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The Top 10 Differences Between a Commercial and Residential Plumber

by Rohan Mathew

A plumber’s main job is working with drains. But, did you know that there are different kinds of plumbers? Are you looking for a commercial plumber Sunshine Coast side, or does your toilet simply have a blockage? Do you know who to call?

In this article, we will look at the difference between commercial and residential plumbers and what each of them does. Keep reading to find out who you need to put on speed dial.

Different Knowledge 

Each type of plumber has been trained to work with drains, water and waste. Commercial plumbers deal with these issues on a much larger scale. Residential plumbers work more with houses and have a knowledge of the neighbourhood sewer systems. 

A Different Work Scope 

Each type of plumbing job requires a special set of skills. Residential plumbers have the ability to work on new housing developments, upgrade current plumbing structures and deal with day-to-day problems. Meanwhile, commercial plumbers offer their skills to large buildings, factories and hospitals.

They Can Work Different Hours 

You normally call a plumber when you have an emergency, like leaking water or a time-sensitive issue. That means that plumbing is not a 9-to-5 job, and both types of plumbers are very familiar with working overtime. 

The problem needs to be fixed as quickly as possible, especially if it’s at a large factory. This means that especially commercial plumbers need to be available 24 hours a day. 

Working In Public 

A commercial plumber may be called out to handle public toilets that are overflowing. This means they often need to work in the public eye. To work on municipal property, they have to produce permits and comply with certain safety regulations.

A residential plumber can work inside your home away from the public. 

The Permits and Licensing are Different  

Although residential plumbers still require a license when they work on renovations, they don’t need one for general plumbing problems and routine maintenance. A commercial plumber, on the other hand, has to comply with several other laws and codes. They need to have the correct licenses in place before they start to work. 

Working with Other Trades 

A commercial plumber can sometimes be part of a bigger project with other team members. This means that they could work with electricians, architects and builders. A residential plumber usually works in your home, so they only need to deal with the homeowners.

Working with other trades can be frustrating as you may need a plumber to complete a certain part of the project before you can move onto the next step in your project. A commercial plumber needs to know how to manage their time efficiently so they aren’t preventing others from doing their tasks. 

Different Levels of Inspection 

The larger the workload, the more paperwork there seems to be. Commercial plumbers are very used to paperwork and accustomed to their work being put through rigorous testing. They need to file for licenses and make sure they’re following the latest regulations and laws.

A residential plumber doesn’t have to jump through as many hoops. They do their job and leave. A commercial plumber needs to have their job signed off by certain parties before it’s considered complete.

Cost and Level of Insurance 

Commercial plumbers need to have very good insurance in place as they work on large scale projects. They need to consider public liability and make sure that their insurance will pay out should they encounter a problem. 

The length of the project is usually longer so their insurance needs to reflect that. A residential plumber will still require insurance but of a different type. Personal insurance should be sufficient. 

Commercial Jobs are More Complex 

Commercial plumbers need to be able to plan very well. Imagine you’re responsible for installing all the bathrooms in a new hotel building that has 10 stories. That could mean installing over 50 bathrooms. The commercial plumber will need to work out the drainage between each floor, as well as how the water system should flow.

A residential plumber may add a bathroom or an extension, but the planning process isn’t as complicated. Moving a toilet means they will need basic knowledge of how the water flows but coordinating water levels on multiple story buildings is a whole different ball game. 

Extra Licenses 

A residential plumber needs a plumbing license to perform their jobs. If they want to branch out and work on renovations or installing new houses, they will need to have a commercial license. Obtaining this type of license requires extra training and testing.

A commercial plumber has to have the same knowledge as a residential plumber and can perform residential plumbing with a commercial plumbing license. 

For everyday household plumbing problems, a plumbing license is all you need.  

Final Thoughts 

Now that you know all the differences between residential and commercial plumbers, you will know who to call in an emergency. A great rule of thumb is that if you need a plumber in your home, a residential plumber is the one to call. 

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