Specialization is important when you want to launch a plumbing business. Specialization will impact your equipment purchases, training, and licensing, as well as the marketing strategy you use.

Commercial and residential plumbing are two major divisions. It’s easy for people to assume that the two are similar, but the truth is most plumbing companies don’t specialize in both. Let’s look at the differences between residential and commercial plumbing.

Fundamental Differences

We’ll start by defining what commercial plumbing is and how it differs from other options. A Commercial Plumber is an expert who has a specialization in plumbing fixtures for a wide range of commercial business settings. This can include:

  • Basic office buildings
  • Large scale commercial buildings/complexes, like malls
  • Any building or structure with pipes and outlets of industrial grade
  • Massive structures with multiple floors
  • Recreational areas such as park bathrooms

Commercial plumbers are likely to be called on for any property that isn’t a residence and is frequently used by people. The tasks are not too different from those of residential plumbing.

Commercial Plumbing Service: Different Points of Action

Commercial plumbing is different from residential plumbing.


It is this difference that is the most significant between residential and commercial plumbing. This is the primary reason residential plumbers do not branch out into the commercial field. Even for a small building, plumbing systems are usually larger and more complicated than those of a standard house. Another thing that should be considered is the volume of use. Residential plumbing is only used by one household, but in a commercial space, there can be hundreds of people who use the toilets, sinks, and drinking fountains on a daily basis. It is not only more damaging to the plumbing system but it can also be more disastrous if something goes wrong. Commercial jobs will take longer and owners of property are more likely than not to be proactive to avoid a major plumbing problem.

Multiple stories

It is worth mentioning separately due to its impact on a commercial job. For example, the majority of residential plumbing projects have one or two levels. In a large office building, there may be multiple floors. Plumbing technicians should keep in mind that each floor has its own set of fixtures. Gravity also has an impact on how you perform your work. In multi-story buildings, poor water pressure is more noticeable because it prevents pipes from functioning as they should.

Local Codes

To work on a property, all plumbers, whether residential or commercial, must be licensed. The state plumbing codes can differ for commercial and residential properties. You should follow commercial codes when performing any plumbing services. The property owner could be fined if anything is not done according to the code.

Inspection frequency

Residential inspections are generally more thorough and frequent. Commercial plumbers will need to allocate a larger portion of their budgets to pipe cameras to meet these plumbing requirements.

Industry Knowledge

Commercial Installations may use pipes and fixtures of industrial grade. A licensed plumber who is familiar with such needs should be hired. This is another reason why you won’t find residential plumbers taking on smaller commercial jobs in an attempt to get more work. Commercial plumbers might want to specialize in a particular type of commercial building (office buildings, for example). They can become familiar with the fixtures commonly used in installation, maintenance, and repair.

Working hours

Timing is another major concern that is not discussed nearly enough. In residential plumbing, residents usually allow you time to complete your job. Commercial spaces are used by many people every day, and this is not the case. Commercial plumbers are more flexible and will come during off-hours, weekends, or holidays to turn off the system. Commercial plumbers will also need to build their temporary plumbing facility if they are going to be working on the job for several days.

Commercial plumbers work in a much larger area than residential plumbers. Commercial properties are larger and the plumbing fixtures get used more frequently. Your clients will require more plumbing maintenance and repairs to their sinks and toilets. Commercial plumbing services are put in a difficult position since they must do more and keep more track to provide a good service to their customers.

Commercial plumbers are advised to invest in project management software such as eSUB. Your teams can better manage their work by keeping track of all plumbing projects and other pertinent information in a single, easily accessible place.

This post was written by Joey Denick. Joey is the Owner and Operator of Clog Kings. At Clog Kings, LLC, we pride ourselves on our dedication and efficiency. We know you don’t have time to waste. That’s why we work fast to get your home or commercial building back up and running in no time. If you are looking for commercial plumbers in Tampa FL then look no further because we got you covered!

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