Is There Any Difference Between Commercial and Residential Plumbing?

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Is There Any Difference Between Commercial and Residential Plumbing?

As the title suggests, in this article we’ll try to explain the difference between residential and commercial plumbers and what their job description entails.

Because both residential and commercial plumbing issues can lead to serious damages if not handled promptly and professionally, commercial and residential plumbers need special training and expertise.

But is there really a difference between the expertise of a residential plumber and that of a commercial plumber?

The short answer is yes and in this article, we will mention a few aspects that make these two specialties different.

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residential plumber repairing a faucet

Commercial and Residential Plumbers Specialize in Different Types of Problems

Although leaking toilets, burst pipes, and other plumbing issues related to commercial and residential buildings are similar, the types of issues a residential plumber encounters each day are different than the ones encountered by a commercial plumber.

A residential plumber deals with clogged drains, leaking faucets, and broken pipes and typically goes from home to home daily thus becoming an expert in these types of problems.

Commercial plumbers, on the other hand, deal with office buildings, shopping malls, and other commercial sites where the problems are slightly different and the plumbing systems are more complex.

On a typical workday, they encounter situations like flooded bathrooms, clogged toilets, and burst pipes but they are also responsible for installing plumbing systems in new apartment complexes and other buildings.

For this reason, commercial plumbers have to understand and follow many city codes and requirements.

Piping Systems are More Complex in Commercial Buildings

Homes have only a few sinks and toilets and the plumber can easily navigate the plumbing system through the building carcass.

Commercial plumbing is more complex because commercial buildings usually have multiple floors, each one with several toilets and sinks and the piping system is harder to navigate.

Due to the system’s complexity, plumbers who specialize in commercial buildings typically encounter many surprises and new challenges in their day-to-day activities.

piping system

Commercial Plumbing Systems are Used More Often

While residential bathrooms and kitchens are typically used by a family, commercial systems are used by many people and more frequently.

For this reason, when installing a plumbing system in a commercial building plumbers use many more pipes and outlets and they have to make sure that the materials are more durable.

Damage Potential is Higher in Commercial Plumbing Systems

Although a burst pipe or a clogged toilet in a residential home is a serious problem that should be dealt with quickly, the damage that this problem can cause is limited to that single bathroom or home.

This is not the case when talking about a multi-story building where a single burst pipe on one of the floors can cause serious problems for the entire building- problems that affect all the people who work or visit that building.

Commercial Plumbing Issues Need to Be Fixed More Quickly

Residential homes typically have two bathrooms and a limited number of users and, for this reason, if a toilet becomes clogged in one of the bathrooms, the family members can use the other one while waiting for the plumber.

If the same problem occurs in a commercial building, like a mall- for example, this problem can potentially affect many people and for this reason, the plumber has to respond quickly and handle the problem in a timely manner.

commercial bathroom

Commercial Plumbers Have to Follow Strict Health Regulations

Because bathrooms in commercial buildings are typically used by multiple people who don’t live together, they have to be kept very clean.

Commercial building owners need to follow very strict laws and regulations to assure the safety of their customers and employees and this creates an entirely different set of plumbing needs.

Businesses need to provide toilets and sinks for both their employees and their clients and plumbers need to ensure that all health regulations are met when installing new piping systems.

In conclusion, there’s a difference between commercial and residential plumbing but, regardless of the type of building, it’s very important to make sure that the plumber you hire is an experienced professional who has encountered similar problems many times in the past.

Also, plumbing problems should never be ignored because they can cause a lot of damage if not solved quickly.

Ready to Become a Plumber?

If you are interested in plumbing, we recommend finding a hands-on program or an online plumbing program in your state.

This is because regulations differ between states, and it’s best to be trained by a school in the same state you want to be certified.

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