Types of Plumbers

Plumbers install, maintain, repair, and replace water piping, drains, and fixtures. The job requires a strong background in technical skills, problem-solving, and communication with clients.


Plumbers work on residential and commercial buildings, mines, industrial facilities, and other structures that have pipes and water systems. You lift heavy materials, climb ladders and work in tight spaces.

A residential plumber installs and repairs plumbing systems in a home. They may also work on larger commercial buildings that have more complex plumbing systems that require specialized knowledge and equipment.

Residential plumbers typically start out as an apprentice, working under a mentor to learn the skills needed to be successful in this career. Once they complete their 2,000 training hours, they can take on more independent plumbing jobs. The experience and expertise they gain from the apprenticeship will help them become more confident in their abilities.

In most states, plumbers must hold a license to practice their profession. This license is necessary to ensure that they are up to date on all safety requirements and to protect their customers. In some states, plumbers must also have liability insurance to protect themselves from potential lawsuits.

The type of job a plumber does can determine what type of license they need to obtain. For example, commercial plumbers must have a license to perform maintenance and repair work on a building’s water system.

A residential plumber often does smaller-scale plumbing jobs and may only have a limited amount of training, while commercial plumbers need extensive knowledge of the entire building’s plumbing. They may have to work on multiple plumbing systems, including sewer and heating lines.

Commercial plumbers usually use more specialized equipment, such as lift stations and boilers. They also have to understand how the water is moved throughout the building and where it’s sourced from.

When a leak occurs in a commercial building, it can be difficult to pinpoint the origin of the leak because all of the floors can have different owners and businesses. This can lead to confusion when dealing with a large plumbing problem.

As a residential plumber, you have to be attuned to the needs of your clients and provide a high level of customer service. This can be stressful, but it can also be rewarding to assist someone in a troublesome situation.

Commercial plumbing can be a more lucrative option than residential, but it requires a greater investment in education and specialized equipment. It also may have a more challenging work environment and fewer job opportunities than residential plumbing.

Commercial plumbing involves installing and maintaining pipework in a variety of commercial settings, such as office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and large buildings with multiple floors. It also includes the installation and repair of a wide variety of plumbing fixtures, such as toilets, sinks, faucets, and water heaters.

The work of a commercial plumber is often more complex than residential plumbing because of the size and scale of most commercial spaces. This is especially true of office buildings, shopping malls, and hospitality suites, where there are multiple floors with a multitude of interconnected pipes.

There are also a number of regulations in place that affect commercial plumbing systems. These include health codes and other standards that have to be met in order to ensure safety and prevent potential violations of the law.

Another significant difference between commercial and residential plumbing is the amount of usage that is involved. While a residential system may only be used by one household, commercial systems are typically used by hundreds of people at the same time. This puts added strain on the plumbing system and can lead to a wide variety of issues, including blockages, leaks, and drain stoppages.

Similarly, commercial systems must meet a different set of regulations than residential ones. For example, a restaurant needs to be able to abide by health codes that are specific to the food service industry.

These requirements mean that commercial plumbing jobs require a much higher level of expertise and knowledge than residential ones. They also need to stay up to date with a variety of building codes and regulations that are unique for each type of business.

Anne Kidd