The Differences Between Residential and Commercial Plumbing

Whether you’re just exploring establishing a business or simply have an interest in plumbing, you may have wondered if there are any differences between residential and commercial plumbing. To a certain extent, plumbing is plumbing, but there are some critical differences you may need to know. Common Differences Most of us have experienced plumbing problems, and it seems reasonable that one plumber can fix a clogged pipe just like another, regardless of whether it is in a home or office. After all, water runs through pipes regardless of the setting. Unfortunately, plumbing is a little more complicated than this simplistic view, and there are some small details that can make a massive difference. Some obvious differences separate residential and commercial plumbing. These include:
  • Size; Commercial plumbing is often far larger and more complex than the plumbing in a standard home. Businesses may need to provide sinks and toilets for their employees and customers, which requires far more pipes and outlets. The extent of the plumbing system also creates a hugely increased demand that is not supported by residential systems.
  • Multiple Floors; Office buildings also tend to have multiple stories rather than the standard two floors in a residential home. All of these floors need sinks, toilets, and other fixtures. Since gravity plays a large role in pipe functionality, water pressure is vital in larger buildings with multiple stories. Commercial plumbers appreciate this and have a greater understanding of the requirements when they take on a commercial job.
  • Different Issues; While residential plumbing may encounter variations on the same fundamental issues, commercial plumbing is subject to a broader variety of different issues. This means that commercial plumbers need an understanding of a more extensive range of solutions. These plumbers also need to be familiar with more codes and be prepared for issues that would never occur in a residential setting.
The Scope of Commercial Plumbing Work Commercial plumbers are ideally suited to work on lift stations, site sewer lines, larger boilers and the plumbing used in industrial equipment. Commercial plumbing tends to be more repetitive compared to residential plumbing as the same type of equipment is used in a variety of applications. While residential plumbing tends to involve a standard workday, except any emergencies, five days a week, a commercial plumber can be expected to work at any time of the day. In fact, some tasks need to be performed on holidays or at the weekend to prevent downtime. Commercial plumbers are also required to be more schedule orientated compared to a residential plumber. When repairs are scheduled to be finished within a set period, it needs to be completed within the timeframe as more people, and other companies are depending on the outcome. Commercial projects are also subjected to more inspections and testing compared to residential plumbing. This is another reason why it is so critical that the work schedule is maintained, since the inspectors may represent different entities in the approval process. While plumbers are able to adapt their skill set to different plumbing tasks, a commercial plumber is more adept in this specialized area. So, for the best results with your commercial property, it is vital to choose the person with the most pertinent experience. By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.