News & Media

What is a Steamfitter?

Does a Steamfitter fit steam, and if so how does he do it? What kind of a trade is Steamfitting?  The general public does not know what a Steamfitter does or what his value is in the big scheme of things. Steamfitters provide a service that is not what you’d call mainstream, but is necessary for everyone to be able to turn on a light switch, start a car, ride the subway, consume food at a restaurant, or travel by train or plane. So why doesn’t everyone know what Steamfitters do for a living?

Steamfitter-Pipefitter (or Pipefitter) is a Red Seal trade.  Steamfitters work on everything from nuclear power plants to refineries to power generating stations and manufacturing plants for every type of material you can imagine. Everyone thinks that steam was used in the old days for steamships and locomotives and has gone by the wayside. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Steam is used to produce the energy required to manufacture almost every consumer product and service made in North America and around the world. Steam power is used to process raw materials into steel, aluminum and all kinds of metal products.  The list is endless.

To give you a sense of what happens when water turns to steam, take a pound of water (one full Pepsi can) and heat it over 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The pound of water will instantly change to steam the size of two 15 cubic foot freezers. This kind of transformation creates huge a huge amount of energy which is used to power the world of industry in so many areas, it is impossible to list them all.  Steamfitters “fit” pipe and equipment for steam that drives processing of the world’s resources.

Next time you turn on a light switch (powered by steam); pull on your clothes (made from synthetics derived by breaking down oil products with steam); make your breakfast (using a toaster that was made from a breaking down raw steel with steam); get in your car to drive to work (which was made from raw materials processed with steam); fuel up at the pump (with gas made from oil products broken down by steam); work on your computer (which has many components that were manufactured through the use of steam); go home to a nice warm house (fueled by products that were derived from oil from steam); and, then get in your bed for a good night’s sleep (made with a foam mattress that was built from oil products refined by steam) just remember that Steamfitters have played an essential role in your everyday life.  With this in mind, people should know that Steamfitters are important in the big scheme of things and should be respected for what they do and for the skills they bring to keep Canada moving.

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