What is Commercial Plumbing?

Plumbing systems everywhere perform the same functions. It doesn’t matter if the system is found in a home, office, or commercial space; the property’s plumbing should still be able to deliver clean water as well as remove waterborne waste. There are, however, significant differences between commercial plumbing and residential plumbing. To better understand these differences, take a closer look at the requirements of each system and how they are used. 

Residential plumbing refers to plumbing used in homes. This type of system is built to accommodate the family living in the property as well as guests who may come over every now and then. Commercial plumbing, on the other hand, is used in buildings and establishments like hotels, high-rise offices, hospitals, and other structures. This plumbing system is designed to accommodate many users at the same time. This is why the plumbing in strata titles is also classified as commercial plumbing; while the structure itself is used for residential purposes, its plumbing system can still be utilised simultaneously by a lot of people. 

How is Commercial Plumbing Different from Residential Plumbing?

Seeing the definitions above, it’s now easier to differentiate the two plumbing systems. To paint a clearer picture, here are some of the ways that commercial plumbing is different from residential plumbing.

  • Size and Scope. Commercial plumbing requires more pipes and faucets, toilets and showers, and heating systems. Hotels and hospitals, in particular, need to provide these facilities to their customers and employees 24/7; therefore, commercial plumbing systems need to be able to support this level of usage. The scope of work, in turn, is much bigger in commercial plumbing. A lot of the work, especially maintenance, is also done during odd hours so as not to disrupt regular operations.
  • Safety Requirements. This doesn’t mean that residential plumbing isn’t subject to safety standards. However, commercial plumbing undergoes more testing and inspection to ensure that everything is up to scratch.
  • Multiple Storeys. Many commercial plumbing systems cover two floors or more. This means that aside from installing multiple fixtures, plumbers also have to account for gravity to make sure that the pipes are functioning correctly. Moreover, water pressure is a concern for high-rise buildings. Commercial plumbers have to ensure that there is no change or only a negligible change in water pressure, no matter how high the floor.
  • Plumbing Issues. Plumbing issues in residential properties are usually just different “versions” of the same problem. In commercial plumbing, the problems are more diverse and more encompassing. A clog on the fifth floor might be causing the leak on the third floor, and so on. Therefore, commercial plumbers should be prepared to deal with multiple issues when they’re called to address plumbing concerns.
  • Schedule of Checks. For residential plumbing, annual or semi-annual maintenance checks are more than sufficient. For commercial plumbing systems, more frequent checks should be performed. In fact, there might be weekly or even daily inspections on the plumbing, depending on the establishment.

Understanding what is commercial plumbing and how it differs from a residential system is key to ensuring that everything works as it should. Hopefully, this quick guide has given you enough information to be in the know.


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