Commercial plumbing involves the building and maintenance of piping systems for buildings that aren’t private residences. These include office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, and restaurants.
These systems are used by many people, so any problems must be fixed quickly to avoid health and safety issues. There are also a few key differences between residential and commercial plumbing that plumbers should be aware of. See our home page.
Commercial buildings are usually bigger than residential homes. This means that the pipes used in a commercial building need to be larger to accommodate more water and other materials. The walls of the pipes also need to be thicker to protect them against damage and other factors that can affect their performance and longevity.
Brass plumbing fixtures and pipes are among the most durable and longest-lasting options for use in commercial buildings. These are rustproof and corrosion-resistant, making them ideal for use in hot and cold water lines. Brass pipes are also easier to thread than stainless steel and can safely convey hot and cold water at high pressure.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping is another common choice for commercial properties. These are cost-effective and can be bent around obstacles for easier installation and replacement. However, PVC is prone to cracking when exposed to extended heat or ultraviolet light. This can lead to leaks and other problems down the line.
More Complex Systems
A commercial plumbing system requires large-scale systems that can handle higher volumes of water and wastewater. These larger systems may have more fixtures and components than a residential plumbing system. For example, a commercial kitchen will likely have more sinks and toilets, and might also use special fixtures such as industrial-grade dishwashers or steamers.
In addition, the pipes that transport water in a commercial building must be insulated and have extra support to accommodate higher water pressures. Plumbing professionals can use a variety of insulation materials to meet these requirements.
Additionally, the plumbing systems in a commercial setting often use more complicated fixtures and appliances that require professional expertise to install or repair. For instance, a restaurant’s plumbing system might include an industrial-grade grease trap or steam boiler that’s out of the scope of work for most plumbers. Also, a building with multiple floors might have plumbing that’s connected across all of them; this type of system must be carefully designed to account for gravity and prevent issues like backflow.
More Frequent Use
While residential plumbing systems are used by one family at a time, commercial ones serve many more people on a daily basis. This means that drains and water systems are in constant use, which makes them more likely to encounter problems.
Large commercial buildings have multiple floors, and each floor needs its own sinks, toilets, and drains. This requires a piping network that’s much bigger than those found in homes. Moreover, gravity has a bigger impact on water pressure in multi-story buildings, and plumbers need to keep this in mind when servicing them.
Additionally, commercial spaces must follow strict health and hygiene rules. So, a plumbing problem can have significant ramifications for the business and its occupants, making it more critical to address issues quickly. Fortunately, preventative maintenance can help mitigate these effects and ensure that all pipes and fixtures work properly. This is why commercial plumbing contractors often offer maintenance contracts. This provides them with consistent work and helps customers avoid costly repairs in the future.
Many commercial spaces are high-risk for plumbing problems. They may contain hundreds of people, and it’s important for bathrooms to stay clean and functioning properly to avoid health risks, unsanitary conditions, and lost productivity. For example, a clogged bathroom in a restaurant might lead to customers complaining and leaving. An inefficient water system might affect many people and lead to a bigger repair bill than in a residential space.
It’s also more difficult to monitor what goes down sinks and toilets in a commercial building. People might drop paper towels or food scraps down drains, leading to blockages. These issues are harder to notice than in a residential home and can cause serious water damage if left untreated. Next article.