Commercial plumbing services are often available 24/7.
Commercial plumbers specialise in installing, repairing and maintaining water supply and drainage systems in commercial establishments. Although the work is similar to residential or domestic plumbing, commercial plumbing has a more extensive scope and makes use of power tools and heavy machinery.
How is commercial plumbing different from residential plumbing?
Whilst you call a plumber if you have a clogged toilet or drain, commercial plumbers work on drainage and water supply systems for large commercial buildings. These establishments include leisure centres, hotels, schools, strata buildings, office blocks and shopping centres. They have a more extensive and complex plumbing system than we usually have at home, so they also require more specialised tools.
Here are the major differences between these two types of plumbing services.
Works mainly in larger, densely populated buildings such as shopping centres, office blocks, schools and skyscrapers. Plumbing systems in large buildings are complex and often require larger jobs. They have a series of pipes that are interconnected between the floors, which means that a job is almost always not limited to one single floor. The size of the building and the number of floors it has determine the amount of work that commercial plumbers handle. The number of users or occupants of a building also determines the work that needs to be done. Since a retail establishment has more people coming in and out daily, pipes and plumbing fixtures are more likely to get worn out.
Commercial plumbing deals mainly with preventative maintenance to ensure problems don’t arise to avoid business interruption. They often require a variety of regular maintenance and inspections as well as specialised tools and equipment, especially if the problem needs overhauling and testing. Some of these tools include generators, cutting and drilling power tools, pipe vises and support, and tile saws.
Residential plumbers work on single as well as low-density homes. The repair jobs are usually smaller because the plumbing systems in residential houses are not as complex. Very few homes require regular maintenance. However, plumbing problems in residential homes can also become complicated. However, there are fewer plumbing lines and fixtures in a home that most plumbers do not consider them to be a major issue. Plumbers working in residential areas utilise regular tools such as plungers, sink snakes, toilet augers and heat tapes.
What are the three categories of commercial plumbing?
Commercial plumbing services in Australia are usually divided into three categories: potable, sanitary and waste, and fire protection.
Potable commercial plumbing
Potable commercial plumbing deals with the system that supplies drinking water to the occupants of a building. Plumbers install the water supply system, and handle its servicing and maintenance. This water supply system includes hot and cold drinking water and water for other consumption purposes. Potable commercial plumbing works at high pressure to ensure that the water supply throughout the building is sufficient.
Sanitary and waste commercial plumbing
Sanitary and waste commercial plumbing refers to the installation, servicing and maintenance of sanitary drainage. This plumbing service caters to all parts and equipment of a sanitary system, including piping, traps, fixtures and valves. Sanitary systems typically operate at a lower pressure than potable systems. Many buildings utilise hybrid potable/waste systems where both low- and high-pressure drainage is used. This system requires sophisticated design as well as highly skilled installation and maintenance. Sanitary drains are located in a building’s common toilets and “staff only” private areas.
Fire protection commercial plumbing
In Australia, fire protection commercial plumbing pertains to plumbing services that prevent and control the spread of fire. Examples of this are sprinkler systems and fire stands. Commercial plumbers working on fire protection systems install, service and maintain pipeline systems that consist of man-made or natural development piping connected to a sprinkler head.
What are the different types of commercial plumbing services?
Various types of commercial plumbing services are available in Newcastle. Some of the most common services include:
Sewer and drainage plumbing services
These commercial plumbing services include eliminating the hardest blockages in the drainage or sewer of a building or establishment. In Australia, experts in this area are guided by the Building Code of Australia and the Plumbing Code of Australia.
Services for this type of commercial plumbing include:
- Preventing unnecessary and recurring plumbing issues
- Trenchless pipe lining services, which is a relatively new technology that rehabilitates an old pipeline without excavation. This makes structurally unsound pipelines stronger, resistant to acid, flow faster and last for up to 50 years.
High-temperature water plumbing services
Commercial plumbers offering this service make sure that the hot water in your building does not fall below 60 degrees Celsius to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria. They can also design your hot water system to lower your energy costs. Hotels, schools and other business establishments that require plenty of hot water will benefit from these commercial plumbing services.
Pipe installation, replacement and maintenance
Call a commercial plumber if you notice a leak in your place of business. They are equipped to replace and install even the most complex plumbing systems. They are able to suggest the best course of action to take in case you can’t decide if you want to replace or rehabilitate your plumbing. They can also offer you cost efficient options, such as utilising long-lasting copper tubing.
Installing water-efficient systems
Hiring a good commercial plumber will help you reduce water consumption at your place of business. This is because they are obligated to install regulated products under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Act 2005. The scheme lays out water efficiency requirements for specific appliances and plumbing fittings and fixtures.
The following products must be registered under the WELS scheme:
- lavatory and urinal equipment
- flow controllers
- washing machines
Plumbers are responsible for ensuring that the products installed are WELS registered and labelled appropriately. The WELS scheme is geared toward helping both businesses and households reduce their water consumption, thus reducing water and energy bills as well.
Commercial plumbing services include annual testing and maintenance of backflow prevention systems. In addition, plumbers ensure that the backflow prevention system complies with the Building Code of Australia and the National Water Quality Management Strategy (NWQMS) guidelines. A commercial plumber can also install a new backflow prevention system when necessary.
Grease trap cleaning
Depending on usage, grease traps are cleaned every one-to-three months. If you are unsure when to call a plumber, you can consider the 1/4 rule. Have your grease trap cleaned out when it is 1/4 full. Grease trap disposal and grease trap cleaning are included in commercial plumbing services.
Fire sprinkler system installation and maintenance
Fire safety systems are required in commercial and industrial buildings. They are installed to keep people safe in an emergency. Commercial plumbers design, install, repair and replace these systems according to the National Construction Code, Volume Three.
Hot water system installation
Office buildings, hotels, restaurants and factories need hot water systems. Commercial plumbers handle the installation of plumbing piping and other equipment needed to provide hot water to the occupants of the building. The hot water system is hooked up to the establishment’s heat source to reach the water’s desired temperature. Commercial plumbers install special valves in the pipes to regulate the temperature and pressure of the water.
Gas supply fitting and servicing
Many commercial plumbers are also licensed gas plumbers. They are trained in gas pipeline installations, disconnections, safe removals and gas leak detection. Some of the most common gas fitting and servicing jobs include:
- Installation of gas appliances, as well as repairs, conversions and maintenance
- Installation of gas hot water systems
- Gas bottle installation, including gas lines, pigtails, changeover valves and regulators
- Gas meter, valve and pipeline installation
- Gas pressure adjustment
- Gas detection systems installation
- Gas leak detection and repairs
Emergency plumbing services
With hundreds of people occupying a commercial building, the chances of plumbing emergencies happening are high. Burst water pipes, no hot water and blocked drains are just a few of what could happen at any time. However, commercial plumbers are on-call even after hours, so there will always be someone to repair or remedy the situation until permanent repairs can be done.
What are the working hours of commercial plumbers?
Most plumbers in Australia work from 9 am to 5 pm. However, commercial plumbing companies tend to work outside the normal working hours. This is because administrators and owners of commercial buildings and other establishments prefer to schedule plumbing repairs and maintenance after regular working hours. This way, they can limit work interruptions and avoid inconveniencing their customers and employees.
How can you identify a reliable commercial plumbing company?
Sometimes you just need to trust your gut to find a good commercial plumber. However, observation is much more reliable (and often more accurate) than gut feelings. Here are some of the things to look for if you want to find the best commercial plumber for your establishment.
Choose an experienced commercial plumber.
Commercial systems are more complex and require more specialised tools and equipment. A residential plumber that exclusively installs bathrooms and fixes leaks in a house will probably not have the knowledge or equipment to handle commercial plumbing issues.
Look for plumbers with proven track records.
Look around at previous plumbing projects that are similar to yours. Then, ask for feedback and references. Here are some things to consider when you read references or reports.
- Was the project completed on time?
- Did the completed project go over budget?
- How did the plumbing company handle unexpected obstacles and challenges?
You can also check their social media accounts to see customer reviews and ratings.
Choose licensed and certified commercial plumbers.
Any reputable and reliable commercial plumber should be able to stand by their work. They should be licensed, bonded and insured and be able to provide warranties for labour and parts that they used. You can check the MyServiceNSW register to see if a commercial plumber in Newcastle is licensed. Service NSW is an online resource that makes it easier for you to find government services and other information.
Safety is the Most Important Thing
Reputable commercial plumbing companies strictly adhere to the standards set by the Plumbing Code of Australia. They should also provide a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) after every project to confirm that the work they did also complies with the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DtS) requirements of AS/NZS 3500.
Choose commercial plumbers that offer a full range of services, from inspections and diagnostics to installations, maintenance, upgrades, and clean up.
Getting this complete service from one company will save you money and time. It can also help guarantee the quality of their work because you have fewer people to work with.
Choose commercial plumbers who always put emphasis on safety measures.
This will save you from liabilities such as on the job injuries and unexpected accidents that can occur long after the contractor has finished the job.
Can your residential plumber handle commercial issues?
If your trusted plumber is licensed and experienced in both residential and commercial plumbing, then the answer is yes. Otherwise, it would be best to look for a company with experience (and a proven track record!) in handling more complex and extensive commercial systems.
Fully licensed commercial plumber in Newcastle
When it comes to your commercial plumbing problems, trust only a company that has proven itself time and again. At Green Planet Plumbing, we have a team of licensed plumbers who care about plumbing and the environment. We are a paperless company, meaning you will most likely get quotes and invoices via email. When it comes to the quality of our work, we are fully licensed and insured for your peace of mind. Email us your enquiries or call us today at 02 4911 9402.