Guides ‐ Domestic vs Commercial Plumber - What's the Difference?

Published: 23/08/2023

From time to time, plumbing issues arise that you’ll need to call a plumber for. However, most people assume that every plumber can fix all plumbing issues, regardless of the location, whether that be in an office or at your home.

However, while both Domestic and Commercial plumbers have the appropriate skillset and knowledge to deal with plumbing issues, there are some distinct differences between the two. Let’s find out what these are…


What is a Domestic Plumber?

A domestic plumber has the skills and qualifications to install, maintain and repair plumbing systems in residential homes, including:

  • Fixing leaks
  • Installing and repairing boilers
  • Repairing and installing central heating systems
  • Cutting and joining pipes and fittings
  • Servicing systems and fixing faults

What is a Commercial Plumber?

A commercial plumber specialises in maintaining, repairing and installing plumbing in a commercial setting, including:

  • Offices
  • Schools and Universities
  • Restaurants
  • Retail outlets such as shopping malls
  • Care facilities such as hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and care homes

Commercial plumbers will have to work on larger and more complex plumbing systems such as:

  • Encompassing water heating systems
  • Testing water pressure
  • Waste and boiler systems



What is the main difference between a Domestic and Commercial plumber?

While we’ve detailed above what both a Domestic and Commercial plumber area, we’re highlighted the main differences between the two:

Size and complexity – Commercial plumbers are likely to work on larger scale buildings such as multistorey offices and hotels in comparison to a regular 2/3 storey house that a Domestic plumber would work on, meaning the scale of the project is a significant difference between the two.

Because a commercial building usually houses both employees and customers who will use the facilities more often, fixtures and fittings will need to be durable to heavy use, meaning there is likely to be more pipes and outlets, making plumbing jobs at commercial properties more complex.

Specialist tools – All plumbers require some form of specialist tools to carry out their job effectively and efficiently. These tools include pipe wrenches, sink snakes, plungers and toilet augers. However, when it comes to working on a larger scale such as commercial properties, a commercial plumber may require additional tools. While there may be a bit of a crossover, some tools are better for residential jobs, while other more specific tools required for commercial applications. This include things such as large drain cleaners, generators, industrial wet and dry vacuum cleaners and hydro-jetters.


Working hours – Domestic plumbers tend to be carried out during daylight hours when it is most convenient for the resident/home owner (and the plumber). However, for commercial properties that are used by hundreds of people daily, commercial plumbers will have to be flexible when it comes to working hours, making sure they are able to work all around the clock including weekends to shut off or repair any faulty plumbing systems. You may also find that business owners prefer to schedule repairs and maintenance outside of the typical working hours to minimise disruption.


Working with others – While domestic plumbers mainly work independently or with a colleague, commercial plumbers are required to coordinate with any other professionals on site to complete the job. Examples of these include engineers, project managers, constructions managers and more.


Qualifications – Although all plumbers are highly skilled, commercial plumbers require additional qualifications to carry out work in public sectors. Every plumber, whether that’s commercial or domestic will have an industry-recognised plumbing and heating qualification; NVQ Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating or an NVQ Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Installing and Maintaining Heating Systems. To work on larger scale, complex commercial properties, a commercial plumber would have to acquire a NVQ Level 3 Plumbing Qualification.

Here at Airkool, we have an in-house team of fully qualified commercial plumbers offering commercial plumbing services for your business requirements. Whether you are looking for a commercial plumbing company to design a plumbing system or to carry out commercial plumbing installation and maintenance support, we help businesses across the region.

In addition to this, Airkool also have a team of fully qualified commercial electricians offering a huge range of electrical services.

Simply get in touch to find yourself a fully qualified professional to assist with your commercial needs.