Residential, Commercial And Industrial Plumbing: Understanding The Major Differences

Construction & Contractors Blog

Plumbing is not just plumbing. It is several different subtypes of plumbing, numerous kinds of pipes, related repairs and making water connections. To understand the major differences with all of the types of plumbing, you would either have to be a master plumber, or an overly curious autodidact (one who learns by reading and teaching oneself). The following information assumes you are the latter.

Residential Plumbing

You can easily assume that this refers to all plumbing things residential, that is, all plumbing in a home. The pipes in a home are rarely larger than four to six inches across, and that alone is usually the toilet stack or main sewer line leading down and out of the home. All other pipes inside a home are somewhere between a half inch and two-and-one-half inches, depending on its purpose. Wastewater pipes tend to be larger, while clean water or water intake pipes tend to be smaller. Additionally, a residential plumber manages water heater installations, refrigerator water and ice maker installations, and sometimes water purification systems.

Commercial Plumbing

Commercial plumbing includes wastewater lines from public restrooms and underground sewer line maintenance for cities. Pipes can be anywhere from four inched in diameter to five feet in diameter when you count sewer pipes. Commercial plumbing uses concrete/cement pipes as well as metal pipes for their ability to last a long time without corrosion, rust or cracking, which is needed for the volume of wastewater that is channeled through them. Commercial plumbers also address the installation and maintenance needs of fire hydrants and public waterworks systems.

Industrial Plumbing

Industrial plumbing includes all the plumbing needs in an industrial plant or industrial park (i.e., a place where several industry plants are located within walking or driving distance of each other). In this type of plumbing, the focus is on fluid pressure, holding or containing fluid or gasses and maintaining lines from tank to tank or tank to exit point. The plumbers in this line of work have to make regular rounds of all fluid- and gas-related machines to make sure the correct amount of pressure is constant and that there are no issues with the flow in the lines.

Pipes used in industrial plumbing are all sizes, depending on their pressurized needs or the materials they transport. There are often two types of plumbing at work in any one industrial site. The smaller pipes of commercial plumbing in the restrooms in the plant are one, and the industrial pipes for the factory are another. For more information, contact Cool Air Mechanical, Inc.  

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