What You Need to Know Before Hiring A Commercial Plumber

If you have a commercial property, then you want to hire a plumbing company that works with and has experience in dealing with commercial properties. These specialized companies will have the right equipment, training and licensing that is required to deal with your property. Most plumbing companies do not specialize in both residential and commercial plumbing but rather one or the other.  There are some major differences between plumbing in a residential space and plumbing in a commercial space.

What are the Fundamental Differences?

Commercial plumbing can be defined through an explanation of the scope of it when you compare it to other plumbing specialties. Commercial plumbers service plumbing fixtures in many types of commercial settings including:

  • Multiple floor structures such as office towers
  • Large scale commercial complexes such as shopping malls
  • A building that has industrial grade outlets and pipes
  • Large buildings that have multiple floors
  • Recreational areas such are park facility bathrooms
  • Office buildings

Any building that is not a residential property and has frequent use of those premises by people is a commercial plumber’s domain. Commercial plumbers need to do many similar tasks as with residential plumbing including:

  • Preventative maintenance and regular inspections.
  • Consultations with property owners to offer guidance and give warnings for any potential issues that may arise.
  • Inspect water pressure sensors; water heaters and all systems to ensure plumbing is in good working order.
  • Cut, fit and assemble pipes and accessories.

Commercial Plumbing Requires Different Points of Action

There are many factors that separate commercial plumbing issues from those of residential plumbing including:

Multiple Floors

Commercial plumbing jobs are different from residential plumbing jobs because they have several levels whereas residential plumbing usually involves one or two levels. Sizeable commercial buildings have multiple fixtures that need maintenance on every floor. Gravity also has an impact on how a plumber can perform in the commercial environment. If the water pressure is not great there is a more noticeable effect in the multiple story building as it can prevent pipes from working as well as they possibly can.

Local Building Codes

Every plumber, whether residential or commercial, requires a license issued by the state so that they can carry out work legally on commercial or residential properties. The plumbing codes for commercial and residential properties can be very different and this means that codes need to be followed for all plumbing services that are completed. If the plumbing work is not completed to code, then a property owner may end up paying more for repairs and they can also face serious fines.

Scope of Job

One of the main reasons why residential plumbers do not branch into commercial plumbing is because of the sheer size and complexity of commercial plumbing work. In many commercial spaces there are hundreds of people who are utilizing fountains, sinks and toilets every day. The plumbing system is going to sustain a great deal of wear and tear and when something does go wrong with the system, it can have devastating consequences on the commercial space. Commercial jobs are extremely time consuming when it comes to installation and many property owners are very proactive in trying to reduce the possibility of dealing with a larger plumbing issue.

The size of a commercial job is generally much larger than a residential plumbing job.  Commercial properties require extensive pipe systems, unlike residential properties. If something goes wrong in a commercial building it can affect the entire building and everyone who lives or works in it. A burst pipe on the 10th floor can affect every floor above and below it. Damage in a residential property is generally restricted to a single residence and rarely affects the surrounding homes in a neighbourhood. Residential properties require fewer outlets and much less piping and the repairs required for a residential property can be completed in a faster fashion as opposed to time consuming commercial plumbing repairs.

Frequency of Inspections

There is a need for more frequent and thorough inspections in commercial plumbing jobs. Commercial plumbers must spend a large amount of their equipment budget on expensive items such as pipe cameras so that they can carry out the necessary inspections on commercial plumbing systems.

Hours of Work

Commercial plumbers need to offer more flexibility because they work in buildings that are used by hundreds of people every day. This may require working more off hours, late nights and weekends so that the plumbing system can be shut off for inspection and repair. If they job requires several days for completion, commercial plumbers often have to create temporary plumbing facilities for use by the building occupants while they work on existing systems.

Commercial plumbers work on a much larger scale than residential plumbers do.  Commercial properties are much larger by design and the plumbing fixtures they contain are used more often.  Plumbing maintenance is needed more frequently in commercial spaces due to the sheer volume of use. This means that a regular service schedule needs to be put in place. Commercial plumbers need to utilize project management software so that they can keep a complete record of all of the plumbing jobs that they are working on.

Knowledge of the Industry

Commercial installations often require industrial grade fixtures and pipes and the plumber working on these installations should be well aware of the requirements for the use of these types of products. Commercial plumbers need to understand the types of fixtures that are needed for the installation, repair and maintenance of commercial plumbing jobs.

One of the main basics of commercial plumbing is that you must first understand how residential plumbing works. Commercial plumbing works with piping systems for commercial spaces which are far more complex than residential systems and, in most cases, commercial plumbing needs professional help. Residential plumbing can be carried out in townhomes, single gamily homes, condominiums and small apartment buildings.  Residential plumbing is far less complex than commercial plumbing.

If repairs are not made in a timely manner, there is a much higher risk of damage in a commercial building. Broken pipes can affect many floors in a commercial building, and this can be disastrous to all of the businesses contained in the building.  Commercial plumbing must meet extremely strict codes and regulations in restaurants and businesses that serve food and beverages.

The complexity of a building structure can make a plumbing job very involved. A residential home is easier to steer through than a complex structure such as a commercial building. Most commercial buildings have multiple floors and countless bathrooms with multiple fixtures. Water pressure can play a big part in the functionality of the sinks and toilets that are installed.

Types of Professional / Commercial Plumbing Issues

Commercial plumbing is a large-scale job and requires a specific skill set. This means that most public structures require commercial plumbing services. Some examples of the requirement of commercial plumbing include:

  • Restaurants: Plumbing must be operating efficiently so that food can be prepared correctly. The chef must be able to keep the kitchen clean and be able to prepare meals and the lack of running water can hinder this process.
  • Offices: Multi stall bathrooms can become a nightmare for office workers, particularly where there is a backed up/flooding toilet or sink. This can cause health problems, stress and can affect the productivity in some offices. It is important for toilets and sinks to function properly and be clean and ready for use when they are needed.
  • Apartment Buildings: If tubs, showers, sinks or toilets clog up and overflow they can create issues with the apartments below the location of the problem. This can cause a lot of expensive damage to an entire building with a requirement for removal and replacement of multiple walls, floors and ceilings to rectify the damage cause.

Commercial Pipe Lining Can be an Alternative

If you are working with a commercial building or office building that has drain issues or pipe failure, an option can be commercial pipe lining. Pipe lining sewer repair is a more affordable option over traditional sewer replacement options. The option of having plumbing work done on a commercial building can be inconvenient for everyone who runs a business in the building and can cause those businesses to need to be closed for a specific period. If the businesses are left open, there can be a risk of nasty odours and employees that are very unhappy for having to experience those odours.

These problems can be efficiently solved with the use of commercial pipe lining. It will cause very little disruption to your business while these repairs or full replacement is being undertaken. This type of pipe lining does not require any excavation work or trenches to be created. The very foundation of the building will not be harmed, and large structures will not have to be rebuilt. This type of pipe lining is around 75 percent cheaper than the traditional type of pipe lining and this makes it a very attractive alternative to traditional pipe lining. It does not require many plumbers to install it and there is a requirement for just a few pieces of specialized equipment.

Many problems can be repaired using commercial pipe lining including sewer drains and parking lot storm drains. It can be used for all pipe sizes from two inches up to eighty-four inches around as well as for main sewer lines. This pipe lining is good for as long as fifty years and does not cause an unwanted odour during replacement.

Commercial plumbers need to understand a wide range or processes and the differences between commercial and residential plumbing. One of the main differences is volume and durability for systems and appliances. Each job that is undertaken must be carefully planned by the plumber and then executed in a way that ensures that the installation will be in place for years to come. Commercial plumbers work on a massive scale when compared to residential plumbers and they often have to ensure that business owners understand the need to regular maintenance of their plumbing installations so that this can be undertaken by the company that has completed the installation or a company of similar skill.


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