What’s the Difference Between Residential and Commercial Plumbing?

Plumbing is plumbing, right? Not exactly. It’s true that residential and commercial plumbers do much of the same work. A commercial plumber specializes in the more complicated plumbing found at commercial properties. The location, scale, and complexity of the work separates this type of plumbing from residential. In addition, commercial plumbing includes fixtures and equipment that are unique to commercial settings.

What's the Difference Between Residential and Commercial Plumbing?


Typically, residential plumbers work in small residential properties such as single-family homes and multifamily housing with four units or less. Commercial plumbers handle a much wider range of properties. A commercial plumber may be called to service:

  • Restaurants
  • Stores
  • Office buildings
  • Warehouses
  • High-rise apartments
  • Industrial plants


These plumbers perform their duties on a larger scale than non-commercial plumbers. Residential plumbing jobs are usually small and only affect a few people. In contrast, a commercial project often involves an extensive network of pipes and outlets that impacts hundreds or even thousands of people. Bigger projects have greater needs. For example, most commercial properties need a higher water pressure than a single-family home.


Since commercial plumbing is more complex than residential, commercial properties have plumbing problems that don’t happen in single-family homes. Also, there are more building codes to comply with when working at a commercial property.

Equipment and Fixtures

Commercial plumbers work with fixtures and equipment that aren’t used in residential settings. For instance, the wall-hung toilets and urinals common in commercial bathrooms require different plumbing to support them than what’s required for fixtures in residences. Lift stations, industrial-grade pipes, and commercial boilers are a few examples of things they encounter that residential plumbers don’t.

Businesses in Katy and the surrounding area trust Katy Commercial Plumbing to handle their routine and emergency plumbing needs. Contact us today to receive prompt service from one of our plumbing experts.