Rainey  03:23

There is you can actually go to school to do plumbing, but like me, when I started 14 years ago, I started out with a friend of mine that I went to school with he already had his business so I pretty much well trained under him learned hands on so whenever there was an issue, a plumbing problem, which we started out at first doing service work, and then we ventured into doing new construction, I learned most of my work under him. So there is training but my best was on the job training.

Gracie Solomon  03:59

Why do you think this job isn’t normal, or why do you think it’s unique?

Michael Rainey  04:04

Okay, so the unique aspect of it, I would say would be every day is different. One day we might be doing a rough in, and by lunchtime we’re finished, we might be going to another job, where we would be inside doing the hooking up fixtures and putting up inside plumbing in the toilets and an all and then the very next day, we might be doing what they call the stack out which would be front on your PVC, installing your tubs, installing your vowels, and your water heaters, your gas supplies to your house, your drops and stuff such as that.

Gracie Solomon  04:39

I know you don’t have an office for this, but like, what does your workspace like look like? Is it like a construction site?

Michael Rainey  04:47

It is mostly.  Sometimes, you know, we do have to, you know, have inside work, sometimes it’s outside work in the heat and most of the times you know, we’re spread out here and there.  So our office work is a variety of different things.

Gracie Solomon  05:06

Does it take a certain type of person to excel in this career, or can just anyone do it?

Michael Rainey  05:11

Someone who has a real work ethics, that’s got a good background on work because it’s real hard on a person.  You need somebody that wants to get up in the morning at daylight and work till the job is complete. So I don’t believe plumbing is somebody, is something that just anybody can do. It’s got to be somebody that desiring and wants to do it.

Gracie Solomon  05:37

Hard worker, hard worker.

Michael Rainey  05:40

Hard worker, that’s right.

Gracie Solomon  05:41

What are the best and worst parts of your job?

Michael Rainey  05:44

The best part of my job I would say would be the AC aspect of it. Whenever we are inside working in a coolness of the air conditioner. That’s my best part. Now the worst part of it is when we’re having to go out and repair waterlines, we have to go underneath the house because of a water leak, and you forget to bring a changing of clothes. And then there you go, you’re muddy, you’re wet from crawling underneath the house. That would be the extreme worst side of it.

Gracie Solomon  06:18

What is one piece of advice that you would have given yourself on the first day of a job?

Michael Rainey  06:23

A good piece of advice I would give myself if I could go back would be to pay closer attention, ask more questions, and really work hard.

Gracie Solomon  06:36

Yeah, the questions part that reminds me of pretty much school, cause you know, if you don’t understand something, you got to ask the questions. And that’s what helps because if you don’t ask the questions, then you’re just gonna be confused the whole time. So I think it’s good that you can still need to ask questions whenever you grow up and do your job.

Michael Rainey  06:58

That’s correct.

Gracie Solomon  07:00

Well, thank you for letting me interview you.

Michael Rainey  07:03

Thank you.

Gracie Solomon

Being a plumber is more than just unclogging a toilet. You have to install pipes and crawl under houses to get your job done. What’s great about this job is you don’t even need to go to school for it. But not just anyone can do this. You have to want to go into this work at the crack of dawn and work your booty off. No normal person could handle a new problem every day and still want to do all the dirty work. But then again, show me a normal teenager. Thanks for listening.

Thanks for tuning in. If you like Gracie Meets… subscribe so you can listen every time a new episode is dropped and follow Gracie Meets… on Instagram at Gracie dot Meets (@gracie.meets). Tune in next Saturday for a new break show about going in for an interview.