What’s the Difference? Commercial Vs. Residential Plumbing

It’s easy to think that all plumbing is created equal, but when you dig a little deeper,  you will find that there are some differences between the two.

Whether you are looking for commercial or residential plumbing in Perth, it’s always handy to know which type of plumbing contractor you need.

Here are our top ten differences between commercial and residential plumbers:

  • A difference in knowledge and skills

While each plumbing specialist will work with drains, and flow of water and waste to and from buildings, commercial plumbing can deal with much larger projects and scopes of work.  Residential plumbers in Perth will develop knowledge of different suburbs and their quirks that happen due to foundations of houses, property ages, and drainage patterns. 

  • Residential has a different scope of works to commercial

While a simple repair job at a home might be fixing a leaky toilet, residential plumbers can also perform contract related works (with the appropriate licenses) that are associated with renovations and extensions.   The commercial scope can cover many different markets, with varying needs, from industrial operations to hospitality and commercial grade kitchens, or large corporate office spaces.  Each one will require specialist skills, and knowledge of more than unblocking drains.

  • The hours of work can vary

When it comes to completing non-residential projects, you may find many trades (including plumbers) working outside of the normal 9-5 hours many of us are familiar with.  They have to work with many different trades and project managers to meet deadlines and ensure that others can start work on time.

Commercial plumbers will generally have set rates, and factor this into their scope of works, so they try to minimise unscheduled overtime.

  • Residential plumbers don’t need to worry about pedestrians

Some

 works need to take into consideration the time of day, and impact on people – especially if they are dealing with public toilets in the middle of Perth.  They may need to deal with permits and local councils, and ensure that health and safety regulations are held to the highest standard while the works are completed.

An emergency toilet issue at home is still an important issue, just with a little less reach.

  • Commercial licenses are required

Residential plumbers still need a commercial license if they are working on renovations or extensions, as they need to read building plans and deal with permits, however, if they are doing general repairs and maintenance, the licensing requirements are different.

If it is a larger commercial project, a then the contractors will need to comply with building standards and codes, have the appropriate licenses and insurances to ensure they can complete the tasks

  • Dependency on other trades

Big projects can mean a project manager is responsible for many trades being on site for a project.  They may need to coordinate with engineers, tilers, architects, and construction managers, whereas the residential plumber may be able to project manage something smaller like a bathroom renovation.

  • Level of inspection and sign off on works

It can be a case of the bigger the plumbing job, the bigger the pile of paperwork that needs to be completed.   Rigorous testing is required for commercial works, and the level is much greater than residential.   

  • Insurance requirements will vary

For professional trades working on large scale projects, they may find themselves with a higher level of public liability insurance to cover the works.  Contract requirements can be very detailed, and the length of the project can be a lot longer than a residential one.

  • Commercial projects can be more complex

Imagine if you had to install bathrooms on each floor of a thirty storey building?  Working out the drainage between floors, while also ensuring that the pressure required to send water to a hand basin on the top floor was correct is going to take a whole different level of knowledge and skills compared to an extra bathroom on the second floor of your home.

  • Residentials plumbers need a commercial license for renovation and extensions

Residential plumbers who are tasked with completing renovations and extensions (like the second-floor bathroom) do need to have a commercial license, as opposed to a plumbers license for general repairs and maintenance.

Whether you are looking for a plumber to help you at home, or to kit out your new commercial kitchen project, you can find the right team with Property Plumbing & Gas.

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