Plumbing plays a crucial role in the comfort and functionality of any residence. Whether residing in a towering condominium or a standalone family home, your plumbing system tirelessly ensures that your water remains clean and accessible. Nevertheless, significant distinctions exist between commercial and residential plumbing systems, influencing their efficiency and the nature of repairs required in case of malfunctions. In this article, we will delve into the key differences between commercial and residential plumbing to help you determine the most suitable option for your needs!

P.S. Need help with plumbing issue? Our team of plumbers are ready to help you with all your plumbing needs. No job is too big or small for our experienced staff, so give us a call today!

What is Residential Plumbing

Residential plumbing is the type of plumbing that most people are probably familiar with, and it covers a wide range of installations. Residential plumbing consists mainly of pipes used to carry potable water from your home’s main water supply (like in an external tank) into different parts of your house for household use like cooking or washing up dishes.

The first major difference between residential plumbing and commercial plumbing is that it only carries potable water, whereas commercial buildings may have to carry both clean and dirty water. Residential systems also typically consist of pipes made from metal or copper while some industrial systems can be plastic which might require special tools for maintenance.

What is Commercial Plumbing

Commercial plumbings are the type you would find in a commercial building such as an office or retail space. Commercial plumbing systems are much more complex and can carry many different types of water, including potable water for the public, graywater that is used onsite like to wash floors, blackwater that is disposed off site with sewage treatment plants, etc.

Commercial buildings also have pipes that are made from specialized materials like PVC or fiberglass that can withstand higher water pressures. The upside of these pipes is that they are much less likely to corrode and degrade, but the downside is that they often need replacement when exposed to hot water.

In addition, commercial plumbing systems also tend to have more complicated drainage than residential systems which might require a pump to help push the water away from an area.

Differences Between Commercial and Residential Plumbing

There are many differences between commercial and residential plumbing, and it’s important to know which type of system best suits your needs.

1. Difference in Complexity of Plumbing issue

It’s important to know the difference between commercial and residential plumbing before deciding which type of system is best for you. Residential systems are much more basic, while industrial plumbings can have many different pipes with a wider range of problems.

If your home has been experiencing problems such as clogs or leaks from corroded pipes, then it might be time to invest in more industrial plumbing. Residential systems probably won’t be able to handle the level of problems that commercial pipes may experience, and it’s best not to have a leak or clog at home if you can avoid it!

Commercial plumbings are better equipped for carrying water with higher pressure which might need cleaning on a regular basis. It’s also important to make sure that the plumbing system in your home can handle any level of water pressure if you are considering a move into an industrial space like an office or retail building.

2. The efficiency of the plumbing system

The difference between commercial and residential plumbing also affects the efficiency of your system. Commercial buildings need pipes that can withstand higher water pressures, but those same high pressures could clog up a home’s piping that is designed for lower pressure systems.

This means that you should think about how often you want to clean out the pipes in your house if they are only used for potable water. Residential pipes are more likely to corrode and degrade if they experience higher pressures which means that replacements will be needed much sooner than with commercial plumbing systems.

Also, residential plumbing systems are often limited in the number of fixtures they can handle, so think about how many people you live with before deciding. Commercial buildings have much more complicated drainage requirements that might require a pump to move water away from an area which means it’s not just as easy to change out pipes or fix clogs when one happens.

The tradeoff with commercial plumbing is that they need to be replaced more often, but the tradeoff for residential systems is a higher likelihood of clogs and leaks.

3. The Number of Fixtures

There are differences between commercial and residential plumbing, but one thing they have in common is that both types need to be cleaned. If you live alone or with a small family then your house might not have too many problems after cleaning it out regularly. Commercial buildings on the other hand can require more frequent maintenance which might include regular cleaning or more intensive pipe replacements.

It’s easy to get a general idea of how often you want to clean out your pipes by looking at the number of fixtures in an area. This is another reason that commercial buildings might need regular maintenance because they have many different types of plumbing systems as opposed to residential homes which typically only have one type and use a single pipe for all fixtures.

Residential plumbing systems are much simpler and usually don’t require regular cleaning unless there is a problem that needs to be fixed, but commercial buildings or offices should have their pipes cleaned on an annual basis by a professional who can make sure everything is working properly.


It’s important to know the difference between commercial and residential plumbing. This article has given you a few of the major differences, but there are many more that we could discuss as well. What do you want to learn about? Let us know in the comments below!