Plumbing is something we do not see and do not think about most of the time, but living without it would be a nightmare. Plumbing is in many ways the yardstick of civilization. Great cultures build waterfronts. Great empires build canals. Great civilizations have plumbing. Plumbing means indoor toilets, showers and sinks, which freed mankind from thousands of years of waste being thrown into the streets, where disease spread. It virtually eliminated the use of night soil, which spreads disease. It allowed indoor heating to exist without the use of an open flame, putting an end to a centuries-long cycle of cities burning when someone's fireplace got out of control. Plumbing gave us the gas oven, which, until the microwave, was the biggest leap in improving the safety of cooking in the home.
Obviously, safeguarding these epoch-making innovations is a big job. Today, not only must plumbers toil with the weight of all of these conveniences on their shoulders, they have to do it with other technological innovations, as well as civil laws and regulations meant to ensure safety and quality of service. Plumbers may not be given much respect as a profession, but they are highly skilled, well-paid technical experts, and being one isn't easy. Do you know what a good plumber should? Take this quiz to find out!