Commercial Plumbing vs. Residential: How Different Are They Really?

How is Commercial Plumbing So Different From Residential?Sarkinen Plumbing team standing by trucks

The difference between commercial plumbing and residential is a lot like the difference between an average 200-pound guy and a 200-pound trained athlete. On paper, they may seem the same and in many cases, they might not even look all that different.

But in reality, not only does one work faster and stronger than the other, but he also has a greater work capacity overall.

The subtle but significant differences that might characterize a set of two people also embody the distinctions in commercial and residential plumbing.

The Similarities Between Commercial and Residential Plumbing

It’s true, commercial and residential plumbing systems do have a lot in common.

Both can be equally sophisticated and the problems can often be just as perplexing. And given enough time, an experienced residential plumber who works only on homes could probably troubleshoot a commercial structure.

So why then do some plumbers stay away from commercial plumbing? And why is it important to choose a plumber who specifically knows how to work on commercial systems?

The Difference Begins With Work Capacity

Work capacity is generally defined as the amount of work that can be safely performed in a given time – without overstressing the system.

Where most modern residential plumbing systems chug along just fine at a normal rate, if a home’s plumbing were all of a sudden tasked with accommodating the daily capacity of an average commercial plumbing system, there’s a good chance that things are going to simply give up and stop working.

Where components between the two systems look the same, weigh the same, and even work the same, the sum of the parts on one is usually much greater than the sum of the parts on the other.

In other words, it’s the respective work capacities of residential and commercial plumbing that create the main differences between the two systems.

Plumbing Maintenance & The Requirements of Commercial Systems

Like a trained athlete and an untrained person, the two systems require different levels of regular care to keep going.

Because of the capacity requirements of commercial plumbing, keeping everything going smoothly day-in and day-out is not only more necessary, it can also affect the bottom line.

In many commercial plumbing systems, especially those in the hospitality sector like restaurants, bars, or hotels – the potential for economic loss is much greater than with residential. Where residential system failure may mean a homeowner needs to pay to get the pipes fixed, an owner of commercial plumbing will most likely pay for repairs to a larger system on top of absorbing losses that may arise from commercial plumbing being out of order.

When residential plumbing goes down it means a house stops, when commercial plumbing goes down – it may mean business stops.

Why Commercial Plumbing Requires a Specialist

Depending on the size of the plumbing, it’s important to choose a plumber who has clear experience in working with commercial plumbing.

Where smaller businesses may be tempted to wing it with just a residential plumber, larger businesses who closely rely on all of their facilities working every day, need a plumber who doesn’t need the learning curve to get things done.

For experienced, peace-of-mind commercial plumbing, get in touch with Sarkinen Plumbing today.