The Pipe Fitter is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the fifth obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 8 in Atlanta. Competitors are required to:
- Climb a pipe, leaning at a 45-degrees angle, 16 feet in the air,
- Then, they must across the first hanging pipe.
- Then, they must swing from the first hanging pipe to the second hanging pipe, which is 4 feet away and a foot higher than the first hanging pipe.
- Then, competitors must grab the third hanging pipe (also leaning at a 45-degrees angle), and finally make a dismount to the landing platform to advance.
Using legs on the first and second hanging pipe will result in disqualification.
This obstacle was proven to be challenging for competitors, as the pipes were a massive test for competitors' forearm and bicep strength. The four feet transition to the second hanging pipe was proven to be the main challenge on the obstacle.
During Atlanta finals, the first pipe was made steeper to climb. The first two hanging pipes swung less, making it more difficult for competitors to gain momentum to make a transition between the pipes. The third hanging pipe was also the same size as the first two hanging pipes. Competitors were still allowed to use their legs to grab the third hanging pipe.The Pipe Fitter returned on American Ninja Warrior 9, as the fifth obstacle in San Antonio. It was pretty much the same as the one used on the previous season.
However, competitors were not allowed to use their legs on all of the hanging pipes. As the result, many competitors failed on this obstacle during San Antonio qualifiers, including Tremayne Dortch, Barclay Stockett, and Nate Burkhalter.
Only 16 competitors could complete this obstacle during San Antonio qualifiers (compared to 28 competitors during Atlanta qualifiers).
During San Antonio finals, it had the same specifications as the Atlanta finals. From there, several competitors (e.g. Thomas Stillings and Nicholas Coolridge) dismounted the obstacle early, by skipping the third hanging pipe entirely.
- The Pipe Fitter is inspired by the Carrie Furnace of Pittsburgh, which was the backdrop of the Pittsburgh qualifying course on American Ninja Warrior 7.
- It was revealed that the Pipe Fitter took over 200 people to assemble.
- The Pipe Fitter is very similar to the log of Bungee Road, even using the "no lower body" rule on the smaller pipes and the last pipe (on American Ninja Warrior 8, the small pipes were only affected by the rule).
- The tactic, in which competitors used on the final pipe, by grabbing the pipe with their legs is notably similar to Kevin Bull's technique on Cannonball Alley from American Ninja Warrior 6 during Venice Beach finals.