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 degree angle, 16 feet in the air,
- Then, they must cross to the first small pipe
- And swing to the second hanging pipe which is 4 ft away from each other and is a foot higher than the first.
- Then, competitors must grab another pipe (also leaning at 45 degree) angle to dismount.
Using legs on the two hanging pipes will result in disqualification.
This obstacle proved to be challenging for competitors, as the pipes were a massive test for competitors' forearm and bicep strength. The four feet transition on the smaller pipes proved to be the main challenge on the obstacle.
During Atlanta finals, the first pipe was made steeper to climb. The smaller pipes swung less, making it more difficult for competitors to gain momentum to transition between pipes. The dismounting pipe was also the same size as the two hanging pipes. Competitors were still allowed to use their lower body to grab the final 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 in last season.
However, competitors were not allowed to use their legs on the last pipe. 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 city finals. From there, several competitors (e.g. Thomas Stillings and Nicholas Coolridge) dismounted the obstacle early, by skipping the last pipe.
- 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.