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Difference Between Commercial And Residential Plumbing

residential plumbing
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Your residential plumbing is not something you take note of unless it’s broken. The same logic can apply to commercial plumbing – you don’t often give it a second thought. However, there are significant differences between the two.

What Is Residential Plumbing?

The main thing to understand is residential plumbing is the plumbing system in your home. This includes all plumbing pipes and drain lines, your water heater, and all fixtures within your home.

What Is Commercial Plumbing?

Commercial property plumbing is slightly more complicated than residential. Commercial properties include businesses, apartment complexes, hospitals, shopping malls, airports, etc. Commercial plumbing is similar to residential plumbing in the sense that the basics include plumbing pipes, sewer lines, fixtures, etc. It differs because it is more complex and intertwined than household plumbing. Also, faulty plumbing in a commercial property can affect an entire building’s occupants. If the same thing happened in a residential property, only the household residents are affected.

How Exactly Does Commercial and Residential Plumbing Differ?

You can acknowledge the two are similar, the same main services are needed however the main difference is the materials used. From the pipes, all the way to the fixtures, the materials used for commercial plumbing are built with functionality and durability in mind. Commercial properties see hundreds, if not thousands utilizing the buildings’ plumbing facilities daily.

There are other significant differences between the two such as:​​​​​​

Design Ideas and Limitations

As a homeowner, you can mix and match plumbing fixtures as you’d like. You have flexibility with the design because your home won’t see the same amount of foot traffic as commercial properties. You also know that they will be treated with respect and even if misused, it’s not hard to identify the culprit in your home.

Commercial property owners don’t have that same luxury. The plumbing fixtures and faucets must be made durable to withstand all forms of use and even misuse. This is due to the sheer number of people that use the facilities in a commercial building and is often why you find metal or hard finishes in commercial bathrooms and kitchens.​​​​​​

Construction Limitations

If you’re building your own home and your residential property meets the required city code standards, you have a lot of flexibility in the plumbing fixtures you can use. With commercial properties, the rules and regulations are much stricter. It needs to follow the accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA has specific plumbing requirements that all commercial properties must meet when being built. ​​​​​​

Repairs and Replacements

When plumbing repairs or replacements are needed in a home, often the plumber is faced with a less complex plumbing system than a commercial property. Unless there is a plumbing emergency, residential plumbing repairs are often done on a regular schedule during the week.

For commercial properties, the system is often more complex, and repairs can happen any time of the day, night, and even weekends. This does depend on the type of commercial property as well as the severity of the plumbing issue. Commercial plumbing issues often require a plumber with more experience due to the complexity of the plumbing system. ​​​​​​

Finding The Right Plumber For Your Specific Needs

It’s not always easy to find the right contractor for specific plumbing services. This also depends on the type of property you have. With a clearer understanding of the differences between residential and commercial plumbing, you know you can trust Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric for all your plumbing needs! Call us today at 1-800-475-1504!


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