Learn Commercial Plumbing Basics- Fastest Guide

learn commercial plumbing basics

Every commercial plumbing system involves various factors that require professional assistance. Professional plumbing contractors provide services, including installing, repairing, and maintaining large-scale industrial plumbing systems. However, before offering services, plumbers learn commercial plumbing basics and then experience them on real projects. If you want to be a plumber or even a business owner who needs commercial services, it is essential to learn the basics of commercial plumbing.

All commercial plumbing services providers and contractors have higher degree certifications since industrial systems need water and waste to travel through complex systems in large buildings. Additionally, commercial buildings generally have more appliances, resulting in more hot water and pipes for the facility’s scale.

Commercial Plumbing Basics and General Information

There are various types of commercial plumbing systems, and as mentioned before, the demand for commercial services is more than for residential plumbing services. Commercial buildings with complex plumbing and piping are medical centers, offices, shops, restaurants, schools, etc. Since many people spend their time in such buildings daily, the commercial facilities require more water systems.

To learn commercial plumbing basics, you need to know the water systems of a commercial facility.

The Importance of Drains in Commercial Plumbing Systems

The water draining systems in commercial facilities is crucial since they are used frequently. To learn commercial plumbing basics, you need to know what is a good drainage system.

An efficient and functional drainage system should adequately remove the water from the building before commercial plumbing issues commence.

Quantity of Water Lines

The water lines and pipes of the plumbing system in commercial buildings have more quantity than in the residential systems.

Water lines of a commercial facility make sure that water and other liquids travel around or go in and out of the building efficiently. So, these pipes and lines need regular maintenance and inspection to prevent severe damage and issues.

One of the primary challenges that commercial plumbers have is that it is hard to know what exactly caused issues in the system in a short amount of time. This challenge is because of the large number of pipes in industrial or commercial systems.

Hot Water System Requirements

Although residential plumbing systems are smaller than commercial ones, they require to cater to more appliances. Some office buildings may require having instant-hot water heaters in some areas.

In commercial buildings such as hotels where people live or in medical centers, a large boiler room is required. Since in these facilities more people require hot water and people need hot water constantly, occurring problems are more likely.

Learn Commercial Plumbing Basics by Knowing Their Common Issues

As you know now, commercial systems are larger since more people are using water, and this can cause issues. You need to know some common problems to learn commercial plumbing basics. The following are some of the most common issues professional plumbers experience within a commercial facility:

  • Leaks: When Leaking problems occur in commercial buildings, the situation can escalate very quickly. Rotting, molding, and flood damage are some of the outcomes of severe leak problems. This issue will increase the water bills, and the pipes, toilets, and taps will be damaged.
  • Low Water Pressure: When you learn commercial plumbing basics, you know that this problem is caused by tampering with or turning off the water valve. After gaining experience, you will see that clogged pipes and leaks can also affect the water pressure.
  • High Water Pressure: It is essential to learn commercial plumbing basics and identify the source of a high-water pressure issue. This can lead to damaging the main pipes.
  • Smells in Sewage System: Dried-up pipes below the ground can cause terrible smells throughout the building. This commercial plumbing issue can be detrimental to business.
  • Hot Water System Problems: When you learn commercial plumbing basics, you know that these systems are more extensive than residential ones, which are more likely to experience various problems. When you inspect an issue in your hot water system, you need to repair it as soon as possible.
  • Water Back-Up Problem: It is very unhealthy to have back-up water flow in your building. When this occurs, it is better to call a professional plumber and let them handle it.
  • Blocked Drains: The most common plumbing issue in residential and commercial plumbing systems is blocked drains.


To learn commercial plumbing basics, it is better to know how you can solve the problems mentioned earlier. So, make sure to read the commercial plumbing issues guide to learn how to solve them like a professional.

Commercial Plumbing Systems vs. Residential Plumbing: 11 Differences

commercial plumbing systems

A building is a living thing, and its life depends on various factors. One of the essential factors is its plumbing system. Many people think that commercial plumbing systems are the same as residential plumbing. However, there is a significant difference between these two. As a homeowner or business owner, you should know the differences to find a reliable plumbing professional or contractor to do the job for you. But first, you should know what these plumbing systems or services are.

What is a Residential Plumbing System or Services?

A residential plumbing system is a complicated network in a home that comprises cold and hot water supply pipes, appliances, home plumbing fixtures, drain pipes, vent pipes, water storage tanks, water heat, traps, etc. Generally, the piping runs either concealed inside the walls or on the outer area of the walls.

Essential Parts of Residential Plumbing Systems

Contractors’ residential plumbing services are repairing or installing the three essential components in the above list. So, if you want to ensure that your plumbing systems run efficiently, you should find a reliable contractor to do the job for you.

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What are Commercial Plumbing Systems or Services?

Commercial plumbing contractors are companies that offer industrial plumbers who work with water supply systems and wastewater drainage systems for public spaces, businesses, complex buildings, and high rises.

Since commercial plumbing systems are more challenging and complex than residential plumbing, it has higher demands in the industry. Reliable commercial or industrial plumbers are responsible for the regular repair and maintenance of all such systems. However, their work scope is almost limitless, depending on their plumbing skills.

Experts in Commercial Plumbing System

As told, commercial plumbing systems and services are complicated and require experience and skill. So, professional plumbers obtain special training for particular facets of plumbing, including:

  • Potable plumbers: These experts work with commercial plumbing systems that involve drinking water.
  • Steamfitters and pipefitters: These commercial plumbers work primarily on cooling, heating, and even electricity generators in industrial environments.
  • Pipelayers: Commercial plumbing system experts generally deal with laying pipework for wastewater drainage.
  • Sewage Systems Plumbers: These commercial plumbers are specialists in commercial facilities sewages.
  • Fuel Gas Plumbers: These industrial plumbers work with tanks and pipelines that contain gas.

Differences Between Commercial Plumbing Systems and Residential Plumbing

Now that you know what commercial and residential plumbing systems are, it is time to understand the main differences between these two, which are:

1: Daily Usage of Residential and Commercial Plumbing Systems

The daily usage of commercial plumbing systems is greater than the residential systems due to frequent use by employees and clients during the day.

However, family members only use a residential plumbing system, so it requires fewer outlets and pipe fitting.

2: Size and Durability

Since commercial plumbing has more usage, it requires large fixtures that have higher grades and more extended durability. Using larger fixtures and long-lasting materials will reduce the breaking down due to pressure or strain.

The fixtures are smaller in the home plumbing systems, and lower-grade pipes are used since they do not undergo as frequent use as commercial facilities.

3: Complexity Difference Between Commercial Plumbing Systems and Residential Ones

Most commercial buildings have multiple floors, toilets, and sinks, while most homes usually have simple and easy navigation through their structure. This means that commercial plumbers understand complex building structures.

4: Efficiency Difference

No plumbing system is perfect, and damages are always expected at any point. A clogged sink or bathroom in commercial facilities may pose a difficulty to many people, and fixing them should be done quickly. So, it is recommended to hire professional plumbers who are experienced in dealing with these complex systems.

commercial plumbing

5: Probability of Damage in Commercial and Home Plumbing Systems

The complex commercial plumbing systems are more prone to damage than residential ones. The damage to home plumbing is limited since it features a minor size system. On the other hand, even slight damage to commercial plumbing can be disastrous.

6: Water Heater In Residential and Commercial Plumbing Systems

Using larger storage tanks and gas levels is required for commercial facilities since industrial buildings have more people who need more hot water than homes.

7: Health Issues with Plumbing Systems

Since more people visit commercial buildings such as restaurants, there is a need to follow strict health care regulations and ensure good hygiene in the plumbing system.

It is easier to manage residential plumbing systems and doesn’t require different sets of plumbing fixtures like commercial plumbing systems.

8: Work Scope

The work on commercial plumbing systems is more repetitive than on home systems. Residential facilities require plumbing services in particular areas, which involves a standard working hour. However, commercial plumbing services take place at any time of the day.

9: Knowledge Prerequisites for Commercial and Home Plumbing Services

Commercial plumbing services need to be more scheduled-oriented. For example, repairing services in a building needs to be done within the time frame as more people depend on it. So, delays in the work can lead to losses. However, the time is not a problem in residential facilities as long as it doesn’t matter to the homeowners.

10: Drainage Systems and Services

Draining commercial plumbing systems is more complex than residential facilities. Additionally, commercial issues are easier to solve in the home plumbing systems.

11: Dripping and Running Water In Commercial and Residential Systems

Determining small water leakages in residential facilities and homes is much easier than commercial buildings. Since commercial buildings have multiple floors, water leakages are easily missed, which will lead to severe damage and large bills.

Most Common Industrial or Commercial Plumbing Problems and Solutions

commercial plumbing problems

It is evident that not all plumbing services are equally done. However, commercial plumbing is way more complex when comparing residential plumbing services to industrial or commercial plumbing. Dealing with the most common commercial plumbing problems poses various challenges. They are very different from easy residential issues. Imagine a home with few members and then think about a large office building. It is not difficult to see their differences.

Some of these commercial plumbing services may seem similar to residential facilities. However, due to the scope of the needing services, industrial concerns can be magnified, causing severe problems for property managers and tenants. Here are the most common industrial or commercial plumbing problems and their solutions.

  • Hot Water Commercial Plumbing Problems
  • Clogged Toilets in Commercial and Industrial Facilities
  • Sewer Odour Commercial Plumbing Problems
  • Blocked Drains of Industrial Properties
  • Plumbing Pipes Leaks

Hot Water Commercial Plumbing Problems

Hot water issues are common commercial plumbing problems that building owners and tenants can experience. For some industrial enterprises, lack of hot water can establish devastating. If you are the owner of a residential building or office facility, the local building codes and regulations will require that the hot water gauges and controls be in place to prevent burns and fire. Thus, commercial plumbing problems with the hot water system need professional services.

Hot water system issues in industrial and commercial facilities are far more elaborate than the standard residential plumbing system, and tracing the cause of the problems is time-consuming.

However, commercial plumbing problems in the hot water system are often because of the water heater. Replacing the insulating tank or the thermostat and the pipes can help. Lack of temperature regulation can cause severe problems for commercial facilities. Thus, it is better to hire a plumber to avoid further issues.

commercial plumbing problems with hot water - O Plus Plumbing Inc. | Leading Plumbing, Plumber & Drain Company in The Greater Toronto Area - Professional Plumbing & Drain In Toronto and GTA

Clogged toilets in Commercial and Industrial Facilities

A clogged or backed-up toilet is a significant inconvenience in residential and commercial facilities. However, this issue can extremely impact hotels, restaurants, and other venues. Moreover, hospitals are generally impacted by these commercial plumbing problems.

Having control over what goes into the toilets of a commercial facility is almost impossible. Signs that indicate what can or cannot be flushed down the toilet will have many consequences. In large and complex plumbing systems, blockages can have cascading outcomes. For example, overflow commercial plumbing problems can lead to severe water damage.

You can remedy the minor toilet clogs with a plunger. However, hiring a professional plumbing service contractor for multi-fixture or chronic issues is better than looking for more serious causes such as pump issues.

clogged toilets

Sewer Odor Commercial Plumbing Problems

All sewers have a smell, a mixture of inorganic gases containing compounds like ammonia, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Inhaling these gases can lead to serious health issues. Besides the health problems, the sewer smell is very annoying, and the effect on business facilities can have a massive financial impact.

Commercial Plumbing Problems Causes by Sewer Gasses

There are several ways that sewer gasses can get inside a building and cause problems:

  • Dry Trap
  • A Blocked Vent
  • Damaged Drain Line

Dray trap is a common cause of sewer gas odors. When damp, a simple trap can be effective. The dry trap is generally made from u-shaped tubing or pipe in which one end is connected to the drain, and the other connects to a sewer line. Moreover, the u-shaped trough contains a small amount of water which prevents the gasses from infiltrating the interior of a facility.

Vents are used for equalizing pressure caused by wastewater that runs through the system. If you block the duct, sewer smells cannot be released outside.

A damaged drain line is a rare occurrence that can cause sewage to be released under the facility instead of being carried out.

Blocked Drains of Industrial Properties

Blocked and clogged drains are common industrial or commercial plumbing problems. It is challenging to control what people put down sinks or tubs like toilets. If you don’t have access to individual units or cannot dictate housekeeping rules, you will have to deal with these issues at some point.

Gauge if these are happening in your commercial facility:

  • Water Drains Speed Decrement
  • Water Pooling Around the Drain
  • Gurgling Sounds from Drain
  • Water Puddles Near a Tub or Sink
  • Bad Smells Coming from The Drains
  • The Smell of Rotting Foods Coming From a Garbage Disposal

If these issues are reported frequently, you can take simple steps to nip any expensive and time-consuming problems in the bud.

  • Remove any debris and clean the wire screen and the sink stopper.
  • Plunge with a half-full tub or sink of water.
  • Do not immediately use chemical drain cleaners that can corrode the plumbing system’s pipes.
  • Know the location of the primary water valve.

Prevention Key Tips for Avoiding Blocked Drain Commercial Plumbing Problems

  • Do not put coffee grounds or cooking grease down the sink.
  • Install a grease trap in commercial facilities such as restaurants.
  • Clean the garbage disposal once a month by grinding salt and ice and flushing it with cold water.

If you still have these industrial or commercial plumbing issues, contact us and let us investigate to fix your problem immediately.

pipe leaks can cause commercial plumbing problems

Plumbing Pipes Leaks

Plumbing pipe leaks are a source of the massive waste of water. However, they are preventable. Leaking pipes are also common plumbing issues in winter. Most of these leaks are caused by damaged washers, O-rings, and seals that can easily replace. But, the pipe leaks require the unique maintenance and attention of professional plumbing service providers to avoid an emergency. The following factors can indicate that your facility is experiencing pipe leaks:

  • Faucets Dripping
  • Water Around the Base of Traps
  • Meter Reading Number Increment