Residential vs. Commercial Plumbers

Often, when there are burst pipes, clogged washrooms and plumbing emergencies, people are stuck distinguishing between residential and commercial plumbing services. Many people expect that a commercial plumbing contractor should automatically be able to deal with a residential plumbing issue. After all, to a typical individual, aren’t the pipes, sinks and other appliances in kitchens and bathroom similar in both residential and commercial buildings?

It can be challenging for a novice to differentiate a commercial plumber from a residential plumbing contractor. However, the fact is that while there are of course several similarities, there is a significant difference between the two. Bellow are differences between residential & commercial plumbing.


The significant difference between commercial and residential plumbing is the type of architecture. Residential plumbers deal with homes which have simple designs whereas commercial plumbers work with industrial building and even multi-story business centres. Houses have pretty simple plumbing layouts, and plumbers are often able to identify problems and make repairs quickly. On the other hand, an industrial plant will have a sophisticated plumbing system with dozens of pipes. A commercial plumber is therefore adept at dealing with complex plumbing systems as compared to a residential plumber.

Number Of People

In a home, there are only a handful of people using the system. In a commercial property, there are hundreds of people using the system; you will find various plumbing amenities being used on separate floors 100+ times a day. Therefore, it can be challenging for a residential plumber to tackle commercial septic issues.


Emergency septic issues at home are not as costly or complex as is the case in a commercial setting. Moreover, while residential plumbing issues are rarely life-threatening, a burst pipe in an industrial or commercial building can be catastrophic. As a result, commercial plumbers must be vigilant and ready to tackle emergencies to prevent costly damages and even prevent life-threatening situations.

Now that you have some perspective of the differences between a residential and a commercial plumber, never assume that all plumbers are equal. A certified commercial plumber will usually have undergone more rigorous training and testing than a residential plumber. Also, some codes only apply to industrial and commercial buildings. Bottom line, it is imperative to recognise the difference as part of your due diligence when hiring a plumbing contractor.