What Is Commercial Plumbing?

Written on: May 15, 2023

Get the right plumbers for your commercial project at AFC

commercial plumber Clinton, me Plumbing is plumbing, right? Wrong.

Commercial plumbing can be quite different and more complex than residential plumbing, and commercial plumbing projects require plumbers with knowledge and experience in commercial plumbing systems.

You get that with AFC’s commercial plumbing services. Our team of more than 10 master and journeyman plumbers on staff, are all trained, skilled, experienced, and licensed.

How is commercial plumbing different from residential plumbing?

Commercial plumbing tends to be larger and more complex than residential plumbing. Let’s go over how that is in multiple ways.

Plumbing system usage – In commercial spaces, plumbing is used more frequently than in residential spaces due to a larger number of clients and employees using the system. Residential setups only need to accommodate the needs of one family, and therefore require fewer pipes and outlets.

Complexity – Commercial buildings might have multiple floors, lots of sinks, and multiple toilets and urinals. The size of the building may vary from a single story to 10 stories or more. There is also commercial equipment such as water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers that need to be connected to the plumbing system.

The plumbing systems in commercial facilities are more complex and susceptible to damage than residential plumbing systems, which tend to be simpler and smaller. Although residential plumbing systems are smaller, they are less likely to experience damage. Damage to a commercial plumbing system can cause serious problems, particularly if the building has multiple floors used for work.

This means that commercial plumbers need to understand a more complex building structure.

Size and durability of plumbing system – To ensure durability and prevent breakdowns due to frequent use, it is recommended to utilize large, high-grade fixtures for commercial plumbing. Conversely, smaller pipes and lower-grade fixtures may suffice for household plumbing, which is not utilized as often.

Equipment – While there are common tools for both residential and commercial plumbers such as wrenches and snakes, commercial plumbers need to be familiar with and use other items such as generators, commercial wet/dry vacuum cleaners, and large drain cleaners like our AFC Jetter, a high-pressure drain-cleaning system.

Water heating – Commercial buildings require commercial heaters with large storage tanks, or tankless on-demand water heaters, and higher gas input levels to accommodate the larger number of people who need more hot water in comparison to residential homes. The tanks for commercial use can hold up to 250 gallons, while residential heater tanks tend to hold 50 gallons or less and generally do not exceed 100 gallons.

Maintenance – Preventative maintenance is crucial for commercial plumbing to prevent major issues. This is especially true for hospitals, health care facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living centers where plumbing must run constantly and cannot afford to fail. It is essential that the system is maintained to handle round-the-clock usage.

Codes and regulations – Commercial building codes are not the same as residential building codes. Because commercial buildings are used so much not only by businesses but by the public, codes are enforced stringently.

Then there’s the matter of health codes. To prevent health code violations, restaurants, foodservice businesses, health care facilities and hospitals are required to meet specific requirements for their water supply and drainage systems according to health codes.

Put AFC’s knowledge and experience in commercial plumbing to work for your Central Maine business. Contact us today to get started.