What is commercial plumbing? STS explains

You’d be forgiven for thinking that ‘plumbing is plumbing’ and residential and commercial plumbing services are the same thing. In reality, there are a number of differences and requirements that you should look for when hiring a commercial plumbing contractor.

We explain what commercial plumbing is, how it differs from residential plumbing and of course, how we can assist with all your commercial plumbing needs.

What is commercial plumbing?

Commercial plumbing is a specialised field of plumbing focussing on the maintenance, repairs and installation of systems in commercial buildings like offices, retail centres, aged care and hospitals.

What are the differences between commercial and residential?

While commercial plumbing is plumbing, there are key differences between plumbers who are qualified for residential work and those contractors who offer commercial services.

Licencing and insurances

Due to the nature of commercial work, plumbers are required to hold adequate public liability insurance. They also need to ensure they have a commercial licence to carry out the work, as well as a thorough understanding of the building codes and practices that the work needs to adhere to.


Commercial buildings have complex drainage and plumbing systems (have you ever wondered how water pressure stays high on the 20th floor?). Jobs can range from maintenance and testing, to replacing an entire building’s bathrooms or drainage systems. This requires specialist knowledge and experience; something well above the remit of a residential plumber.


Often, commercial works need to undergo a tender process to find the most suitable candidate to complete the job. Being able to provide this information, as well as any necessary documentation for inspection and sign-off is crucial.

Negotiation with other trades

It’s not uncommon for commercial plumbers to have to negotiate a building site around other trades. This can be anything from carpenters to engineers and site managers. Ensuring the work happens in the right order (and with minimal disruption or delay) requires solid communication and scheduling skills.

Outside hours

Any works undertaken in a commercial building, particularly an office building, need to ensure minimal disruptions to tenants and workers. This may mean working late at night, through the night or on weekends.

When do I need a commercial plumber?

If you notice you’ve got a problem with plumbing in your building, it goes without saying that it’s time to call a commercial plumber. However, to avoid a complete failure of the system or a more serious problem, it’s important to ensure the plumbing is inspected and maintained regularly. Give us a call and our qualified and professional team can help!

Need a Local Plumber?

Our expert Sydney plumbers can be at your home or office in a jiffy to discuss your plumbing requirements.



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