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Residential and Commercial Plumbing: A Detailed Guide

Homeowners, as well as business owners, who are truly devoted to their property want nothing else but to keep it in proper order and condition. They make sure that their household or building looks good not only on the outside but also inside. To realize this ultimate desire, they avail themselves of various home maintenance services–anything that could protect their building or property from any untoward circumstances.

Plumbing maintenance, for one, is one thing that business proprietors and homeowners invest in to keep their property in perfect shape. A home or building’s plumbing system, in particular, should be something that any homeowner or business proprietor should always pay attention to and take care of on a regular basis. This paves the way to two types of plumbing services–residential plumbing and commercial plumbing.

Residential plumbing maintenance, as its name suggests, is meant for dealing with the plumbing system of people’s households. On the other hand, commercial plumbing is a lot more complex since it has something to do with plumbing maintenance of multistoried apartment complexes or commercial buildings.

Guide to Understanding Residential Plumbing and Commercial Plumbing

Both residential plumbing and commercial plumbing serve a similar purpose, which is to address plumbing issues such as leaks, clogs, malfunctions of plumbing fixtures, damaged pipes, etc. However, they also differ in certain aspects such as the scope, complexities, and demands of the plumbing job.

  • Scope of Work

A commercial plumber and a residential plumber have similarities in their knowledge as far as plumbing is concerned, yet they have different work areas or places of focus. Their job scope varies quite differently. A residential plumber fixes plumbing problems in people’s homes. More or less, he takes care of common household plumbing issues like leaking toilets, clogged drains, broken pipe, and other issues related to plumbing fixtures in the kitchen or bathroom of the house. Basically, a residential plumber goes from one household to the next doing and fixing the same things. In short, the job scope of the plumber who specializes in residential plumbing is confined within single or small residences.

A commercial plumber, on the contrary, has a much wider job scope than that of a residential plumber. He deals with plumbing issues not in a single household but in various offices and/or commercial spaces occupying a building. The number and variety of plumbing jobs (i.e. toilet leaks and clogs) they have to deal with are even unimaginable. Not to mention, the building rules or company policies they have to follow and consider because they can carry out the work.

  • Job Complexities

As already previously mentioned, a commercial plumbing job is way complex. Although all plumbing jobs call for the same skill set, you cannot just interchange the roles of a residential plumber and a commercial plumber.  For example, if you own an apartment complex with multi-storeys and one floor in your building has had some plumbing issues, you cannot simply summon a residential plumber to fix the problem. The plumbing system is much more complicated in the commercial setting considering that countless people use the bathrooms and other plumbing fixtures every day and numerous pipes are being interconnected with one another. Hence, you can expect the plumbing job to be more demanding. If you are dealing with major leaks in a commercial building, you do not call for a residential plumber but someone who is adept when it comes to industrial-grade pipes, sewers, and boilers and that person is the commercial plumber. To further see the differences in job complexities between residential plumbing and  commercial plumbing, you need to examine the tools and equipment used by a residential plumber and a residential plumber.

A residential plumber commonly brings with him the following tools: a) plungers; b) augers; c) snakes; and d) heaters/heat tapes. These plumbing must-haves are enough to solve your home plumbing issues.

On the other hand, a commercial plumber, with his complex and bigger job responsibilities, has more additional equipment including the following: a) pipe vises and support; b) pipe cutting tools; c) drilling tools; d) industrial vacuums; e) pipe bevelling; f) tile saws; and g) generators.

  • Required Hours of Work

For a residential plumber, work schedule can be set as conveniently as the typical 9am-5pm daily during weekdays. However, such working hours do not always apply to commercial plumbing. Commercial plumbers have to be working outside of the normal daytime schedule because their job has to be done in a way that does not disrupt those other people using the building including customers and employees. 

A plumbing professional is the person whom you can rely on if you are experiencing some plumbing issues that are beyond your ability to solve. However, before you contact a plumbing professional, make sure that you know the nature and extent of the problem you are entrusting to him. Is the issue existing in your home or residence, or inside a big commercial building? With this question, you will be guided on whether you will look for a commercial plumber or a residential plumber.

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