Most professional independent plumbers and plumbing companies note whether they specialize in residential plumbing, commercial plumbing, or both. This is because there are several key differences between residential plumbing and commercial plumbing.

While both of these types of plumbing involve overlapping ranges of repairs and services and require very similar training and skill development, residential plumbing and commercial plumbing are not the same.

If you are located in or around Riverside, CA, keep reading to learn more about 5 differences between residential plumbing and commercial plumbing.

1. Differences in Construction

There are differences between the construction of residential and commercial buildings, which in turn create key differences between residential plumbing and commercial plumbing.

Commercial buildings generally have more complex constructions than residential homes simply because they tend to be built on a larger scale. Also, many commercial buildings have multiple stories—and a high number of floors in a building creates complications for and requires special skills from plumbers who service those buildings.

2. Scope of Issues

The scope of issues which commercial plumbers need to know how to handle is much wider than it is for residential plumbers. Most residential plumbers and plumbing companies that specialize in residential plumbing come across the same range of plumbing problems most days.

For commercial plumbing, on the other hand, there are myriad things that can go wrong with a large commercial plumbing system and commercial plumbers need to be equipped to diagnose and deal with a wider range of plumbing problems than do residential plumbers.

3. Sanitation Concerns

Most businesses—especially businesses that deal with food service in any way—are required to stick to very strict sanitation standards. This means that commercial plumbers must know those sanitation standards and know how to perform their services and repairs while maintaining them.

While it is important to maintain proper sanitation while performing services on a home job as well, residential plumbers do not have to stick to guidelines as strict as those for commercial plumbers when it comes to health and sanitation regulations.

4. Time of Service

Most commercial buildings are generally only open within a range of normal business hours. For commercial plumbers, this could mean that it is necessary to perform plumbing services either inside or outside of that range of normal business hours. There tends to be more flexibility for the work hours of residential plumbers.

However, most people are not using commercial buildings such as office buildings in the middle of the night—whereas people use the plumbing in their home at all times of day and night. This means that residential plumbing tends to involve more emergency repair calls very late into the night or very early in the morning.

5. Urgency of Problems

Commercial plumbing problems generally need to be repaired more urgently than do problems at home. This tends to be the case because commercial plumbing problems usually affect more people—such as both the employees and customers of a business—than residential plumbing problems affect.

While a commercial plumbing problem could disrupt the daily operations of an entire high-rise office building, most plumbing problems at the house have lower stakes—most families can go a day or two without using one toilet in their home that is clogged.

In some cases—such as in the case of a clogged toilet in a one-bedroom apartment—residential plumbing problems can be more urgent than commercial plumbing problems. In most cases, however, commercial plumbing concerns need to be addressed much more quickly than do issues with residential plumbing.

Because there are differences between residential plumbing and commercial plumbing, it is important to hire the right type of plumber for the job you need performed. Don’t call a commercial plumber if you need a problem repaired at home, and vice versa. This is why plumbing companies that specialize in both residential and commercial plumbing services are so valuable in the Riverside community and the plumbing industry as a whole.

It is especially important to call a plumber or professional plumbing company that specializes in commercial plumbing services if that is what you need because commercial plumbing problems can require a more complex and varied skill set that a residential plumber might not have.