Yellow page advertisements shout that plumbers can do almost anything in the way of repair and replacements. Their range of services is always extremely impressive, but we usually only think to call in a crisis. It should be noted that the fellows who work diligently under our sinks and in and around the crawl spaces beneath the house, are really skilled, highly trained, and technologically savvy experts in their field. We are all familiar with the traditional plumbing services they provide, like bathroom plumbing, toilet repair and replacement, faucets, sinks, garbage disposals, drains, gas connections, waterlines, stoves, dryers, and gas and electric hot water heaters.More than Pipes and FixturesIn addition to all the things we expect, there are plumbing contractors who are adding new technologies and methodologies that allow them to extend their services to offer greater value to their customers. Due to technological innovation and this new diversity, it will pay the savvy homeowner or business owner to research a plumbing company’s areas of expertise and additional service capabilities.It should also be remembered that it literally takes years for a plumbing contractor to become expert in installing and maintaining fixtures for residential, commercial and industrial clients. Water is always the key word and that element is studied with intensity. Knowing how to fix drainage problems is a vital skill, and of course, their studies do not end there. Many concentrate on the interactive ties between plumbing and hygiene and become highly qualified in the ins and outs (pun intended) of waste removal systems.Water Treatment ServicesDoes your tap water smell or taste bad? Is it cloudy or leaving oddly colored stains? Do you suspect impurities? You can now call upon certified water-rights specialists for answers to questions like this. And you guessed it- the specialists are now innovative plumbers who will analyze and optimize the water treatment in your home. In fact, some plumbers actually feature water treatment as a specialty and promote the fact that their unique water treatment systems provide quality solutions to the most challenging water problems.What’s New in Water Heaters?If you haven’t heard yet, the standard storage tank water heater is often considered out-dated technology. Plumbers have now been introduced to tankless water heaters, also known as Flash water heaters, many of which qualify for tax credits (since they offer more hot water with less carbon emissions). They are considered instantaneous or on-demand water heaters that only heat when you need it at 89% efficiency with no pilot light.With such technological advances happening almost faster than we can imagine, there are more alternatives such as high efficiency units that take the flue from the burner and instead of venting it through the top of the heater, return it to the inside of the tank so that heat can be absorbed by the water.Clogged Drain?Did you know that your plumber technician can inspect your sewer line with remote video cameras to determine, with confidence, whether a clog is your responsibility or the city’s? He or she can then help you work with your city to get your drain pipe running freely – obviously a utilization of technology that can work to your advantage.Can Your Plumber Do This?The above examples are just a few of the technological advances happening in the plumbing industry. Consider water recycling with new gray water (sink water) technology, rain water harvesting, biofuel and solar technologies and green plumbing innovations.As you search for quality work at reasonable costs, also remember to look for a plumbing firm with imaginative thinkers who go beyond conventional materials, equipment, and training. These are the individuals who can offer highly effective, innovative solutions to a myriad of problems.It will pay to do some advance research to determine specific areas of expertise as well as overall capabilities in addressing traditional plumbing issues. And if you have what you think is a unique problem, the question you should ask is, “Can my plumber do this?” The answer may be surprising.