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Differences between Residential and Commercial Plumbing

A plumbing system is a system of pipes and fittings used to transport water. It moves water from its sources, such as a spring or reservoir, to wherever it is needed. This includes a building’s plumbing system. Modern plumbing uses steel, metal, or plastic rather than lead.

It sounds straightforward, and it’s all the same, right? In truth, there are specific differences when it comes to residential plumbing and commercial plumbing. 

The following are the main differences between plumbers for residential and commercial settings:

It’s Necessary To Get Commercial Licenses

When the project at hand is for extensions or renovations, residential plumbers have to take on a commercial license. This is because they have to navigate permits and have access to building plans. The requirements for licensing are different when it comes to maintenance and general repairs, however.

Big commercial projects need much more than the proper licenses. Appropriate insurance policies and compliance with building standards and codes are necessary.

Pedestrians Are Not Any Concern of Residential Plumbers

The nature of the plumbing project can affect the time of day it is carried out, especially if it involves public toilets. Plumbers often need to consider the impact on people using these facilities. Additionally, they may need to deal with permits and local government and ensure that health and safety regulations are followed while the work is underway.

A sudden burst water pipe at home can’t be left until later, but an expert will still be needed to fix the problem.

Skills and Knowledge Vary

Plumbers in general work in terms of water and waste flow and drains. More scopes of work and projects can be tackled in the commercial sense. 

Residential plumbers will know when it comes to various suburbs and quirks stemming from drainage patterns, property ages, and house foundations.

The Scope of Work Is Not the Same

Residential repair jobs involve tightening a loose tap or fixing a leaky toilet. They can also do contract-related work if they have the proper licenses in terms of extensions and renovations. 

On the other hand, the commercial scope can apply to several markets with numerous needs. This includes hospitality and commercial-grade kitchens, industrial operations, and even commercial office spaces that are quite large. These all need a particular set of skills and knowledge that goes well beyond leaky toilet fixes.

Time Runs Differently

The usual working hours of 9 AM to 5 PM generally don’t apply to non-residential projects for many trades. This includes commercial plumbing. To that end, commercial plumbers usually have set rates. These are factored into the scope of their work, so they do not have to do overtime outside of the schedule.


At its core, plumbing involves dealing with water flow and pipelines. However, there are many differences between what a residential plumber deals with and commercial ones. This includes time running differently, having to get specific commercial licenses, and varying skills and knowledge.

Do you need a plumber on the Sunshine Coast? Reach out to Sunny Coast Plumbing and Gas! We’ve got 24/7 plumbing for both residential and commercial needs, alongside gas filling and dealing with hot water systems.

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