Pipe Dreams Can Come True

Elevating plumbing by framing pipework as a competitive sport.

Pipe Dreams Can Come True | Elevating plumbing by framing pipework as a competitive sport.

Plumbers are usually thought of as the go-to person when you have a leaky sink but there is little recognition that plumbing is much more than just a blue-collar job. The Elite Trades Championship Series (ETCS) seeks to change the way people think about plumbing by elevating pipework into a competitive sport.

Ideal Industries, the company that runs the championship, added plumbing as a category in 2023 as a way to showcase the exceptional skills of plumbers across the US, according to a press release from ideal.

“We are incredibly excited to introduce the Plumbing National Championship to the 8th annual Elite Trades Championship Series,” Scott Mendel, SVP of the Elite Trades Championship Series said in the press release. “With successful championship events in electrical, automotive, and HVAC, this new event will showcase the remarkable talents of plumbing professionals and elevate the plumbing trade to new heights.”

Showcasing plumbing by fighting stereotypes
Part of the mission of the ETCS is to showcase the knowledge and finesse among America’s apprentices and professionals in various trades who are competing for a prize pool from a variety of sponsors. While at the same time showcasing the level of knowledge and skills that the trade industries require.  

Plumbers play a critical role in keeping the modern world running, according to Contractor Magazine. While plumbing is not exciting and does not spark trends or hashtags on social media, the competition is attempting to change the way people view the profession.

The Plumbing National Championship kicked off on July 10, 2023 as a way for plumbers to compete against one another in a series of digital and live hands-on challenges. The participants had to prove their expertise in a variety of the skills related to plumbing in a gauntlet of real-world challenges, using just their knowledge and tools.

The competition lasted for four months and the finalists competed against each other in Tampa, Florida on October 27, 2023.

Pipe dreams do come true
Craig Childress, a skilled tradesman from Boston University won the plumbing championship and he also won the HVAC National Championship's pro division, a first in the event’s history. With a big share of the prize money and two trophies, he was elated.

“Professionally, this is the most absurdly wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me,” he told Contractor magazine. “It’s been an unbelievable journey. I’m incredibly grateful.”

The other top-tier winners were David Shanor and Joe Jaspers who took the second and third spots respectively in plumbing, and Dagner Espinoza and Lee Morris Jr were the second and third winners of the HVAC competition.

You can watch the exciting plumbing championship on CBS Sports Network on December 29, 2023. Sometimes pipe dreams really do come true.

7 Hacks to Use Less Water
15 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
UK’s First National Tradeswoman Register to Launch in March 2021