What Is the Difference Between Residential and Commercial Plumbing?

When people think about plumbing, they believe that both residential and commercial properties will need the same plumbing services and they are wrong to some extent.

Actually,  the same tools and materials are used to resolve both commercial and residential plumbing issues.

Also,  the same basic function is provided when the job is done.

However,  plumbing is more complicated than that as plumbers need to be state-licensed and ensure that all their work is done well.

For commercial properties, the code regulations differ and there are, a few differences between the residential and commercial plumbing.

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Size Matters

It is worth mentioning that commercial plumbing jobs are a lot larger and more extensive than residential plumbing.

That is the first difference, as it can be a large property such as a mall, a business, or even an apartment complex that has to be completed.

All these types of buildings belong to the commercial plumbing services category and they require a more demanding and extensive plumbing system as hundreds of people will be washing hands or flushing toilets daily.

Commercial properties will require more pipe systems than single-family residential properties and if the plumbing is not done well, it can affect the entire building and all its occupants.

On the other hand, the residential properties usually include an individual or a family, so if the plumbing is done badly, a scale of damage is limited to one affected household.

Residential properties require less piping and outlets and household plumbing repairs can be completed a lot faster and impact fewer people than commercial plumbing repairs.


All plumbers need to be state-licensed, but there are state plumbing codes that can differ between residential and commercial properties.

The importance of this lies in the fact that if your plumbing is not done by a licensed plumber, and something goes wrong, you are the one who is responsible for the payment of all the work redone by licensed plumbers.

The costs associated with this can be significant, especially for commercial property owners as they can face heavy fines on top of having to repair the commercial plumbing system.

Multiple Stores

Another difference is behind the stores.

The commercial plumber could have to deal with plumbing spanning more than one level, being that commercial property often has multiple stores which all require plumbing fixtures and piping.

They will work in office buildings, apartment complexes, and even malls that require more toilets and other fixtures than residential properties.

So, it is our suggestion to take all these into consideration prior to attempting a commercial plumbing job.

Gravity also plays its part in commercial properties, due to the fact that if the water pressure is not good enough, the pipes will not function well.

Plumbing Problems

The possible plumbing issues in residential plumbing systems involve leaky faucets or fixtures, running toilets, and the like, while, on the other hand, the same problems appear with commercial plumbing, but on a much larger scale.

Plumbers will need to be really knowledgeable in their field to be able to handle commercial plumbing repairs.

If the property owner ignores any commercial plumbing problems, it can affect hundreds of people and cost the property owner a significant amount of money.

So, when entering this field, it is significant to have in mind that the main difference between commercial and residential plumbing is the scale of the work that needs to be done and the level of knowledge needed to fix more complex issues.

Some plumbing companies only handle one of the two services, while there are other teams that can handle both residential and commercial plumbing services.

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