Commercial vs. Residential Plumbing: Which Do I Need?

Commercial vs Residential Plumbing Which Do I Need

Many people assume that a plumber can work in both residential and commercial settings interchangeably. However, while there is some overlap between these two types, commercial plumbing requires a certain skillset that not all residential plumbers possess.

Consider the Size of Your System

Residential plumbers often excel at troubleshooting intricate problems in a residence’s plumbing system. Since they work in many different types of homes, they may be more familiar with certain details that many home plumbing systems possess. By comparison, commercial plumbers need to troubleshoot issues that affect a large number of daily users. They often need to work quickly in order to restore service to hundreds, or even thousands, of patrons. For many large jobs, you’ll want to take into consideration the following factors:

  • Industrial-grade pipes and fixtures
  • Complex plumbing system architecture
  • Higher potential for costly damages
  • Large commercial appliances

Additionally, if your commercial space has a large boiler, plumbing connected to industrial equipment, lift stations or site sewer lines, you will want to choose a commercial plumber over a residential one.


Since commercial spaces are often used by a large number of people each day, plumbers usually need to fix issues on a more flexible schedule. They may need to come after hours or on weekends in order to shut off plumbing without inconveniencing patrons. They also may need to set up temporary plumbing facilities as they work, if the commercial space is used at all hours or if the repairs take a number of days to complete. Residential plumbers often don’t service customers outside of traditional working hours, making commercial plumbers better equipped at servicing plumbing needs that may arise 24 hours a day and any day of the week.

Testing and Inspection

While all plumbers take specific tests in order to become licensed, there are certain codes that pertain only to commercial plumbing. Additionally, more testing and inspection often goes into commercial plumbing than residential. Since inspectors each cover certain entities that need to sign off in the approval process of a commercial plumbing job, it is important to find a commercial plumbing company that can be available for these inspectors when needed.

How to Choose Your Commercial Plumber

You’ll want to consider certain criteria in order to help you pick the right commercial plumber for your needs. Make sure the plumber is up to date on all codes and requirements. Choose a company that is available to handle large-scale emergencies at any time of the day or night. It is also a good idea to pick a full-service provider that handles inspections, diagnostics, checkups, upgrades, installations, cleaning and system maintenance.

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