Residents of Victoria might look for a regular residential plumber, but there are others who will look for a commercial plumber in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, for instance. Residential plumber? Commercial plumber? What’s really the difference between these two? Don’t they do the same jobs?
Well, naturally there is a lot of crossover, but the precise needs between each type of plumbing are somewhat different. We’ll explain the difference in more detail below.
Commercial Plumbing is Used More
You might believe that you put your own plumbing through the mill, but it’s commercial property plumbing that receives far greater punishment on a daily basis. If you think about it, office and other commercial bathrooms are in constant use throughout the day. A constant stream of people walking in, doing their business, washing their hands afterwards (hopefully) and then using a hand-dryer to dry them…it’s an ongoing strain.
Those commercial properties that also make use of hot water for various things have their commercial heaters working hard the whole day to maintain the right temperatures. It’s no surprise then why commercial plumbing needs so much closer attention.
Commercial Plumbing Systems are Larger and More Complex
These plumbing systems typically run across multiple floors of a building, and through multiple units on each floor. Together they make a complex network of pipes, valves, and switches. At the base of it all there needs to be a foundation of large machines like water heaters (see below), pumps and more to keep the water moving at all times.
A residential plumber would likely not even know where to begin with some commercial plumbing systems, especially if they’d only ever worked on residential systems their whole career.
Commercial Plumbing Needs to Be More Efficient
If a sink or toilet clogs in your home, then that’s a big inconvenience for you, but at least it’s just you. In many residential homes, there is a spare sink and/or toilet that one might at least turn to temporarily while the other is fixed.
Spare toilets, sinks and plumbing fixtures are in commercial buildings, too, but when things go wrong, it immediately affects a lot more people and thus has to be addressed more quickly. The efficiency of a commercial plumbing system and its maintenance has to be far greater than what’s required for residential systems.
Commercial Plumbing is More Likely to Get Damaged
There are all sorts of ways to damage plumbing systems, but the intense use that commercial plumbing goes through on a daily basis means that damage becomes more likely. The sheer amount of plumbing in the form of toilets, sinks, taps, pipes, valves, heaters and more also increases the likelihood of having to do maintenance and repairs on a daily basis. A home system might go for many years without needing any professional attention.
Commercial Water Heaters are Larger
Next, residential plumbers who deal with water heaters and gas plumbing are already more specialised than someone who only deals in pipes, taps and whatnot. However, commercial water heaters take those skills and that expertise to a whole new level. These large, complex units are much more challenging to maintain and if things go wrong with them it can have much more serious consequences.
Commercial Plumbing Involves Different Water Safety Standards
Commercial plumbing is used by more people, and includes the plumbing used in hotels, restaurants and bars, for instance. These places where water is used in food and drink preparation means that more stringent standards of safety and hygiene have to be met, far stricter than what’s required in a residential property.