About Washington Plumbing

As odd as it might seem, the history of plumbing in Seattle is really filled with strife and intrigue. From nasty reverse plumbing issues to city-spanning fires, there have actually been some interesting blips in Seattle’s plumbing since the late 1800’s.

It was the start of the plumbing motion in Seattle. Soon, the Seattle folk found themselves in an interesting circumstance. There was another, even scarier catastrophe bearing down on Seattle.

The Great Seattle Fire on June 6th 1889 brought the racing city to a sensational halt. Prior to the catastrophe, most of the buildings in Seattle heavily relied on wood. These more powerful structures still stand today in Seattle.

Aside from exploding toilets and great fires Seattle has actually been hit with some other hard times. In October of 1908 the largest employer of plumbing technicians on the coast at the time Ernst Hardware & Plumbing Company was part of a motion that sent out hundreds of Seattle plumbing professionals to Spokane.

In August of 1964 Seattle was once more struck by yet another issue, plumbing contractors strike. Over four thousand plumbing contractors in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho went on strike over wage conflicts. At the time, the wages in the 3 states were set at $4.38 per hour plus an additional 35 cents in other advantages. 35 cents does not appear like too much of an advantage for someone who keeps modern-day civilization running. Their needs were that over the next three years the hourly wage would increase by $1. The industry counter offered with a boost of 36 cents an hour at the rate of 12 cents each year until 1967. This strike significantly impacted the whole Pacific Northwest region. It was estimated that more than $131 million worth of design time was lost due to the strike.

Less than 10 years after the enormous strike a labor contract was reached for plumbers and pipefitters in Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northeastern Oregon. The agreement gave the workers 50 cents more an hour plus 7 cents an hour in health and well-being benefits, bringing the wage scale at the time to $8.02 an hour (it had grown because 1964).

The history of plumbing in Seattle has been a long trip from swimming pools of sewage on the streets, to toilets exploding like rockets, to a few of the most complicated sewage systems on Earth. If you stay in Seattle, bear in mind to offer some idea and thanks to the people who worked tirelessly on our plumbing; it was no simple accomplishment to get to where we are today.